Sunday, July 19, 2009


Greetings from Carmela's Cucina,

We just got back from a relaxing and delicious brunch at Tavern on France, 6740 France Ave. in Edina. 952-358-6100, This new place located directly across from Macy's at Southdale is the former Via Restaurant.

We happened to have dinner at the former "Via" one Sat. night late in March and you could count the full tables on one hand. It was a very sad sight to see. We learned during our dinner that it was going to be their last night open. so we spoke to the manager and started asking some questions. The story he told us, was that they just weren't able to make it as the upper end dining experience that they had hoped Via would be and that they were going to close for about 6 weeks and come back as something else.

And come back they did, true to his word they were open in about six weeks. Since I live in the neighborhood I watched as they built on a new patio and re-decorated. But most importantly they came out with a new menu that is really family friendly and more in line with what the area can support. Every time I drive by it on a beautiful day such as today the patio is full. And today was no exception.

After Mass, Bob and I wanted to go to brunch and he suggested that we see if Tavern on France was even open, and it was. Seats on the patio were available and since we are finally having a beautiful day we snapped a table up. The patio is lovely with a cooling water fall in the center, nice landscaping and beautiful flowers made for a nice setting. Our waitress came right out and explained the way brunch worked. $13.00 per person, and a full brunch are offered, beverages are extra and made to order omelets are ordered through the wait staff. A nice touch is carmel rolls baked in a small cast iron skillet brought to your table.

Now this brunch is not out-standing, but it was good. I really don't like buffets, and would rather choose from a menu, but they had a nice selection of scones, crossiants, eggs, sausage, bacon, cheesy hash browns, roast beef and a pancake bar. There also was a baked spaghetti dish and mashed potatoes and gravy and biscuts with gravy, which were all a bit to heavy for me at 10:00 a.m. The omelet that we ordered was wonderful, with mushrooms, asparagus, ham and cheddar cheese, we had decided to split it and in the future, I would order my own and for go some other things. There was some fruit on the buffet, but not much and after all it is summer and so many fruits are in season, that I would have liked to have seen more of that and maybe some granola and yogurt, but hey, it is a tavern.

All in all, I was very surprised at what a great experience it was. Next I want to try their "Happy Hour" which goes from 3-6:00 p.m and from 9:00pm to closing Mon-Fri. It may just become my new meeting place.

Anyway, it looks like the make-over paid off, now if they could just add a tree big enough to block out the big Macy's sign that you have to look at, it would be as perfect as you can get on France Ave.

Buon appetito,

Carmela Tursi Hobbins

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