The Kenwood merges cafe and destination dining

Chef Don Saunders brings a culinary Midas touch to his newest venture

Desserts are all made in-house: Ginger-chocolate pot de creme, deconstructed carrot cake with black walnuts, and tiramisu with cherries that had robust flavor but texturally came off closer to a trifle. All offerings were solid but a bit been-there-done-that, save for the sweet corn creme brulee. It was absolute divinity for the first few bites — with the pure and focused flavor of the corn working its magic on the meltingly rich custard — but then became a little too sweet in the end. It's a monster portion, so plan to share it and you'll be in good shape.

So what else will be coming soon from the Kenwood? "The menu will change fairly frequently," says Saunders. "We've only been open a month and I think we have already changed five dishes to fit with seasonal ingredients. We'll also be applying for licenses and trying to add some sidewalk seating in the spring." What won't change is the level of quality in the food being served at his other restaurant, In Season. "You won't see me there as often, but I only decided to go and open an all-day restaurant because I have complete confidence in Peter [Thillen] and Joel [DeBilzan], who are now pushing out even better, more creative dishes than we had when we first opened."

Chef Don Saunders, manager Rachel Domenichetti, sous-chef Matthew Hughes
Benjamin Carter Grimes
Chef Don Saunders, manager Rachel Domenichetti, sous-chef Matthew Hughes

The Kenwood exemplifies what can happen when an old pro combines his training and connections with a willing ear, allowing his new venture to be influenced by the hopes and opinions of the people who are mostly likely to frequent it. What results is a restaurant that's equal parts beloved neighborhood cafe and impressive destination restaurant. It's the kind of place you can go for a post-tennis brunch while still in your workout clothes, or take the in-laws when they're visiting from out of town. Much as Steven Brown did with Tilia in Linden Hills, Saunders has managed to create a menu and an atmosphere that's accessible yet exciting, fresh but completely comfortable.

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4 comments
jennasbennett
jennasbennett

@dishandtell Great! Should I go to Kenwood for lunch or brunch or dinner?

 
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