Another restaurant redo has come to St. Paul.
The former Fitzgerald’s in Cathedral Hill has been rebranded the Fitz (173 Western Av. N., St. Paul, 651-219-4013, fitzgeraldsstpaul.com). Madison Restaurant Group managing partner Justin Sutherland, of “Top Chef” fame, overhauled the corner spot, lightening up the pub and steering the menu toward pizza and salads from executive chef Graham Messenger.
“I always wanted to have a pizza place,” Sutherland said.
And the neighborhood needed one, he said.
“Until you get to Pizza Luce [near Lexington Pkwy], there’s not a single pizzeria in Cathedral Hill,” he said.
A garden-party look has taken over the once-dark space, with hanging plants, mismatched wicker chairs and palm-frond throw pillows. “It was just brown on brown on beige before,” Sutherland said.
Messenger, who has made pizzas at Mozza Mia and Pazzaluna Urban Italian Restaurant, came up with 16 signature pies for the Fitz, including 3 Chicago-style deep dish. The 13 Neopolitan crusts are topped with whimsical combinations, like the Brooklyn (cream cheese, smoked salmon, fried capers) and the Osaka (Spam, pineapple chutney, bonito flakes).
When it came to the new menu, “I thought about memories,” said Messenger, who has been with the restaurant since it opened as Fitzgerald’s.
As a kid, he would dine with his mother at Donatelli’s in Woodbury. “We would go there on paydays. I’d get this little personal pizza, and she would get this antipasto salad. I put a salad like that on the menu as an homage to my mom.”
Up next for Sutherland on his one-by-one restaurant makeovers (he just turned Lowertown St. Paul’s Ox Cart into an arcade)? Public Kitchen & Bar.