Conquering the world one recipe at a time!

April 4, 2018

The Minneapolis Food Map – Part One Day One

The Hangry Diaries

Food has a way of bringing people together. People with different backgrounds, different skin colors, people with different beliefs. We are able to put all of these differences aside when gathered around a table for a meal. We are able to collectively agree and appreciate the experience at hand. It truly is fascinating… inspiring actually.

This last weekend, Brandon and I took a road trip to Minneapolis, Minnesota, a quick three-hour drive from the farm. With all of this crazy stress from wedding planning, it was nice to escape reality and fall into a 48-hour food coma.

Below, I’ve detailed our foodie road trip map for you so you can go on the same food journey that we did!

Pizzeria Lola
If you’re looking for a great, unique pie, this is your spot. The atmosphere is quant and the decor slightly rustic, yet warm and welcoming. At the center of attention, you’ll find a large copper food-fired pizza oven. Now THAT is where all the magic happens.

The menu is simple in concept, a few starters to share with a wide variety of pizza pies. Plus, beer & wine! I mean, you can’t go wrong with pizza and beer, right?! Their tap is a rotation of local and delicious beers to pair with their pizza creations. There is sure to be a pie (and beer) to tantalize everyone’s taste buds!

Okay okay, now to the pizza…. As you guys know, my fiancé has Celiac disease. It is safe to say that this was the best gluten free pizza crust that he’s ever had. Usually when offered a gluten free crust, it is much smaller than ‘regular’ crust. Nope, not this one! We could have gotten two pizzas and shared them knowing that the gluten free crust and the regular crust were the same size… a quick note for next time!

I indulged in the Sunnyside pizza. A crispy crust topped with Red Table guanciale, pecorino cheese, cream, leeks, and to make it even better, two organic sunnyside up eggs whose yolks covered the pie in their runny fatty yellow yumminess. The guanciale was shaved thin and crispy. It added a nice salty punch with each bite. The leeks were cut super thin, which provided a nice bed for the eggs to lay in. the cream and pecorino cheese was the ingredient that tied all of the other ingredients together to make a fantastic indulgent pie. I’m proud to say that I finished ALL but one slice!

The Hangry Diaries

Brandon ordered the sweet Italian Pizza… the sweet Italian man that he is! A gluten free crust topped with house red sauce, fennel sausage, mozzarella, provolone, red onion and peppadew peppers. He didn’t let me sample any of it besides a tiny piece of the crust so I could compare to other gluten free crusts and a nugget of the fennel sausage that I stole off his pizza when he wasn’t looking. The sausage is dynamite, sweet and savory all in the same bite! Considering he polished off the whole pizza, it is safe to say that he loved it and thoroughly enjoyed it!

Spoon and Stable
I don’t know where to even start with this one besides, wow! Before we even stepped in the building Bran goes, “uh, are we dressed up enough for this place?” The answer, YES! There were a wide variety of diners that sat around us… A young couple celebrating a birthday, two middle-aged ladies enjoying wine and each others’ company, an elderly couple rejoicing a milestone anniversary. We fit right in!

While the atmosphere gives off a classier ‘hipster’ kind of vibe, it is still welcoming and relaxing. Spoon and Stable is set in a building that used to be a horse stable dating back to 1906. Tall ceilings with the duct work exposed, paired with brick focal walls, and a glass wine ‘room’ that was adorned with bottles from the bottom to the top with a ladder to access the most prestigious wines.

The coolest part – the open kitchen!  While Bran took the seat facing the kitchen, which I, of course, was angry about, I was still able to admire the other aspects of an open kitchen. The smell of different dishes being cooked and then plated… the clanking of pots and pans being shuffled over the kitchen surfaces… the calling back of orders that allowed us to figure out what was the most popular dish that night… the constant buzz and sizzle of meat being seared off to perfection… ugh! Take me back now! Naturally, I was constantly turning around every time Bran asked “oh my god, what is that?!”

One keynote, the service was awesome. Our waitress was super knowledgeable about the menu, friendly and patient with our questions, and very approachable. She was a positive facet to our experience at Spoon and Stable!

