Pastry Chef Annamarie Rigelman Leaves Lucia's: We Know Where She Is!

Almond Cake with Caramel Pear Sauce

Almond Cake with Caramel Pear Sauce

The epitome of elegant, classical French cafe cuisine, Lucia's has for decades lured diners with understated, myopically local cooking. And behind the scenes, owner Lucia Watson's pastry chef, Annamarie Rigelman, has provided the sweet endings.

Devil's food cake, fresh fruit pie, coconut walnut cake, carrot cake, flourless chocolate torte, cheesecake with berries: -- molecular gastronomist's sweets these are not. What they are: textbook examples of the finest classical pastry work culled from decades at the task. Rigelman has left the recently sold landmark. Want to know where she is? Read on:

See also: 10 Minutes with Lucia Watson of Lucia's on the Eve of Her Retirement

The Campus Club is usually a fancy-pants private club for professors and alumni of the University of Minnesota, where some pretty amazing chefs create daily, restaurant-quality lunch and special events dining.

But in the summer months, the club opens to the public for happy hour from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m., and it's here that Rigelman is quietly, ardently spinning her magical sugar and flour and chocolate.

So visit her there, and also reap the other benefits of imbibing at a pretty cool, elegant campus venue that beats the hell out of cheap beer and flaccid pizza slices.

Happy hour runs weekdays from 3-7 p.m. from June 1 through August 28, and is open to all.

The summer bar menu includes small plates, burgers and sandwiches, soups and salads, and a couple of entrees, everything ringing in at under $15.

Menu highlights include Redhead Creamery Cheesecurds (created by a U of M alum!) served with local honey, local Fischer Farms brats served with kraut on a pretzel roll, a flat iron steak sandwich served with raclette cheese made at the U, and a whole bunch of locally raised, grass-fed beef burgers.

There's a rotating lineup of local beers, wines, and custom cocktails.

Happy hour prices include $2 off tap beers, $4 rail cocktails, and half-price bottles of wine, plus other rotating specials.

And, Annamarie Rigelman.

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