Even if he had remained content to give us Tilia and nothing more, chef Steven Brown would have cemented his place in the upper echelons of the Twin Cities culinary scene.
But then, late last year, he gave us St. Genevieve. Divine St. Genevieve. It’s one of those rare restaurants that seemingly have it all: a menu of meticulously prepared modern French classics, a pearl of a setting, a service staff that comes off as casual but approaches its work with a military-like precision, and a bar with a penchant for bubbles.
At its center — and, really, hovering in every nook and cranny — is Brown: his smarts, his taste, his discernment, his roving curiosity, his cooking chops and his passion for hospitality, all shaped through a remarkable career that has left its formidable imprint on a number of local landmarks: the Loring Cafe, the Local, Levain, the short-lived Rock Star and, of course, his beloved Tilia.
Brown’s role as a mentor cannot be ignored, either; he’s molding an entire generation of Twin Cities chefs, who will undoubtedly follow in their teacher’s footsteps and open their own restaurants, if they haven’t already.
For inspiration, they would do well to turn to St. Genevieve. It’s the approachable French restaurant that we never knew we were missing, and now cannot imagine living without.
Thanks, Chef Brown.