Ah, France, with it’s elegant stone buildings, picturesque bridges, and narrow cobbled streets of flower stalls and fruit vendors and artisan bakers. Walking along the Parisian sidewalks and absorbing the sounds, sights, and smells is an experience that’s nearly impossible to duplicate, yet, every now and then, an experience takes me right back to the days I spent wandering Paris with my mom in search of the perfect wedding gown. Sensory experiences like these allow you to revisit the good times over and over again.
When I walked into Patisserie 46 in the Kingfield neighborhood of South Minneapolis on a cold and rainy day, the ambiance welcomed me with a comforting familiarity. I could see at a glance why National Geographic Intelligent Traveler called this restaurant one of the World’s Best Patisseries and Minneapolis City Pages named it “Best French Restaurant” of 2014. Golden loaves of bread lined the walls, while cases of the most eye-catching pastries I’ve seen in a good long while tempted every person that walked by.
Patisserie 46 is designed for leisurely cups of coffee with friends, a fresh and rustic lunch, or a tantalizing (and decadent) sweet treat with a shot of espresso. As they explain on their website, “We believe there’s an innate need for our culture to pause, take a seat, and relate with one another. To actively connect, or reconnect, with our children, friends, neighbors and ourselves.” It is the French way, indeed.
What impressed me about the award-winning Patisserie 46 is its range of technique. The food artisans here are equally skilled at creating the finest pastries, but also at preparing authentic French homey meals. For lunch I ordered a simple sandwich, open-faced, with bubbling Gruyere cheese over sliced ham on fabulous rustic bread accompanied by a lightly dressed mixed green salad. It was the perfect lunch – not too filling, but seriously satisfying.
Of course, I couldn’t resist going home with a box of cookies and pastries. to enjoy later. The shortbread cookies were divine, and the macarons made the perfect bite. But the composed and cool desserts were rich, decadent, and luxe. And I so appreciated the fact that the items I purchased were lovingly boxed and wrapped. And don’t worry – your pastries will arrive home in exactly the same condition as in the bakery case.
Make this a must-visit on your next trip to Minneapolis. Patisserie 46, 4552 Grand Avenue South, Minneapolis, MN 55419.