The menu is set up almost like a tasting menu where you can pick and choose which courses you would like to eat. It is focused on the seasonality of the Midwest, with our menu this weekend focusing on the early spring… despite the fact that it was snowing outside. The Chef and owner, Gavin Kaysen, a James Beard award-winning chef and Minneapolis native, matches his roots of local culture with the technical aspects of French cuisine. We pampered ourselves in a four-course meal that I will brag about for many weeks to come.

Course 1: The Raw Bar
This was the first and definitely not the last time we will both eat raw oysters on the half shell… Kind of ironic since we both grew up on the east coast. But man, they were awesome! We topped each one carefully with their homemade hot sauce and a squeeze of lemon, then down the hatch they went. These oysters weren’t fishy or chewy, but rather, they were sweet and you could taste their freshness! This set the mood for our whole meal!

Course 2: To Share
Bison Tartare! This was the highlight of the entire meal in my opinion. I’ve had tartare once before, but it doesn’t even hold up compared to this one. Fresh bison mixed with a harissa aïoli, radishes, and cilantro, served with homemade socca chips. It made me keep wanting more with each bite I took. The bison was so tender and perfectly prepared. It had a touch of spice, which complimented the bite of the radishes.  The socca chips added a crunchy textural contrast to the smooth and creamy tartare. Mmmm. It’s making me drool just thinking about it!

Course 3: The Main
I ordered the dry-aged duck breast. It was accompanied with baby turnips, sansho pepper, pickled hedgehog mushrooms, sorghum, and garnished playfully with crumbled popcorn – a whimsical addition to the plate! The sweet and savory balance was heavenly as I made my way through the plate; and, the acid punch was an added bonus. Perfect is the word I would use to describe the cook on the duck, a textbook medium-rare. While I’m no stranger to mushroom varieties, it was the first time I’ve ever had hedgehog mushrooms; and, just like everything else at Spoon and Stable, they didn’t disappoint.

Bran ordered the steelhead trout. It was adorned with a potato crust, garnet yam, za’atar, and a citrus-ginger nage. He said it was easily the best trout he’s ever had. He let me have just a single bite and with that one bite, I fell in love with his dish, too. You could just tell that the fish was seamlessly handled and cooked. The accompaniments were thoughtfully put there to correlate with their protein counterpart.

OH MY LANTA! I almost forgot about the duck fat fingerling potatoes! Yes, you are reading that correctly… duck fat potatoes the lush addition to our dinner. Perfectly tender fingerling potatoes cooked in rich duck fat with a beautiful fines herb aioli garnished with crispy bits of deliciousness. The perfect side dish!

Course 4: Cheese Please!
While the dessert menu made my mouth water, we were limited to what we could order because of Bran’s gluten free needs. With that being said, we opted for the cheese course, ahhh the best French twist to end our meal with. The cheese menu offered both local domestic cheese options and international cheese options from three different countries. We went with the Red Leicester Cheddar from the United Kingdom, the Willoughby, a washed rind original creation from Vermont, and the Big Woods Blue Cheese from Minnesota. Whipped honey, sweet chutney, and homemade nut clusters paired beautifully with these cheeses.

One cool thing about Spoon and Stable was that instead of cake or ice cream to celebrate with, they bring out these large cloud-like puffs of sugar, almost like the adult version of the child favorite, cotton candy. They were bigger then my head and placed in a mason jar after being twilled as guests awed over them. Oh, and the yuzu poppyseed macaron that was brought out as a sweet surprise was a delectable morsel that the pastry chef put a lot of time and effort into that was demolished by me in seconds.

Each plate that came out of that kitchen was so eye-catchingly colorful and each aspect of every plate delicately placed to complement the previous and next ingredient. Spoon and Stable quickly became a favorite on our “best” list of restaurants. We can’t wait to go back to indulge and pamper ourselves with great cuisine!

I know, I know, my stomach is growling now, too. It’s crazy to think that this was just day one of our two day adventure. You’ll have to wait for the Part Two Day Two blog post, which is sure to come sooner rather than later! You won’t want to miss it. We visited The Copper Hen Cakery & Kitchen and Fujiya. Plus, two bonus stops that are totally worth mentioning!

Go find me on Instagram if you don’t follow me already to get a sneak peak at the rest of the dishes we had! @jtanski

Also find Pizzeria Lola and Spoon and Stable on Instagram at:
@pizzerialola
@spoonandstable

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