I’m a simple lady – I see a new restaurant open in St. Paul, and I go to a new restaurant in St. Paul.
So is the tale of my first visit to Gus Gus last month.
About Gus Gus
Gus Gus is ran by Anna Morgan and Kevin Manley, a local couple that’s no stranger to the restaurant biz. The two first met while working at 112 Eatery. Since then, their roles have included executive chef at Snack Bar, General Manager at Meyvn, and travel partners dreaming of opening their perfect place for years.
And Gus Gus promises to be that perfect place!
So, I rounded up some friends for a ladies night in St. Paul, and we got to dining!
Gus Gus sits in one of the smallest restaurant spaces in town. It’s essentially the first floor of an apartment building, and the vibe almost feels like you’re sitting in a living room.
I actually considered this a big positive! The whole atmosphere brings a great neighborhood vibe, amplified by a fantastic staff who were extremely friendly and helpful for menu recommendations.
Yes, you read that right.
And you know any restaurant that puts Jello Shots on the menu is ready for a good time. What a fun start to the meal!
A gin, earl gray, and honey mixture that our table sophistically described as “really, really good!”
When we read fritters, we totally spaced and defaulted to potatoes. It turns out, Gus Gus’ fritters are deep fried anchovies, which should come as no surprise to anyone (besides us) who actually reads the menu.
It also turns out, that ordering deep fried anchovies when your group doesn’t like anchovies isn’t the smartest move.
Impressively though, these even managed to convert some of our group’s anchovy haters!
I mean, just look at those shiny beauties.
They were perfect tenderness. And again, Gus Gus was able to convert even the olive haters, who were popping these things like nobody’s business.
(That includes me… I’m now officially a fully-converted olive fan, thanks to Gus Gus.)
Any restaurant that puts corn nuts on the menu is after my heart. And forget those puny corn nuts from the grocery store; Gus Gus’s versions are extra large, extra salty, and extra roasted pieces of perfection.
Now we’re entering the part of the dinner where dreams come true.
Simply put, this was some of the best clam chowder I’ve had, anywhere. And that’s including a few trips to Boston’s East Coast, Seattle’s West Coast, and all sorts of other seafood-centric places that pride themselves on the chowder.
Gus Gus, making Minnesota proud!
A bright, refreshing salad (just look at those colors!) that was amplified by a champagne vinaigrette that perfectly mixed sweet and tangy.
Salad fans, like yours truly, will be in heaven.
Wow, the Twin Cities never ceases to amaze me.
*Warning: burger nerding out, incoming in 3…2…1…
Per the waitress’s recommendation, we ordered this one with not one, but two different cheeses. Gus Gus also goes light on the mustard aoli, which isn’t a complaint at all – those extra melted cheeses made this thing a saucy bomb all on its own!
Then, the whole thing is ramped up further with a ton of carmelized onions, whose sweetness cuts through all that fat and cheese, rounding out a truly unbelievable burger.
And that bun… oh how it was golden brown perfection.
I’m salivating again…
Honestly, in a city that probably does burgers better than anything (or anywhere!) else, this might be my new favorite burger in the entire Twin Cities.
A nice, light take that was balanced out by the substantial bed of beans on the bottom.
Behind the burger, this was my second favorite dish of the evening.
That’s a huge dollop of lemon mascapone on top, and its thickness coated those big honkin’ gnocchis with plenty of delicious goodness.
And the mushrooms, my goodness, the mushrooms. They looked, and tasted, like they were slow roasted with the sort of time (and love) that results in a deep flavor that you just can’t fake.
Absolutely loved this dish.
Overall, Gus Gus is a tiny little space that brings the goods.
A restaurant that totals maybe 20 tables in all, is punching way above its weight class.
I will absolutely be back, if for no other reason than that incredible burger, but that’s not to discount all the other delicious meals tasted, either.
This small little restaurant has a huge, new fan!
Full Wait Service
Quaint and trendy