Midwest Living Review
Despite a mention in Gourmet magazine and a wine list with plenty of bottles in the three-digit price range, Kate and Gracie's has a pleasing, easygoing feel to it. That was a goal for Ed Nagel and Laurie Farley, the husband and wife team from Minneapolis that founded the restaurant. (The restaurant was named for their grandmothers.) They wanted a spot where everybody felt comfortable, says Ed, "Whether they're dressed up to impress on a date or just want to sit at the bar and have a hot dog and watch the ballgame."Food is flavorful, but not fussy, with welcome quality touches. An all-beef hot dog is indeed on the menu ($5 with baked beans and onions), along with a variety of sandwiches, salads and appetizers. Sandwiches are a reasonable $6 to $10, especially considering the quality: A simple roast beef sandwich is off-the-charts delicious, a tender cut marinated in figs, prunes, apricots, olives and red wine, served with a kicky spiced cole slaw. Even a $4 side salad is romaine tossed with chunks of fresh local tomatoes and handmade croutons. (The fish Creole soup, alas, was a rare miss, too bland for a robust Creole dish.)The dinner menu isn't overly extensive, which perhaps helps keep costs in line. There are a handful of inventive pasta dishes (wild mushroom penne with a garlic cream sauce; Italian sausage and sweet peas tossed with a mascarpone sauce) for just $10. Meat and seafood entrees top out at $22. Add in the lovely setting of an 1861 brick building with pergola-covered outdoor patio, and this is a restaurant worth a visit.