Review: Bayport's L'Etoile du Nord Cafe Offers Tasty Treats

photo by Olivier Vrambout 

After shuttering his nearby café/cycle shop Bikery concept, Belgian-born Olivier Vrambout has launched a sit-down bistro in Bayport that’s long on offhand charm and locally sourced ingredients from the St. Croix River Valley. Open for breakfast and lunch Wednesday through Sunday, it’s more than worth a jaunt from the Cities to sample a rotating menu that, on a recent visit, included moules frites with housemade aioli, a crusty pizza from Vrambout’s gas-and-wood-burning oven with fiddleheads, rhubarb, and aged gouda that impressed with take-notice springtime flavors, plus sugar-sprinkled Liege-style waffles and hot-from-the-oven brownies. The baked goods are nicely matched with a selection of house-roasted coffees, and there’s a well-curated selection of wines and Belgian beers for a take-it-slow weekend brunch—all in a welcoming but low-key room that at times makes you feel as though you’re at a friend’s. •

Quinton Skinner is a writer and editor based in the Twin Cities. A former senior editor of Minnesota Monthly, he held the same post at Twin Cities METRO and 
has written for major national and local publications. He is the co-founder of Logosphere Storysmiths and author of several novels, including his latest, Odd One Out.