They believe burgers and pork belly are the best ever at Helix. So Nicole Johnson, of Grand Forks, meets there once a month with Jolene Suda and Missy Johnson, of Grafton.

They were sitting nearby at Helix Wine & Bites when Susie Shaft (SS) and I found a seat Tuesday evening. While reservations aren’t required for meals, they are recommended. The menu features appetizers and small plates, including a pork belly flatbread. Choices are excellent and enough to share. There are salads, including a pear and maple pecan, that can be ordered as a side or as a full dinner.

From the list of nine entrees, my choice was shrimp and scallop linguine ($22). It was a pleasing combination of seafood in a light tomato sauce with touches of garlic, basil and butter.

Chef Mike Rude, who started out in downtown Grand Forks, has been with the south side Helix three years. His light, bright kitchen is in full view. His nine entrees range from a mango peanut pork belly basket ($21) to New York strip steak ($26). In between, there are choices of burgers, salmon, crab cakes, pork belly and Mediterranean mahi mahi.

Desserts choices include tiramisu, key lime pie, chocolate lava cake.

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Helix is a friendly place, where people tend to visit and linger. Now in summer, there are two tables for outdoor service.

Because of the current pandemic, there is required space between seating places. Still the seating lends itself to the open, friendly ambience. Some customers prefer seating at the bar.

The restroom, which can send a message of overall standards, was exceptionally clean.

Helix

Where: 4491 S. Washington St. in Grand Forks

Call: (701) 757-1444

Owner: Michael Schepp

Assistant manager: Brad Mayer

Chef: Mike Rude

Kitchen hours: 4 to 9 p.m. week nights; 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday; closed Sunday and Monday

Report card: A small, friendly and upscale stop that adds dimension to dining out in Grand Forks. Menu ranges from small plates to New York strip steak and New Orleans crab cakes.

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