Lenny Russo, former Heartland chef, will take the helm at The Commodore


The Commodore, known for decor and designer cocktails, is due for a menu makeover from chef Lenny Russo. Tony Nelson

Not even a year after shuttering his 14-year dining institution Heartland, chef Lenny Russo has found himself another gig. 

This time, he'll be heading up the art deco wonder, The Commodore, a stylish bar in the former Commodore Hotel, once home to F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald. Russo's wife, Mega Hoehn, will be brought on to direct the bar program.

Russo, a relentless pioneer of locavore eating in the Twin Cities, tells Minneapolis-St. Paul Magazine that his experience working under Commodore owner John Rupp in his early years at W.A. Frost helped convince him to take the job. "They were always really respectful and kind, and they gave me a lot of room," he tells Dara Moskowitz Grumdahl.

The Commodore opened in late 2015, with chef Chris Gerster behind the burners (no word on where Gerster will land next). The bar was widely considered to be the draw here; Christa Robinson's concoctions and the luxurious 1930s decor outshined the classic-if-overly-familiar American cookery coming out of the kitchen. 

No doubt we'll begin to see Russo's influence on the menu starting this fall.

The Commodore Bar & Restaurant
79 Western Ave. N., St. Paul
menu items: $4-$32

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