Bernie’s will highlight Scandinavian cuisine, Midwest traditions, and local ingredients inside an old riverside speakeasy
It’s a good day on this side of the Red River: Food Network star Molly Yeh is opening a restaurant in East Grand Forks, Minnesota. Bernie’s will celebrate Midwest traditions (read: hotdish) in a vast, Prohibition-era brick building on the riverbank.
“Last year we took over a beautiful historic space on the banks of the Red River, where we plan to celebrate the cuisine of East Grand Forks,” Yeh wrote on Instagram on June 2. “Midwest traditions, Scandinavian flavors, local ingredients, and REALLY GOOD BREAD will come together under one roof for a magical delicious cozy wonderland called BERNIE’S!” (Emphasis hers.)
A cookbook author and food blogger, Yeh became a Food Network star in 2018 as the host of Girl Meets Farm, a show highlighting Midwestern farm cooking with influences from Yeh’s Chinese and Jewish heritage. A Juilliard graduate, Yeh moved from Brooklyn to Grand Forks, North Dakota several years ago to live on her husband’s fifth-generation farm. Her immensely popular cookbook Molly On The Range, published in 2016, includes recipes from pimiento cheese babka, brunch brisket, and dumplings to recipes with Midwestern influences from her life on the farm.
Bernie’s is named for Yeh’s first daughter, Bernadette, who was born in 2019. Although specific menu details for the restaurant have yet to be announced, Yeh’s posts mention “good bread” and hotdish, a pinnacle of homey Upper Midwest dining. The Instagram video seems to show Yeh and her team testing out fried fish filets, egg sandwiches, and a salad of smoked salmon, greens, parmesan, and soft-boiled eggs.
Bernie’s Midwest menu will be served in East Grand Forks’s historic Whitey’s Underground building, a former speakeasy, according to The Grand Forks Herald, and Yeh promises “major coziness” as she and staff continue to renovate the space for a fall 2022 opening.