The best parts of life don’t have to begin at five o’clock. Stroll past a bar or bistro in France, and it is likely to be filled with revelers at any time of day. Even if you’ve never been to France, St. Genevieve’s evocation of a little Gallic bistro is undeniable. The dining room is understated, and chic to the nth degree, with a soft light that envelops everything. As your reflection bounces off the mirrored walls, it’s impossible not to feel beautiful here. Your Monday night just became April in Paris; your date is Cary Grant. While the room is surely très élégant, the real surprise is the lack of pretense. Hosts and servers are decked out in their most comfortable summer wear — khaki shorts and deck shoes; summer jumpers and straight-to-the-beach sundresses for the ladies. Owner Steven Brown tells his staff to always dress like they’re going on a first date. Dress to impress, but don’t look like you’re trying too hard. It works. Service is comfortably familiar, affable, helpful. You instantly feel that people are happy here. People smile here. Check out dining critic Mecca Bos' complete review of the south Minneapolis hotspot. All photos by Sasha Landskov.