Today, star Minneapolis chef Gavin Kaysen began accepting reservations for Bellecour, his upcoming French bistro (and one of the year’s most anticipated openings nationwide). As of publishing, the restaurant — which opens on March 15 — has already been booked over 1,125 times today according to OpenTable’s statistics. The chef tells Eater that the restaurant looks on track to have the first two months booked on its first day taking reservations. The tremendous response, he says, “is honestly one of the most humbling things I’ve ever seen.”
Bellecour is Kaysen’s eagerly-awaited second restaurant, which opens just over two years after the debut of his Minneapolis hit Spoon and Stable, Eater’s 2015 Best New Restaurant. Where Spoon and Stable leans to modern American, Bellecour is decidedly French, and something of a return to Kaysen’s cooking roots. The chef came up the ranks in Daniel Boulud’s restaurant empire, and was the longtime executive chef of Cafe Boulud in New York City. The restaurant is named for the center plaza in Lyon, France. “I thought, ‘What do I miss cooking, doing, and eating?’ French cuisine is part of my DNA," Kaysen told Eater earlier this year.
It’s an ambitious, two-part project: Spoon and Stable’s pastry chef Diane Yang will lead a daytime bakery that will offer housemade French pastry and breads, while Kaysen and chef de cuisine Nick Dugan will be serving up a menu of French bistro classics like escargot and steak frites. Like Spoon and Stable, Bellecour boasts an impressive list of investors, too, including Daniel Boulud, Thomas Keller, and Jérôme Bocuse.
That the city is already rushing to book tables speaks not just to Kaysen’s popularity in town, but the relevance of the bistro format in 2017. “Now I am excited to get everyone here, cook for them, serve them, and show them why this space grabbed my French heart strings,” Kaysen says.
• Bellecour [OpenTable via @jdhovland]
• Bellecour [Official site]
• Watch Andrew Zimmern Take the First Tour of Bellecour [ETC]
• All Bellecour Coverage on Eater [ETC]