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A dark marble bar with a lamp and greenery on it. Above is a wooden rack for wine glasses and wine glasses dangling from it; attached to the wall is a mirror.
Myriel is now open in St. Paul’s Highland Park neighborhood
Jes Lahay

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In This Saint Paul Restaurant, Intimate Dining Comes With a Cup of Egg Coffee

Inside Karyn Tomlinson’s new Myriel

Karyn Tomlinson’s long-anticipated Myriel in St. Paul’s Highland Park neighborhood finally opened to customers for in-person dining this week. The new restaurant has served as her home base for over a year, as she served a diminutive takeout menu and hosted an Instagram cooking series called Karyn’s Quarantine Kitchen. Now that the pandemic’s grip has loosened, the kitchen footprint expanded, the dining room spiffed up, and the takeout containers stashed: It’s time to get down to the real business of dining.

The menu is a mix of humble beauty dipping into Tomlinson’s Scandinavian/Minnesotan heritage and French culinary training. That means fresh spring greens are whirled into a refreshing, chilled soup. Slow-roasted meats brought in from farms just outside the city are served alongside tart, soft-cooked bitter greens. Brilliantly sunny eggs are folded into an omelet harboring a creamy interior. Meals end with fresh berry pie with a flaky lard crust and a cup of egg coffee, the Scandinavian treat of using an egg in the coffee grounds to create a smooth, light in color cup of joe.

The dark exterior of Myriel with gold address numbers and large art deco doors with gold metal accents
The new doors add a dash of glamor to the storefront on Cleveland Avenue
Jes Lahay

The dining room of the former Bar Brigade has been lightened up and opened up. Vintage gilded doors salvaged from downtown Minneapolis open outwards from the dining room, bathing the tables in sunlight.

Myriel’s dining room. The arch and large table have been added, walling off more space to the kitchen behind it.
Jes Lahay

This is Tomlinson’s first foray into restaurant ownership. She’s partnered with James Brown of Anderson Realty who has also worked with Forage Modern Workshop and Hi-Lo Diner. Much of the renovation has been done small scale, including a much-needed kitchen expansion and moving the bathroom from being at the bottom of some creaky stairs to a lovely little room just behind the bar, that’s ADA compliant.

The bar space in Myriel is small, lined by brick walls with two tall two-top tables by the front window, and a curved stone bar lined by tall, black bar seats. All the fixtures behind the bar are a dark wood, giving the whole space a rustic European feel.
Every night Myriel will reserve a few tables for neighborhood walk-ins
Jes Lahay

Before branching out on her own, Tomlinson led the kitchen at Thomas Boemer and Nick Rancone’s Corner Table. She took over when Boemer moved away from the kitchen to focus on the restaurant group’s other projects. There she made a name for herself creating delicate tasting menus that leaned heavily on fresh produce and French techniques. She was known for her subdued, artful plating, giving each ingredient careful consideration and a chance to shine. Before her time there, she’s also spent time in the kitchen at Meritage and Borough.

A water station with a silver pitcher and clear glassware with a white and blue pot containing lamb’s ears.
Myriel will have two dining options, one a tasting menu experience and another, regular a la cart menu.
Jes Lahay

Myriel takes its name from Les Miserable. In Victor Hugo’s seminal work, Bishop Myriel is the heart of the story, showing compassion and hospitality. Myriel feeds the Jean Valjean, shows him mercy, and transforms his entire trajectory. Tomlinson said she wanted her restaurant to exemplify that hospitality.

A dark marble bar with a lamp and greenery on it. Above is a wooden rack for wine glasses and wine glasses dangling from it; attached to the wall is a mirror.
The curved bar has more seats that overlook the dining room and afford a tiny peek into the kitchen
Jes Lahay / Eater Twin Cities
Looking out over the dining room, separated from the bar with an arch window between the two, the walls painted a cream color.
The design aesthetic is timely European comfort, with a soft, earth-toned color palate and soft elements
Jes Lahay

Myriel will be open Wednesday through Saturday from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.

A table top with a cream tablecloth and a small vase with cut leaves inside it.
The tables are set and dinner is ready
Jes Lahay


470 Cleveland Avenue South, , MN 55105 (651) 340-3568 Visit Website
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