By Jason DeRusha

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — From the music to the bottles, one step inside St. Genevieve and you know you’re about to be taken far from home.

“It’s like taking a little trip to Paris in south Minneapolis,” said Chef de Cuisine Jason Hansen, who runs the very busy kitchen.

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The restaurant is owned by chef Steven Brown, who also owns Tilia in Linden Hills.

The food at St. Genevieve isn’t fancy or fussy French. The menu says chicken before it says poulet, whitefish before…don’t even try to pronounce it unless you majored in French.

“We were going for bistronomy, it’s a movement in Paris right now,” Hansen said.

Bistronomy is the feel of a bistro — you won’t see white tablecloths — with the quality you get from a top kitchen.

“It’s approachable, but as we do here, we take finer ingredients and turn them into open faced sandwiches,” Hansen said.

St. Genevieve specializes in tartines: The madame sandwich uses ham from Minneapolis-based Red Table Meat, as well as melted Mournay/Raclette cheese, and a perfectly cooked sunny-side up egg.

“It’s just a simple sandwich but if you do everything right it comes out tasting delicious,” Hansen said.

The same vibe extends to the sparkling wine and champagne selection, which was put together by Brie Roland, the general manager and wine director.

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“One of the things we wanted to do was price it so it could be sort of an everyday thing,” Roland said.

St. Genevieve offers four true French champagnes by the glass every day. She’s found customers using different types of sparkling wines to pair with different courses.

“They share champagne throughout the meal,” she said. “We took a chance, no idea if it would work, no idea if people even wanted it. And here we are.”

The menu changed about six times in the first year, but some things will never come off, like the rainbow trout. It’s seared in the pan in a brown butter/lemon sauce and then stuffed with a shellfish boudin blanc.

“Scallops, shrimp, and salmon and make basically a sausage out of it,” Hansen said.

It’s a casual neighborhood spot, where every day can be a celebration.

“Oh I’m having the time of my life,” Hansen said. “I’m loving it here.”

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St. Genevieve,
5003 Bryant Avenue S., Minneapolis 612-353-4843
Monday- Friday 11 a.m.-1 a.m.; Saturday/Sunday 9 a.m. – 1 a.m.

Jason DeRusha