After watching the sauces and cremes of French cooking get whipped into submission in the movie Julie and Julia, what better place to take in a little late night nosh and cocktail? Cafe Maude’s menu is replete with Escargot, Croquettes, Duck Confit and lots of rich Frenchy sauces. I have to admit, this type of food is not my favorite, but it was nice pairing for the movie.
Cafe Maude at 10:00 at night feels like a bar with live music playing too loud and single middle-aged Southwest men trolling. (Can you imagine? Yikes!) It’s really a shame that we can’t just have bars in Minnesota without the obligatory food service, because Southwest Minneapolis really needs some fun drinking establishments and a place for these guys to go. As it stands, Cafe Maude seems to be facing an identity crisis.
Patronizing Cafe Maude left me feeling torn. On one hand, the food, while not to my preference, was quite tasty. And on the other, the live bar band was a headache inducing utter frustration. Had I not ordered food and really been in a bar, I would have walked out immediately. It’s not that I don’t like the idea of live music, but this bistro’s space is not conducive to improvised Electronica. A nice quiet guitar and voice or a sultry Jazz band would have supported the environment, but the trio on Friday night had me reeling and wishing I could bee-line for the door. I felt sorry for the staff.
From the vegetarian perspective, there are menu items to enjoy. Cafe Maude, in fact, celebrates the “sides” by offering most of their menu as small plates. It would be easy to order a well balanced meal as they offer fresh vegetables as well as the savory, fried and seasoned. I was in the mood for fried last night so we tried the Surly battered onion rings with rooster mayo, hand-cut fries with truffle salt and truffle fontina fondue, and the Tuscan rice and parmesan croquettes with aparagus and basil cream. It ended up being too much fried, but each dish has it’s signature and is delicious.
I probably won’t go there again, but I can see how folks in the neighborhood are happy to have something nearby.