I have 3 to 4 subscriptions to food magazines. As a result, I'm reading about this or that ingredient or amazing restaurant and chef across the country and around the world pretty much all of the time. I also watch food documentaries incessantly. I might have a borderline obsession with food and flavor - er, well, let's be honest, its not borderline - it exists. Then there is my constant exotic food quest, a burning desire to be impressed with creativity, strange ingredients, new things, new combinations of things etc.
I digress, a little - I recently went back to my home state, to visit my home town for my class reunion, but first there was Minneapolis - a food city in the middle of the prairie. The first thing to do when getting off an airplane, especially when nursing heartache - go eat in places I've read about in the pages of glossy magazines. In particular, Spoon & Stable, a place where its chef is renowned for taking fresh local Minnesota ingredients and elevating them to a creative cuisine without too much fancy.
Upon getting off of the airplane, where I scored a free upgrade to first class, thanks to my new medallion status on Delta (thank you Cambodia trip) I immediately asked when our reservation at Spoon & Stable was. In return, I received a blink. blink. blink. tentatively stated "reservation? We need one?" I was a little concerned, but I checked Open Table anyway - nothing for days and weeks. Might as well call it Closed Table. "We are going to have to punt and hope for a seat at the bar." I said. And so we did. Thank goodness solid Paprika Angel luck would have it that we got immediately seated.
There was charcuterie
and hand made tiny loaves of heaven
a unique beef tartare
green pea and beet salad
nettle gnocchi and a tart of foie gras with strawberry. It all tasted better than the pictures make it look.
And then there were all the desserts that we ordered, and the ones that they brought us on accident.
They were all phenomenal, the best being the blackberry bee pollen lovely just above this line of text. We were beyond full and extremely grateful that we shared everything - or else there might have been some type of gluttony disaster befalling us all. It was definitely an experience, and I would return, if I lived in Minneapolis.
No visit to Minneapolis is complete without a little stop in Minnehaha Park and its famous little food destination right in the center - Sea Salt - a Seafood Eatery.
It has giant picnic tables
wine on tap and oodles of seafood.
Our eyes were bigger than our stomachs - not pictured were clam strips and oysters, and coconut shrimp ceviche. All so tasty good - we rolled ourselves away to catch an encore performance of Glensheen at the Minnesota history theater.
Don't know Glensheen? Its a historic mansion in Duluth, Minnesota where a double homicide took place (but the mansion tour guides don't talk about that). The play goes into the sordid drama surrounding the deaths and the alleged murderers. Nothing like a little local history drama, and it is a drama, you couldn't make up the story of the Glensheen murders.
Or miss this giant church of Scientology in downtown St. Paul.
Or not make a short stop at Cosetta's on the way back into town after a weekend in Duluth. Because we had to get dessert before dinner at the Bachelor Farmer.
And we had to get a drink at Spoon & Stable's bar while we waited for The Bachelor Farmer (across the street) to open and my brother to arrive - because we also had to spring for bar seating exactly when it opened because we had no reservation, again. We scored seating for five - because we were slightly obnoxiously standing at the door upon opening.
The Bachelor Farmer is Scandinavian food at a lovely level of casual fun. For example, our appetizer was pretty much a fancy version of a Minnesota favorite - Top-the-Tater.
I ordered the braised radishes as well, because I was curious. They were radishes cooked in butter - yummy.
This dessert defeated me. I had to say no. It was just too much, even for my brother. And with the end of dinner, came the end of my quick trip to Minnesota. Goodbyes were said and I went with my brother to see his apartment, meet his cat, and get back on an airplane to Seattle. It was time to get ready to move, and this guy was waiting for me.