The Dish: Bûcheron

This new Kingfield, Minneapolis, spot is like a neighborhood restaurant with world-class aspirations

Photo by Kevin Kramer

What’s Up

What happens when you take the chef who ran Gavin Kaysen’s four-star Demi, the general manager who ran Bellecour, friends and coworkers who worked at one or the other, and plop the whole team in a small yet iconic location in the Kingfield neighborhood of south Minneapolis?

You get sky-high expectations, hard-to-get reservations, and mouth-watering results at the new Bûcheron, which opened mid-January.

Hospitality director Jeanie Janas Ritter’s warmth masks her obsession with service, and chef Adam Ritter’s rural Minnesota roots have branched into global experience at some of the world’s best restaurants. All of it comes together here. There are only about 40 seats inside this former home of Corner Table and Revival. It now exudes a quiet luxury as part of an elegant glow-up.

Side Dish

Given the team’s fine-dining background, it’s no surprise the 16 savory dishes are organized in the style of a tasting menu, with everything priced a la carte.

Two toasts topped with smoked eel and cabbage make a great first bite, then you’ll find smaller plates, like a venison tartare that’s half cooked to take the gamey edge off, or an enchanting beet-and-chicory salad with feta and dill. The celery root tortellini is a showstopper in a soothing and sneakily nutty broth. It’s a dish that combines this kitchen’s background and technical talent, featuring beautifully silky pasta, a delicate celery root and mascarpone filling, and acorn in the broth sourced from Adam’s family’s farm.

I’m still thinking about the incredibly lean and flavorful steak, served with a potato mousse so rich it tasted like bearnaise sauce. Desserts are top-notch, too: the sticky toffee cake with freeze-dried mandarins is one of the best sweet bites in town, and the selection of bitter after-dinner amari is among the best in the state, including an enchanting sipper from Vietnam. It’s going to be fascinating to watch the first wave of Kaysen proteges do their own things.

Where It’s At

The Ritters live near Bûcheron, but this is not a neighborhood bistro. Instead, it reminds me of one-Michelin-star restaurants in Montreal. Bar seats and window seats are open for walk-ins, but prime-time reservations for two are going to be hard to come by.

4257 Nicollet Ave., Minneapolis, 612-255-5632,