New Restaurant: P.S. Steak

The steakhouse gets reimagined in a massive overhaul of the old La Belle Vie space
Tenderloin goodness at P.S. Steak in Minneapolis

Photo by Kevin Kramer

There’s an element of glamour when you pull into the half-circle drive in front of 510 Groveland, the nearly hundred-year-old co-op building that looks like it belongs in Paris or New York. A valet takes your car. A host or hostess greets you as you enter, and there’s a sense of déjà vu, because you likely have been here before.

It’s the building that once housed the Upper Midwest’s finest restaurant, La Belle Vie, with a lounge that bred some of the state’s most creative bartenders. The same is true for the kitchen, where Mike DeCamp cut his teeth as the chef de cuisine for nearly a decade. La Belle Vie closed in 2015; DeCamp moved on to run the excellent fine-dining Italian restaurant Monello and ultimately head Jester Concepts’ Borough and Parlour restaurants.

That old saying, you can’t go home again? It’s not true. Jester took over the space at 510, and DeCamp built a restaurant honoring his fine-dining past while recasting it for a more casual dining present. The lounge feels familiar to anyone who has visited  before, and drinks pay tribute to La Belle Vie bartenders like Adam Gorski and Johnny Michaels.

But the main restaurant is totally new. Instead of dining in a stark, stuffy art museum, P.S. Steak feels like a chic clubhouse. Dark brown walls and ceilings. The carpets are gone in favor of the original maple floors. Booths line the room, with cozy tables in the center. Four special, dry-aging refrigerators, imported from Italy, remind you of the main event here: meat.

The New York Strip

Photo by Kevin Kramer

I’ve never seen a Denver-cut steak in the Twin Cities. This is a tender and intensely marbled 10-ounce cut of chuck. It’s a bargain on this menu at $60. The New York Strip Steak, prepared like prime rib, was a delight: the familiar, toothsome bite of pink prime rib matched with the rich meatiness of a New York strip. Just $35 for 12 ounces, $45 for a 16-ounce cut.

And what other steakhouse serves an entire dry-aged duck? Painted in sorghum syrup and coated with lavender, coriander, and fennel, the duck is roasted until rich and juicy, and then presented tableside. Go to town, or let the kitchen carve it off the bone.

Sides are unique, too. What a brilliant way to have mushrooms with steak—in a buttery tart, punctuated with a hint of chili spice and the herbaceousness of fresh thyme. Instead of the hashbrown potatoes, do the cheesy, whipped aligot: a combination of fondue and mashed potatoes that had our group fighting to scrape the bottom of the pan.

A pastry tart is a solid foundation for a chicken liver mousse course with chives and crispy shallots. The Chopped Salad featured chunks of steak and crispy bacon, a worthy presentation that the chef says will change seasonally. Don’t let a $21 price tag deter you from the bacon starter: thick-cut pork belly smoked to perfection and served on the bone, with lettuce cups and tomato for make-your-own BLTs. There’s an element of fun that’s infectious: Instead of bread, you get a small cup of Goldfish crackers.

There are some minor misses. On one visit, we loved the celery-root Caesar salad, but on the next, even the ramp butter and anchovy chips couldn’t cut its acidity. And the steak tartare’s texture was too much like ham salad: little hunks of raw beef with aioli and lots of pickles.

Expect prices as aggressive as the sear: P.S. Steak’s 16-ounce, bone-in tenderloin is $93. The bone-in ribeye is $88. (At Manny’s, you’ll spend $80 and $74, respectively.) But the wine list is friendlier. At Manny’s, it’s hard to find a decent bottle for less than $100, but P.S. offers solid bottles in the upper $30s and low $40s.

The flaming Baked Alaska

Photo by Kevin Kramer

Save room for dessert, because the show-stopping Baked Alaska, topped with chartreuse  (instead of rum) and lit on fire tableside, is as delicious as it is beautiful. I loved how the chartreuse flavor played with the salted-caramel ice cream. It’s $18 and could easily serve six.

Great lounge snacks include the lamb burgers with mint yogurt and poblano pepper made famous at La Belle Vie, the fries with garam masala ketchup, and the potato chips with truffled brie dip. The cocktails lean more creative than the steakhouse’s back-bar classics. Hit the lounge with coworkers on a Tuesday, or for a Thursday date, while the restaurant is priced for expense accounts and special nights.

How does P.S. Steak’s meat compare with Manny’s, Murray’s, and other iconic local steakhouses? Extremely well. Plus, sides and starters are the most ambitious in town, the room is comfortable and sexy, and the service is warm and informed. P.S., I think I love you.

P.S. Steak
510 Groveland Ave., Minneapolis
Encouraged for dining room, available online via Tock or call
Dining room: Daily, 5-10 p.m.
Lounge: Monday-Thursday, 4-11 p.m.; Friday, 4-12 a.m.; Saturday, 5-12 a.m.; Sunday, 5-11 p.m.
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For one, the Baked Alaska, lit on fire—and more at @pssteak

Read more of Jason’s reviews of new restaurants like P.S. Steak here.