Not even three months ago, the restaurant industry was rallying around the Lexington chef and co-owner Jack Riebel, who was in the midst of another aggressive round of cancer treatment.
"Today was a moment of truth," Riebel said at the time. "My prognosis is not great, but I am not done yet. I will continue to make as many moments and memories as my health allows."
Now Riebel is back in the Lexington's kitchen — with a new menu that debuts Wednesday.
Collaborating with chef de cuisine Antonio Murry, the two developed a menu that leans on the restaurant's woodfire grill. All meats are cut in-house and grilled over Minnesota hardwood; expect to find a 16-ounce center cut rib-eye, 6- and 8-ounce filets, smoked double-bone pork chops and a showstopping 46-ounce tomahawk steak.
"The items from the woodfire grill are, hands-down, my favorite," said Riebel. "Grilling over a wood fire truly elevates the flavors of these steaks."
Also on the menu: a new twist on the steak tartare, a shellfish appetizer platter and favorites like onion rings, walleye cakes and Texas tenderloin tips, with both Riebel and Murry putting their signature touches on dishes.
"It's wonderful to have chef Jack back in the kitchen," said Murry. "It's been an honor to run the kitchen chef Jack built, but I'm so happy to be working alongside him again."
Things have been busy at the Lexington (1096 Grand Av., St. Paul., 651-289-4990, thelexmn.com). A new cocktail menu featuring a collection of martinis is also debuting, and starting Friday, the restaurant will hold happy hour from 3 to 5 p.m. throughout the entire restaurant. (Going forward, happy hour will be from 3 to 5 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday.)
This week also marks the return of The Rooftop, which serves the full dinner menu — but alas, not happy hour.
Take a peek at the new menu and make reservations online; the Rooftop is walk-up only.
Riebel, a fixture in the Twin Cities dining scene, was diagnosed with neuroendocrine cancer in the summer of 2019 and is still being treated. There is no known cure.