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The Eatbeat: Fine food and beautiful ambiance at Sky's

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Pan fried walleye with Minnesota wild rice and vegetable ($24) is the No. 1 choice of dinner customers at Sky's Fine Dining.

The restaurant on the second floor of 322 DeMers Ave., is reached by escalator or elevator. And it attracts people in its lounge after 4 p.m. Diners are seated after 5 p.m. in the large area overlooking downtown Grand Forks at DeMers Avenue and North Fourth Street.

Chef Joe Hanson features 1907 roast caraway duck on Friday and Saturday. It is slow roasted and served with braised red cabbage and herb spaetzle for $28. Another premier entrée is herb crusted prime rib at $30 for 10-ounce queen size and $34 for the 14-ounce king size.

Sky's opened three years ago in September. It followed the closing of Sanders on South Third Street by owner Kim Holmes who was retiring. Many of the Sky's staff today were part of Sanders restaurant.

The restaurant now operates with Pat Madigan as general manager and Richie West, Phil Gisi and Chef Joe Hanson.

With his a staff of eight, Chef Hanson continues with specialties from Sanders. They include the crème caramel custard dessert as well as chocolate decadence.

Sunday morning brunches will continue through Mother's Day. And they will start again in the fall, Madigan said.

On a recent visit at dinner time with my daughter Gail Hagerty (GH) we felt relaxed in the spacious dining room. We talked of the days long ago when we knew the this place as the First National Bank building. We went there to see our dentist, the late Bill Mullally.

We studied the menu. When it came time to order, I chose seared scallops with a Prairie Sauce drizzle ($32). GH went the Classic Salad Wedge route and an entrée of crab cakes ($15). And then to share she ordered Chocolate Decadence dessert ($8).

We enjoyed our food and a chance to visit in quiet surroundings. Our server was Ethan Vissers, who started working in Sanders restaurant before the Sky's restaurant opened. He was friendly and competent—a UND flight instructor who still fills in shifts as a waiter.

With a crew of eight in the kitchen, Chef Hanson starts his days at 8:30 a.m. He has worked his way up by learning from chefs and using recipes from Kim Holmes. He takes pride in his daily specials.

Sky's Fine Dining

Suite 200

322 DeMers Ave.

Telephone: (701) 746-8970

Manager: Pat Madigan

Chef: Joe Hanson

Hours: 4 p.m. to 11 p.m. Monday through Saturday

Seating: 115 plus 50 in private dining area

Report card: Fine dining in beautiful setting. Food is above average. Attracts customers for special events as well as regulars who look for top of the line ambiance.

Reach Marilyn Hagerty at mhagerty@gra.midco.net or by telephone at (701) 772-1055.

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