I’ve spent a lot of time in the Kingfield neighborhood of Minneapolis. There are a number of gems here, some of which have been around for awhile, like the Cuban Victor’s 1959 Cafe, strangely opened in 1999 (not 1959) and featured on Guy Fieri’s Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives in 2008. On the other end of the spectrum is The Corner Table with a focus on classed up fresh, natural, local food. I’ve been meaning to check out this spot for probably 5 years, but after finding out that the chef, Thomas Boemer, is up for Food and Wine’s The People’s Best New Chef, Midwest, I made a point to go. The other chef from Minnesota is Paul Berglund of The Bachelor Farmer, the subject of a previous post.
The restaurant is very small (maybe 10 tables?) and located on the corner of Nicollet Avenue and 43rd Street S. There’s a small bar with a handful of stools, as well. The picture on the website in the About section gives a good feel of the location.
I started out with a lovely sparkling rosé, (Col Mesian Spumante from Veneto, Italy). Really can’t go wrong there. Then I followed up with the Joseph Droughin “La Florét” Chardonnay from Burgundy, France (2012) – not in a red wine mood that night. For food, there were plenty of items on the menu that looked great. However after hearing the server’s description of the tasting menu, there was no question for me or either of my two dining companions. Done. Since there wasn’t anything written down, I’ll do my best to recap from memory what the tasting menu consisted of. If anyone reading this wants to correct me, please comment!
- Amuse-bouche: Duck liver paté mousse with bichon
- Caramelized endive with pancetta(?) and blue cheese (I can’t remember what the puree was)
- Seared scallop with applesauce and mustard
- Pork belly with Brussels sprouts and chili sauce
- Peppercorn steak and short rib tortellini with cipollini and sweet potato puree
- Chocolate with candied honeycomb, carmel, pistachio, and chili flakes
I can’t say I had a favorite of the first 4 courses. They were all lovely. The sweetness of the caramelized endive went really well with the salty pancetta and sharp flavor of the blue cheese. The scallop was cooked perfectly and is always an easy win in my book. The pork belly was executed wonderfully, too. I’m sensitive to texture, and this just melted like butter in my mouth – the only way I can consume that much fat. I also have a strange love of cabbage (maybe it comes from my Korean heritage), but the Brussels sprouts had a lovely crispness to them that I appreciated. Everyone likes steak, and the tortellini with short rib played to my soft spot for dumplings. As for dessert, the chocolate had a wonderful mouthfeel and was delicious with carmel, pistachio and chili flakes. The candied honeycomb was a lovely idea, but all three of us could only eat a little bit because it was very sweet, though I think I’ve mentioned I’m not a big dessert person, so the fact that I ate most of it I think is a good sign.
Most entrees on the menu were just under $30, though you could get a pasta for under $20. The tasting menu was $65, which I think was very appropriately priced for what we got and the level of quality. Overall, I was very content after my meal. Maybe next time I’ll try the Kitchen Table option here! I think I have to go place my vote on foodandwine.com now… 🙂