Brunch on the way

Just in time for Easter, two top-performing Minneapolis restaurants are dipping into Sunday brunch for the first time: Brasserie Zentral (505 Marquette Av., Mpls., and Spoon and Stable (211 N. 1st St., Mpls., Both will begin Sunday-only service on March 22.

At Zentral, chef/co-owner Russell Klein is promising omelets, Benedicts, apple-filled Dutch baby pancakes and yeasted waffles.

“I’m a waffle guy, and I’ve never done them in a restaurant before, because they’re such a pain,” said Klein. “But they’re delicious.”

Don’t believe him? Klein is offering a waffles preview at weekday-only Cafe Zentral, the restaurant’s skyway-level breakfast-lunch counter.

Also on the menu: baked goodies. “Our pastry chef, LaShaw Castellano, is doing all sorts of breakfast pastries, and we’ll have them on a cart that we wheel around the dining room,” said Klein.

Meanwhile, at Spoon and Stable, chef/owner Gavin Kaysen is offering red-wine-poached eggs with wild mushrooms, dill-cured salmon with a bagel-style flatbread, cottage cheese and horseradish, and other a la carte items, all falling in the $8 to $19 range.

Pastry chef Diane Yang will be preparing seasonal temptations, and bartender Robb Jones has crafted a number of $8 brunch cocktails.

Flowers and food

The annual Macy’s Flower Show returns to downtown Minneapolis (700 Nicollet Mall, on March 22, running through April 4. Why not tack on a meal along with all the free sights and scents?

On March 21 at 5:30 p.m., the store’s genial Oak Grill is offering a preview event: a four-course meal with wine pairings, a sneak peek at the flower show and a $10 discount for a future Oak Grill visit. Tickets $35; reservations at 1-877-556-2297.

The lunch/early dinner restaurant, which is all about classic American fare (and is pouring five floral-inspired cocktails during the run of the show), is usually closed on Sunday. During the flower show — on March 22 and March 29 — it will be open from noon to 5 p.m. Reservations are recommended; call 612-375-2938.

During the flower show, diners in the store’s Skyroom (and lower-level Signature Kitchen) can receive a free soda or iced tea with a $7-and-over purchase. The lunch-only Skyroom, normally closed on weekends, will be open on March 28, March 29 and April 4.

Me? I like to avoid the crowds and stroll among the hyacinth on weekday mornings, preceded by breakfast at the Hen House Eatery (114 S. 8th St., Mpls.,, the Brothers Deli (50 S. 6th St., Mpls.,, Hell’s Kitchen (80 S. 9th St., Mpls., and its Angel Food Bakery (86 S. 9th St., Mpls., or the aforementioned Cafe Zentral.

Finally, during the flower show, Macy’s is staging a free series of noon-hour cooking demonstrations in its lower-level kitchen, hosted by chefs from a half-dozen Twin Cities restaurants, including Rinata (March 24), Libertine (March 25), Erte (March 26), Solomon’s Bakery (March 30), Foxy Falafel (April 1) and moto-i (April 2).

James Beard award-winning Seattle chef and restaurateur Tom Douglas will appear on April 3 for a free demonstration and cookbook signing (spend $35 in the store’s Home department that day and receive a signed copy of Douglas’ excellent “The Dahlia Bakery Cookbook,” along with a $10 Macy’s gift card). Seating is limited; reservations at 1-877-556-2297.


Rick Nelson