Oh, to live in Linden Hills.
The neighborhood is home to so many first-rate food experiences: Tilia, Harriet Brasserie, Clancey’s Meats & Fish, Zumbro Cafe, Naviya’s Thai Brasserie, Sebastian Joe’s and the just-opened Upton 43 all make a home in the small commercial district huddled around 43rd St. and Upton Av. S. in Minneapolis.
Coming this spring, that mix is going to get even better, with the advent of Rose Street Patisserie (2811 W. 43rd St.), the work of John Kraus, baker/owner of Patisserie 46 (4552 Grand Av. S., Mpls., patisserie46.com). I spoke with Kraus on Monday.
Q: What’s the back story?
A: It’s been about a year in the making. Once I started doing the Coupe [the Coupe du Monde de la Pâtisserie, widely considered the baking Olympics; Kraus competed last winter at the event in Lyons, France, and the American team took home the bronze medal], I kept thinking that another neighborhood needed another patisserie. I mean, I was the one who said, ‘Every neighborhood in America should have a patisserie.’
The whole Coupe experience changed my life. I started thinking, ‘I don’t want to be 60 and look back and wish that I’d done something.’ So now is the time.
Q: Will you be baking at both facilities?
A: I always knew that if I ever opened a second location, it wouldn’t be a drop-off facility. A bakery isn’t a bakery if it doesn’t smell like bread. We’ll move most of our bread production over here to Linden Hills, and we’ll keep other baking over at Patisserie 46.
Q: Is Rose Street going to look and feel the same as Patisserie 46? Or will it be a whole new ball game?
A: The spirit of the place won’t be different. The decor will be different, I guess it’s a little sexier. But it’ll still be a family-friendly environment. It’s about the same amount of seating, and it will have the same counter-service setup.
There’s going to be a mezzanine, for people who want to stare out the window and relax. And it’s going to be more communal, with bigger tables. We’re going to test personal space issues. In France, you’re practically sitting on top of one another. We won’t be like that, but we do want people to share their moments, and talk, and communicate.
But there won’t be any pretension. We just want to get people the experience they might not otherwise find in their daily routine, a noble effort to make people’s lives better for five minutes. It’s the quest for perfection that we all know we’re never going to attain. We’ve forgotten to take those moments.
Q: And you’ll be serving champagne, right?
A: We’ll have a small, really refined but obviously affordable wine-by-the-glass list. We’re not going to be a wine bar, but we do want to be able to make it an all-encompassing experience, and allow people to take a moment, breathe, relax and share something that has inspired us over the years, and a dessert and a glass of champagne is a really wonderful way to experience that.
But we’ll also have chocolate chip cookies. You’ll be able to come in for petit gateau and champagne, or bring in the kids for cookies.
Q: Will Rose Street also feature the kind of small savory menu that you do so well at Patisserie 46?
A: Yeah, there might be a BLT, and I’ll never turn my back on the tartine. But not too much. I don’t want a menu that’s cumbersome. We won’t have ice cream, but we’ll have lots of chocolates. We’re really going to increase that. It’s exciting.
Q: When’s the opening date?
A: At first I wanted to say ‘early spring,’ but let’s just say ‘spring.’ It’s going slower than I thought it would. One of the things that a pastry chef should never involve themselves with is construction.