This chef both in Maple Grove and Osseo has always been oh so close, but I think he needs some mentoring and guidance to make widespread buzz on the local chef-driven food scene and to drive repeat business with a foodie appreciative audience. Overall I’d say a vision needs to be determined and focused upon and the cyclical nature of the menu needs to be dropped to adopt a very close-in seasonal menu.
Unfortunately, this is the second time this owner is closing and looking for a new location and lease. I hope he finds one and can work out the kinks. As mentioned, both in Maple Grove and in Osseo he’s been oh so close to having a great chef-driven restaurant but comes up just a bit short. It seemed the menu choices were always seasonally off---like cantaloupe salsa in fall or winter or a common summer produce offering in an off-season instead of working with more seasonally available produce. The menu seemed too cyclical with repeats such as an adult crusted interpretation of chicken tenders and a tortilla type crusted fish (which sounded identical to a frozen Costco product). We were always looking for more creative seasonally driven options on the menu and consistently the choices seemed just off. The appetizer menu seemed to be too stagnant as well with that same familiar cycle rotation. I often wondered how stellar the goat cheese and salsa appetizer really was to have had it on the menu for so long, never tried it however. The wait staff in our experiences never seemed to match what the owner had hoped to deliver conceptually---they didn't seem experienced enough as servers in general for that type of concept or know enough about food or wine. I think he could do very well if he would decide who he really wants to be and who he really wants his audience to be and what kind of food he wants to serve. Felt there wasn't continuity or a solid vision happening and that this was a part of the problem here. He's a fine chef and puts out good food, but needs to reassess and fine tune before opening the 3rd store.
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