Right on Cue
A flair for the dramatic isn’t limited to the architecture and stage productions at the new Guthrie Theater. It’s also apparent in the dining venues: a pair of headlining restaurants–Cue and the Level Five CafÃ©—and a supporting ensemble of some dozen bars and special-event lounges, one featuring a seafood raw bar.
But clearly, the star is Cue (612-225-6499, 806 South Second Street, Minneapolis, www.cueatguthrie.com), a restaurant that centers on a 19-seat “thrust-stage” exhibition kitchen. The bill of fare changes based on what’s fresh locally and seasonally. Menu selections have included a sandwich of roast Wisconsin elk on caraway rye bread, curried cream soup with garlic-scented spinach and Marcona almonds, wild boar country pÃ¢tÃ©, grass-fed Minnesota beef tenderloin filet with foie gras butter, and pan-roasted Wild Acres Farm free-range poussin.
Executive Chef Lenny Russo, still owner of Heartland restaurant in St. Paul and a veteran of the kitchens at W. A. Frost and the Loring CafÃ©, directs all of the Guthrie’s dining enterprises. It wasn’t by chance that Bon AppÃ©tit, the Guthrie’s concessionaire, selected him. A premier national company that manages the in-house food operations of clients including Target and Best Buy, Bon AppÃ©tit has a sustainable agriculture philosophy that closely mirrors Russo’s.
Couple Russo’s menus with a wine list that’s almost certain to receive Wine Spectator honors, some of the best servers around, and the convenience of showtime just up the four-story escalator, and you’ve got a production in Cue that could be in for a very long run.