The rest of the building is still under construction as condos continue to materialize above this corner of Lagoon and Girard, but the long-awaited Coup d'Etat feels insulated from all the hubbub. It boasts a mix of easy comfort and sophistication one can expect from the same team that brought us Borough and Parlour.
A large bar occupies the heart of the first floor. More tables are set around the exterior of the room against giant windows, most of which will open onto the bustling Uptown streets once the weather is warmer. The kitchen is open for guests to look on at the chefs in action, and also features another bar, where a bartender will be stationed.
On our visit, we were greeted by a Jesse Held-created cocktail, served by resident cocktail expert Shawn Jones. The staff were all a little bleary-eyed; many of them had been working on the finishing touches all through the night before.
Some details were still being finalized. In a grand private dining area, enormous communal tables were set as local artists screwed in light bulbs to an installation and painted an enormous mural. Upstairs there is yet another bar flanked by several cozy seats, almost all with an amazing view of the restaurant.
One special table is set with five regal chairs we're already plotting reasons to reserve. The entire space is 9,000 square feet and will be able to accommodate 300 people. The food is just as elegant as ever, but these dishes aren't quite as formal as those on the dinner menu at Borough.
Oysters arrive warm, full of smoky flavor, tender, and enlivened by a squeeze of lemon. Enormous frog legs are breaded in a tempura crust and glazed with a touch of sweet sauce, making for a thunderous crunch that gives way to succulent meat. They're everything you want in a chicken wing, except they originated from a different part of the yard.
Enormous beef bones are first cold-smoked and then hot-grilled, yielding a perfume of smoke and a silky texture. Spread on crusty bread it's a perfect foil for those cocktails. A slice of pork belly with whipped potato and cabbage also pairs wonderfully with any of the cocktails on the menu.
When they first open, Coup d'Etat will only be open in the evening, but eventually they plan to serve some of their dishes through a takeout window that faces Lagoon Avenue. The setup and the dishes are all geared to serve more refined food and cocktail palates, without being too fussy. Coup d'Etat will have its soft opening on Wednesday and a grand opening on Monday, January 20.
Coup d'Etat, website
2923 Girard Ave. S., Minneapolis