Cafe Maude at Loring Does Justice to its Storied Address
Doug Anderson, Jessica Anderson, and Steve Vranian turned 1612 Harmon Place into one of Minneapolis's hippest addresses when he opened Nick and Eddie in 2008, in what was once Ruby's Cafe and a men's clothing store. Now Kevin Sheehy has put his own spin on the space with a sister to his original Cafe Maude in the Armatage neighborhood, Cafe Maude at Loring.
The stark white walls have been cozied up with warmer hues: red lanterns scattered throughout the dining room, orange pillows on the banquettes, a golden scrim above the bar. The vibe remains bohemian, yet welcoming to a wide range of ages, proving that you don't age out of the cool kids' club once you reach the age of 22. The alley out back remains the best block in all of Minneapolis—although the only folks who really take advantage of experiencing its romantic looks are probably staffers who spend their smoke breaks out on the loading dock.
Just like the original Maude, the new one has a serious cocktail program, led by bar manager Adam Harness, who moved over from Maude "south" (previously he mixed drinks at Town Talk Diner and Prairie Ale House). Two new favorites, The Fruited Pig and the Strega Sour, will introduce even cocktail geeks to lesser-known spirits, such as Pierre Ferrand 1840 cognac and the Italian herbal liqueur, Strega.
The menu looks similar to the one at the original Maude, but chef Matt Kempf adds a slightly more Mediterranean bent, with new dishes such as North African-style flatbread, topped with spicy lamb and haloumi cheese and Wild Acres duck breast with walnut yogurt and date chutney, as well as several wild cards, including Devonshire cream with wildflower honey and a riff on fish 'n chips. I tried just a few plates and, while I liked most of what I tasted, I wasn't yet wowed. But more sampling to come...
Pictured: Ahi pavé with brik, quail egg, and harissa.
Cafe Maude at Loring
1612 Harmon Place, Mpls.