St. Genevieve's a Chic French Classic
St. Genevieve. Photos by TJ Turner
Each month, in our restaurant rumble conversation, MnMo food critics Jason DeRusha and Joy Summers review two restaurants as a duo and pick a winner.
Joy: I could hardly recognize the old Lynn on Bryant—can you believe the makeover Steven Brown and co. did on the place?
Jason: Like Brown’s Linden Hills joint, Tilia, St. Genevieve somehow manages to feel brand new and like it’s been there for 20 years.
Joy: It’s so comfortably Frenchie, I can almost forgive every other table chattering on about what the heck a buvette is (basically, a neighborhood pub with bubbly wines).
Jason: Being French, the menu toes the line of being pretentious and intimidating. When you see words like “poireaux”, “crevettes,” and “courge” you might worry—but Brown wisely added one-word descriptions (leeks, shrimp, and squash, in this case).
Joy: We started with a bottle of bubbles and a foie gras dish that forever changed my perspective on how approachable both can be. I could drink those light, tart bubbles with the lush-crispy foie appetizer every day.
Jason: Using foie in the pastry of a Napoleon is brilliant shape-shifting. It’s both clever and delicious, and the blood orange and hazelnut combo adds a sweetness that would make this a great dessert.
Joy: Absolutely! I love the play on sweet and savory. It’s easy to make a meal from just the small-dish section of the menu.
Leeks (PoireAux Vinaigrette)
Jason: The leeks were my absolute favorite dish: braised to a delightful tenderness, brightened with truffle vinaigrette, and balanced with salty pieces of speck. Absolute perfection.
Joy: The broth served with the shrimp bouillabaisse dish was stunningly simple with pristine flavors.
Jason: Even though open-faced sandwiches seem to be red hot right now, the tartines were least exciting to me. The Brussels sprouts one was very buttery and rich, while the snail version seemed under-seasoned, like it needed something to make the earthiness pop.
Joy: Really? I thought it had just the right amount of garlic and herb butter. And the woodsy mushrooms were an easy entry point for the non-snail fan at our table (which might have been me).
Jason: I was surprised at the value. St. Genevieve is priced to be a neighborhood joint. My wife and I ordered four small plates, two tartines, and four half glasses of champagne, and got out of there for $100.
Joy: I love this restaurant. My only tiny quibbles were that the acoustics are a bit boisterous for an intimate dinner setting and the full glass wine pours feel a little light. Best to go for a bargain half glass or a bottle.
Shrimp (BouillaBaisse Aux Crevettes)
St. Genevieve Quick Tips:
Drink Tip: Get half-glasses and try a bunch of bubbles!
Noise Level: Boisterous and lively
April's restaurant rumble pitted the Scandinavian-inspired Upton 43 against the French buvette St. Genevieve. Find out which restaurant Jason and Joy chose as the winner in the April issue of MnMo.
St. Genevieve, 5003 Bryant Ave. S., Mpls., 612-353-4843, facebook.com/stgenevieve