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Thursday, October 17, 2013

DeRushaEats: Collage Global Cafe in Osseo

DeRushaEats: Collage Global Cafe in Osseo

By Jason DeRusha

My corner of the Twin Cities metro area isn't exactly known for innovative food options. We have every chain restaurant known to man, and Pittsburgh Blue in Maple Grove. We used to have a great, independent wine bar/bistro in Osseo called Nectar.

Nectar closed (bringing the percentage of suburban restaurants I reviewed for this magazine close to 80% or so), and I wept for our area.

But I weep no more, thanks to Kavita Mehta, and what she's trying to do with Collage Global Cafe in that same space in Osseo.

Kavita is one of the owners of Ethnic Foods Company, this amazing online business where she sells 450 spice blends at indianfoodsco.com—she told me she's been doing it for nearly twenty years.

So no surprise that she's passionate about great ingredients. She's always wanted to have a restaurant, and when Nectar moved out, she got the chance. Her menu is short, but excellent. She told me she uses local ingredients—basically going to the farmers markets in Osseo and Maple Grove, and buying whatever she can. She uses her incredible spices mixed with local, fresh food, and creates some real magic on the plate.

It's not all Indian food, it's a "collage" of international flavors.

Indian Pizza

Indian pizza

The samosa was excellent, with a chutney on the side that had me nearly licking the plate. Light crispy samosa with great flavors inside, and a bright, flavorful chutney for $5.

The Indian pizza was huge, with a nice flatbread-style crust, chicken tandoori and a minty sauce. Quite good. And the peanut chicken curry was really great. Rich spices, layered without being spicy.

Don't be afraid of the eggplant—perfectly in season right now, and prepared with lemon, garlic and a nice yogurt sauce.

The space doubles as a retail store for the spices - including Mehta's own Akita line of crockpot-ready dishes. Her wine list right now is insane, with everything under $20 a bottle when we visited.

But go to Osseo (right up 169 by Brooklyn Park and Maple Grove) and go visit Kavita Mehta and Collage, and end my curse. I can't be responsible for another great restaurant closing up shop!

Collage Cafe and Deli
204 Central Avenue
Osseo, MN

Tuesday-Thursday-Friday-Saturday: 11am-10pm
Wednesday 4pm-8pm
Closed Sunday/Monday
ethnicfoodsco.com

Posted on Thursday, October 17, 2013 in Permalink

Comments may be edited for length, clarity, or appropriateness.

Old to new | New to old
Oct 18, 2013 10:34 am
 Posted by  abarlow

Thanks for reviewing this gem within a gem! Vita's understanding of food and spices is fantastic! She is in a tough location, though. Osseo is a gem in its own right; a 1 square mile microcosm of city life with all of the features of a bigger city including a coffee shop/bakery, book shop, music store, ethnic restaurants, bars, high fashion shops, Live theater (Yellow Tree Theater), car/motorcycle dealerships, everything you can imagine and none of them are chains - all independently owned. Unfortunately Osseo is off the beaten path and it is really tough for these small indies to survive in the big pool. You have just helped not only this fabulous new restaurant and spice retail venue (and nobody works harder than Vita!) but helped readers maybe realize that highly interesting and unique places exist outside of the big box areas and are worth a short jaunt off the beaten path. Osseo and Collage Global Cafe is just 5 minutes north of Maple Grove and well worth the trip!

Mar 16, 2014 03:40 pm
 Posted by  Naomi W

You were right Jason! It wasn't that far for me to drive! :)
Loved it last night.
Naomi

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TC Taste answers your restaurant and dining questions, dishes on latest discoveries, reflects on breaking news, and generally bring the plate to the page with a skilled crew of experts: Minnesota Monthly editor-in-chief Rachel Hutton, Sustainable Food Correspondent Marie Flanagan, Chef Jason Ross, Food Writer Joy Summers, and Drinks & Real Food Senior Editor Mary Subialka. Learn more about the TC Taste bloggers.

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