Sit down, people of the northwestern suburbs, I’ve got some good and shocking news: You’re getting a 200-seat Alsatian tarte flambée restaurant and one of the best French bakeries in the country.
Not kidding! Patrick Bernet, of Patrick’s Bakery in Richfield, is a native Frenchman who has won more national French pastry competitions than you could swing a baguette at. He came to this country after falling in love with an American student in Paris, which led (as these things do) to a couple of children and Patrick’s Bakery in Richfield, which has now led (as these things never do) to a 5,000 square foot, 200-seat bakery and restaurant taking over the former California Pizza Kitchen space in the Shoppes of Arbor Lakes.
What? Yes! In other news, Patrick Bernet once made pastry for the King of Saudi Arabia, and for Tina Turner, Michael Jackson, and Bill Cosby (when he was pastry chef for a prestigious hotel in Cannes). He also once made a 45-foot-tall Eiffel Tower out of gingerbread spanning the swimming pool at the Hotel Le Meridien in Los Angeles. And now he’s going to the Shoppes at Arbor Lakes.
More details: There’s going to be full breakfast, lunch, dinner, and a happy hour menu including French cocktails with Pastis and special Alsatian options like Amer Fleur (a regional orange liqueur); a full range of Alsatian tarte flambée (like pizza, but French, with a white crème fraiche base instead of tomato sauce and dozens of topping options, from bacon and onion to apple-calvados-flambée); a kids menu with options actually designed by a kid (Bernet’s 11-year-old daughter); and a full bakery and coffee bar.
Timing? Construction has already begun, with a target of opening January 2014!
So, what do Bill Cosby, the King of Saudi Arabia, and the employees of the Baby Gap in Maple Grove all have in common? Not much today, but by the time Groundhog’s Day rolls around I bet the answer will be pretty clear: They all eat like, well, the King of Saudi Arabia.
Patrick’s (already open, and wonderful) Bakery, 6010 Lyndale Ave. S., Mpls., 612-861-9277, patricksbakerycafe.com