I’ve lived in Illinois for almost twelve years now, but honestly, Minnesota always feels like home to me. I can’t really describe it, but there’s a sense of comfort and familiarity without ever feeling stagnant. There’s always something old to go back to, but there’s always something new to inspire me at the same time.
When I was in St. Paul, MN a couple weeks ago for some photography work, I was invited to shoot at Saint Dinette. This place is beautiful… and a classic example of Minnesota introducing me to something new. The restaurant can be found on the main floor of the historic Rayette Building just down the street from the new CHS Stadium (home of the Saint Paul Saints). The loft-space with high ceilings, giant windows, exposed brick and an open kitchen is spacious and welcoming. The dining room is comfortable with several tables near the windows that bathe in the natural light. I imagine it’s quite pretty and romantic at night too, with the evening lights sparkling in.
I was immediately drawn to the long walnut-topped bar that faces the kitchen where you can watch Chef Adam Eaton work his magic. If you follow along with my restaurant adventures, you know that an open kitchen is one of my happy places.
The food he prepared was the Heirloom Tomato with buffalo mozzarella, cucumber, hazelnut and garum and the Octopus with barbecue sauce, potato salad and benne seeds. The presentation alone demonstrates Adam’s passion for his craft. The menu is inventive, but also approachable. I can be guilty of sticking to what I know and ordering the same thing again and again, but his menu would pull me out of that habit pretty quickly. Read more about their menu here.
I can’t wait to bring Mike back to this place sometime soon. If I had to guess, we’ll show up when they open at 5, belly-up to the bar facing the kitchen and order a couple of drinks. We’ll probably start with the Duck Tartar and Ceviche and continue work our way down their delicious menu.
All images © Regan Baroni 2016.