I have enjoyed trying new restaurants for a long time, but a couple years ago I started making it a more regular occasion. My beginnings were with Editor’s Picks from the Minnesota Monthly restaurant search. I tried places like Hell’s Kitchen, Broder’s Pasta Bar, Cafe Maude, 112 Eatery, Everest on Grand, Barbary Fig, Dakota Jazz Club, Origami, Sea Salt, and Solera. I was never let down. After awhile, I started posting my food adventures on Facebook. Tilia was the first time I tried to capture the entire meal. The rest is history.
While it’s not too far off the freeway, you do have to make your way through a number of stop signs on city streets. Tilia is tucked away on some side streets on the west side of Lake Harriet in the Linden Hills neighborhood. There are some small boutique shops in the area, parking is sparse, and the venue is a little small considering the crowds it draws. I arrived at about 4:30 for a drink before dinner and was glad I could put our name on the list. I believe the wait was about an hour, but there is a nice, if crowded, bar with a big (both physical size and length) numbered beer list on the wall to choose from.
The following is a list of our selections:
- Mussels – pumpkin, mushrooms, green curry & grilled bread
- Butternut Squash Soup – brown butter, bacon & sage
- Fingerling Potatoes – poached egg, capers, parsley
- Rainbow Trout – couscous, mushrooms, italian salsa verde, creme fraiche
- Grilled Bison New York Strip – miso braised kohlrabi, carrots, sauce choron
- Elevator – Doppelbock, Harriet Brewing, Minneapolis, MN
- Amuste – Imperial Porter, Odell, Ft Collins, CO
This was a fabulous dinner! The two beers I had were very different, starting with the local Harriet Brewing Elevator dopplebock followed by the Amuste imperial porter (I like strong beers), which was accurately described as a beer for red wine lovers. As explained by Odell, the beer is aged in oak wine barrels and made with Tempranillo grape juice – very different from anything I had had before. The mussels were probably my favorite preparation I’ve had, with just a touch of green curry flavor. I’ve had them done in curry since, but I think this was the most flavor-balanced. The soup was beautifully presented, too. One of my dining companions and I split two of the entrees. The rainbow trout was cooked just the right amount, and while delicious, the bison was also executed excellently (not dried out) and definitely edged out the salmon overall.
At about $20 for an entree, this place was reasonable considering how much we enjoyed it. I definitely would and have recommended this place to friends. Cheers!