Anyone who had driven by the sad and rapidly dilapidating former home of Minneapolis’s legendary restaurant and bar, the place that brought modern cooking and hospitality to Minnesota in the late 1970s, has to feel a pang of sadness. But the thought of some sort of local resurrection seems all wrong. I mean, the New French Café was of an era, and that era is past.
Except it’s present in New York City. A restaurant has opened in Manhattan called the New French, and it’s getting decent reviews, including a short writeup in the September 8 The New Yorker. The name is causing a stir because the food is more New American than French, and New Yorkers are understandably concerned. New York magazine had this to say about the restaurant’s DNA:
“So what’s with the name? Partner Philip Hoffman, who ran the Soho restaurant Nick and Eddie in the eighties and nineties, says that he borrowed it from the Minneapolis boho-hippie-artist restaurant the New French Café, which closed seven years ago. When a former Hoffman colleague opened a Minneapolis restaurant last year and named it Nick and Eddie, Hoffman got the idea to pull what he describes as “a sort of karmic switcheroo