The Kenwood: A first look

The Kenwood is open for business
The Kenwood is open for business

Two construction workers were standing outside contemplating the menu. "I... I just want a sandwich," said one. They were looking for the little cafe that once graced this space.

"Looks kinda fancy," replied his friend. Eventually they chose to give it a shot. I'm guessing they were glad they did. Only open for a matter of weeks, the restaurant already seems to be a natural neighborhood gathering spot.

The Kenwood comes from Don Saunders, a critical darling among the fooderati. Late of Fugaise, he also runs In Season in Minneapolis, a scone's throw from Edina.

The new restaurant is in the Kenwood neighborhood just norlh of Lake of the Isles. Inside, it's swathed in cloth plaid wallpaper (that's not quite straight) and equestrian decorative touches. In the morning they serve Dogwood coffee and pastries from Patisserie 46 alongside brunch dishes like poached duck egg over wilted spinach and brioche.

The love that dare not speak its sticky name
The love that dare not speak its sticky name

The pancake is a wallop of sweet breakfast bliss. I proposed at first bite and immediately began lobbying for marriage to be recognized between girl and breakfast food. Perfectly sized, they aren't overly thick, nor crepe thin. Toasty brown, the exterior has just a bit of crunch, but it's the black walnut compound butter that pulls the whole thing together. Drizzled with amber-colored maple syrup, it's a sophisticated bite of childhood memories.

The croque madam was topped with a perfectly cooked egg. The yolk oozed down into the thickly sliced bread, full of succulent pork.

Duly nominated for best carrot cake in the cities
Duly nominated for best carrot cake in the cities

The deconstructed carrot cake will be familiar to In Season diners. The dense orange cake is incredibly moist with just a whisper of spice, decadent and delicious.

The Kenwood is open Tuesday through Saturday for brunch through dinner service. Sundays will feature brunch until 2 p.m., and they're closed Mondays.

The Kenwood
2115 W. 21st St., Minneapolis
612.377.3695; Website

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