Take a glimpse inside the Twin Cities’ latest dining destination
Madison Restaurant Group is proud to announce the opening of Gray Duck Tavern, a globally-inspired concept and the newest member of our rapidly-expanding portfolio. Helmed by local favorites Chef Donald Gonzalez (Forepaugh’s) and Aaron Johnson (Town Talk Diner, Strip Club Meat & Fish), Gray Duck offers a menu filled with diverse international flavors, carefully crafted cocktails, and locally-brewed beers.
Located at the corner of 4th and Wabasha streets in Downtown St. Paul, Gray Duck Tavern inhabits the historic Lowry Hotel building and a space left vacant since the early eighties. Under the guidance of Minneapolis-based design firm Studio Grey, the old nightclub was transformed into an opulent and modern space with historic accents. Lush orange velvet gilds booths, reclaimed wood panels line the high ceilings, and playful Minnesota-inspired decor hangs from the walls. A focal point of the dining room is the open kitchen, which gives diners a glimpse of the action while Chef Donald Gonzalez and his culinary team churn out an array of globally-inspired dishes.
Chef Gonzalez’s menu is anything but ordinary – it spans the world, taking inspiration from a diverse range of cultures and traditions, marrying unique flavors with familiar ones, and bringing them all to your plate here in St. Paul. The Gray Duck menu features a section of “Bites” – individual portions made for tasting – that includes a devilled Graise Farms duck egg, an East African-inspired Samosa, and a Cheeseburger Roll. At the focal point of the dinner menu is a selection of Carved Meats – four sharable dishes inspired by how the world cooks meat, including Pork Lechon, Argentine Coulette, and a traditional Prime Rib. A selection of delicious entrées is also available during dinner service, including Chef Gonzalez’s take on Duck Schnitzel, which is accompanied by grebiche, fingerling potato, duck confit, tomato raisin, and a jar of a seasonal berry purée. Served in three sizes, Gray Duck’s carved meats pair well with the numerous family-style sides on the menus, including Chili Pepper Chow Mein, Caribbean-Style Rice, and Creamy Mac & Cheese.
Behind the bar, Gray Duck’s bartenders are armed with a list of delightful craft cocktails dreamed up by Aaron Johnson, who has previously developed bar programs for some of the Twin Cities most beloved spots. The El Pato brings smoky Fidencio Mezcal together with local Tattersall Grapefruit Crema and palm sugar to create a tart and delicious take on a classic Paloma. More of a whiskey drinker? Try the Seven Pools, a cocktail reminiscent of an old fashioned, crafted with two varieties of High West whiskey and Orange Curaçao and Cherry Liqueur from St. Paul’s 11 Wells Distilling. A newly-emerging local favorite, however, is the Quack Attack, a riff on the classic flip, made with Norseman Distillery barrel-aged rum, Jamaican #1 Bitters, and a whole egg. Minnesota beers are at the forefront of Gray Duck’s tap list, with each of their twelve tap lines devoted to a different local beer, including Castle Danger, Hammerheart, and Tin Whiskers.
Good food and drink doesn’t have to break the bank at Gray Duck, however. During Gray Duck’s twice-daily Happy Hours, you can get some great deals on many menu items. Most Bites & Appetizers are discounted, and you can also get $2 off all specialty cocktails. Want a drink, but aren’t into the hard stuff? Get $4 tap beers and house red and white wines, and $2 tallboys of Grain Belt, PBR, and Hamm’s.
Between an expansive menu of globally-inspired creations, top-tier craft cocktails and beer, and an inviting and modern atmosphere, Gray Duck Tavern brings a fresh viewpoint to St. Paul’s dining scene. We are excited to welcome each and every one of you to the restaurant, and after a promising first few weeks open, we hope to be a part of this fantastic community for years to come.