Bar Brigade

The cozy little 40-seat bistro in St. Paul’s Macalester-Groveland neighborhood feels like a secret hangout for the neighborhood cool kids.

The Vegetable Pan Bagnat salad at Bar Brigade in St. Paul.
Vegetable Pan Bagnat Salad

photo by tj turner

J.D. Fratzke and Matty O’Reilly transformed the former Ristorante Luci into a great new date spot called Bar Brigade. Between their experience at the Strip Club Meat & Fish (Fratzke) along with Republic and the Red River Kitchen food trucks (O’Reilly), both are seasoned in the art of hospitality. (The duo first joined forces at last summer’s best seat on the river, O’Reilly’s static seasonal home for his food trucks, known as Red River Kitchen at City House.) Bar Brigade’s brief menu leans on French fare: oysters, wild-boar bourguignon, tender spring carrots, and baby artichokes with romesco sauce. And the rosé on tap certainly appeals as the temperatures rise. • 470 Cleveland Ave. S., St. Paul,