Is there anything more G.D. bucolic than our lovely riverfront? The view of the mighty Mississippi rolling by with the city skyline as a backdrop—as seen from St. Anthony's historic Main Street—is one of those perfect Minnesota summer moments, one which might be even more perfect with a kicky Paloma and some tequila braised pork in hand, yes? Yes.
Well then, let’s welcome Jefe Urban Hacienda to the St. Anthony Main Steet row. Opening this Wednesday, Jefe is a new Mexican restaurant from Jeff Arundel of neighboring Aster Café. They’ve been busy rehabbing the former event center space on the end of the block, just past Vic’s and Tugg’s. The space is warm and inviting and absolutely decked with metal work from local artist Paul Tierney. Walk in, meet Zoro.
You’ll find tacos of all sorts, including one with fried oyster and pork belly, plus some street food snackers like oxtail quesadillas, tostones, and sopes with carnitas. I’m rather excited by the bigger plates, like smoked duck tamales, cauliflower pastor, and Tijuana pork braised in coffee and tequila. There are some Americano plates too—a burger, some salmon, steak and fries for the gringos.
There are so many beautiful little details to discover in the place. The wall-windows swing open to the patio outside.
Nearly everything in the space has been reclaimed. Vintage chairs, repurposed church pews, old millwork all live in concert with the whimsical ironwork crafted for this space. There's a very cool old/new vibe to it all.
The bar is stacked with tequila and mezcal, and there will be flights for the tasting, but there’s also a nice list of cocktails that go way beyond the margarita. There’s a Smokey Paloma, an Old Fashioned with Ancho Reyes Chili liqueur, and Mezcal Negroni I can’t wait to wrap my fingers around. Teetotalers should be happy sitting on that patio sipping agua fresca’s and house made horchata.
Dinner only, opening on Wednesday, May 18 (or maybe sooner?) to the public.