Medium to medium well.
That’s how I asked for my Szymanski Farm Burger on the menu at Ely’s Ivy. The cost was $13, and the burger was better than average.
The burger, in fact, would rate A or B plus. Maybe an A. And so was the experience of sitting at the beautiful old bar with its gold like railing and visiting with various people. There were two nicely placed television screens – not too big and not too blustery.
The stop at Ely’s Ivy before a basketball game was just right. It was one of several visits to the restaurant on South Third Street in the past couple years.
The chips that came with the burger were homemade. And when we noticed the cloth napkins, my friend Susie Shaft (SS) and I agreed, “That’s really good.”
Ely’s Ivy succeeds the former Sanders Restaurant in the heart of downtown Grand Forks. It has become a place to go for lunch or dinner. Or in between. It adds life and more action to South Third Street.
The home owned restaurant dares to be different. The menu is unique with appetizers including duck wontons and sliced dry aged ribeye. There are salads including roasted beets. Dishes include a Vegan Bowl ($10) and Shark ($26), as well as New York Strip steak ($18) and Fried Chicken ($13).
Plates on the menu range from gnocchi at $18 to king salmon at $26. There are a dozen choices with prices from $18 to $28 for grilled filet mignon to $29 for lobster tails. And there is Cajun fried shark with red rice listed at $26.
A honey pan-fried Red Lake walleye dinner for $24 is found to be “super popular”. It is described as honey crusted with smoked almonds, wild rice pilaf and a vegetable of the day.
The restaurant features specialty dinners from time to time.
SS and I found the ambiance especially friendly. Many customers prefer sitting in booths along the front window. Others enjoy the long bar seating. They order dishes such as burgers, Rueben sandwiches or fish and chips.
There is more privacy in a row of four high back booths. There are tables with an outside view of a small park area. And there is a full view of the big open kitchen at the rear of the restaurant. There are three private dining rooms.
Both Scott and Rachel Franz grew up in Grand Forks and had restaurant experience before opening their Ely’s Ivy.
They say their plans for the future are to keep doing what they are doing. That includes some tasting menu events.
22 S. Third Street
Hours: 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Monday-Saturday
Owner-operators: Scott and Rachel Franz
Report card: With experienced, local restaurateurs, Ely’s Ivy presents unusual menus along with regular fare at its downtown restaurant. There is a friendly ambiance created by servers who look professional wearing black.