First, there was the popular TV series “Upstairs, Downstairs,” portraying the British class system in the Victorian era – upstairs were the rich, privileged family members; downstairs were the servants who worked for them. Now comes the local version at Forepaugh’s in St. Paul. In this case, there will be two separate menus at the restaurant housed in a three-story Victorian mansion.
“Upstairs will continue doing the fancy schmancy,” says Forepaugh’s manager Bob Johnson. “Downstairs, the whole first floor, including the bar and parlor, will offer small plates with nothing more than $10.”
Forepaugh’s chef Donald Gonzalez, whose resume includes stints at Lulu in San Francisco; French Laundry in Napa Valley, Calif.; and Waldorf Astoria in New York, is still working on the downstairs menu, which will launch March 4. But Johnson says to expect things like Waldorf salad, panko-crusted crab cake and a charcuterie plate.
“It’s going to be the perfect place to have a nosh before an event at the Xcel,” says Johnson. “In these times, people are price conscious.”
By Kathie Jenkins, Pioneer Press Restaurant Critic