Mill Valley Kitchen to open June 7

Mill Valley Kitchen coming to the Ellipse building.

Mill Valley Kitchen coming to the Ellipse building.

More details have arrived regarding the new Mill Valley Kitchen, scheduled to open June 7 in the Ellipse on Excelsior development in St. Louis Park.

If you missed the first announcement, the restaurant is named after the Marin County, California paradise just across the Golden Gate Bridge and adjacent Muir Woods. Craig Bentdahl, the former Excel Bank CEO, is backing the venture with Anoush Ansari of Hemisphere Companies consulting. The chef is Michael Rakun, formerly of the St. Paul Hotel and Mission American Kitchen, and he's creating a menu inspired by the fresh, healthful, farm-to-table cuisine of Northern California.

Here's what else we know:


Specifically, Rakun will be cooking with a lot of local, seasonal ingredients, using herbs grown on the restaurant's outdoor patio. Interestingly, Mill Valley Kitchen plans to be the first restaurant in the Twin Cities to post nutritional information for each menu item--calories, fat, carbohydrate and protein content--directly on the menu.

That doesn't necessarily mean everything will be low cal, but there will be emphasis on pairing lots of vegetables and whole grains with fish and lean meats. Sample dinner entrees include Duroc pork tenderloin with coconut sweet potato and apple jam and Chilean seabass with gingered-shitake quinoa and a sweet and sour cucumber salad. The restaurant will serve three meals a day, seven days a week, and the lunch menu will include grass-fed beef burgers, salads, and flatbreads, while the breakfast menu will offer free-range egg sandwiches, house-made muffins, and granola.

Wines will emphasize Northern California, but there will also be tap beers and a full bar, as well as several non-alcoholic beverages: ginger beer, fruit smoothies, house made blended tea drinks and--so far as we know, the first local restaurant to kombucha on tap!

Shea is doing the design for the space, which includes a bar/lounge area, large dining room for 165, and a wine room available for private dining parties of up to 12 people, and a large outdoor patio. Again, it's all arriving June 7.

Mill Valley Kitchen 3906 Excelsior Blvd., St. Louis Park 952-358-2000