It’s been 10 years since Zander Cafe closed its doors for the last time in St. Paul’s Cathedral Hill neighborhood. With that closure, celebrated chef Alexander Dixon bowed out of the Twin Cities culinary scene, but on Tuesday September 19, he’s dusting off the knives and getting back into the kitchen. He will join Matthew Bickford, chef and owner of Icehouse in preparing a wine dinner along with Solo Vino wines.
Zander Cafe was a seminal St. Paul restaurant that opened n 1997 and shuttered in 2008. Of the cafe Food and Wine Magazine said “Alexander Dixon, does wonders with simple ingredients.” In 2001 Dara Moskowitz, then critic for City Pages declared it one of her favorite restaurants.
As things go in the restaurant industry, what goes up, can come down. Business slowed near the onset of the recession. Zander remodeled and then sold its large space to Solo Vino, which still operates out of the location today. The restaurants closure was a part of a shift in dining that occurred around that time with other notable restaurants closing in rapid succession. After the shutter, Dixon mostly stepped away from the restaurant world until last year when rumors began to circulate that he might make a return.
Next Tuesday September Dixon will join with former Bickford, who once worked with him at Zander Cafe with wine pairings from Chuck Kanski of Solo Vino to celebrate Spanish fare and La Rioja Alta wine. Tickets are $85 and reservations can be made by calling the restaurant at (612) 276-6523.