Thursday, March 31, 2016

Corner Table – Minneapolis, MN

Sometimes, my birthday falls during Twin Cities Restaurant Week, which means sometimes we try out two or three new restaurants in the Twin Cities. For my birthday this year, D.Rough booked us at The Corner Table, where I’ve been meaning to go for a few years now. This night it was a set menu with some choices for starters, entrees, and desserts, so I was looking forward to eating some delicious food.

For a limited menu, they really found a way to make me want everything on it. We had some difficulty choosing, as usual, but finally decided on a bowl of sunchoke soup and also a pork belly with chow-chow, chile-raisin vinaigrette, and pepita oil. And of course the wine pairing for the upcharge was totally worth it.

(Apologies for the low light levels in the photos) The first course was exquisite. The sunchoke soup was not at all what I expected and was really wonderful. Nice and warm and smooth, but with a lot of flavor, and a nice pop when the olive oil they drizzled on top found its way onto the spoon.

The pork belly was really good, and even a bit larger than had expected. It wasn’t too fatty (meaning there was actual meat and flavor, not just soft gristle), and there were little mustard seed everywhere that gave it a great texture. One of those dishes where you needed all the flavors in each bite to really make it hit home. Well done.

For the main course, D.Rough got the potato gnocchi, red table ham, chestnut soubise, and hen of the woods mushroom, and I shocked D.Rough by getting the faro risotto, roasted squash, saba, and pecorino cheese (pecorino is my kryptonite).
The potato gnocchi was really good. It actually had a lot going on with it, and was a pretty generous portion for such a heavy dish. Again, the flavors were perfect when combined in the same bit and the earthy mushroom balanced everything out nicely. I really liked this one.

….But I liked my risotto more. This dish had awesome texture and lots of vegetables in it, and was seasoned better than I ever expected. Rich flavors, probably from whatever they cooked the risotto in, and the pecorino was stellar. LOVED this dish. I need more pecorino and risotto in my life, I’ve discovered.

For dessert, D.Rough got the crème caramel, which was sort of like a flan, and I obviously got the sweet potato donuts with molasses and toffee cream. D.Rough didn’t have much to say about the caramel crème, but I really liked it. But I love custardy things like flan and panna cotta. I think I liked this one more than she did.

But, the donuts came out with a birthday candle (thank you wonderful server!), and the donuts were magical. I’ve never had sweet potato donuts before, but I will now try to find them everywhere. Such a unique flavor and the molasses and toffee cream kicked the whole thing up another level. I really liked this dessert more than I usually do.

Overall, a wonderful birthday dinner with the woman I love and a new restaurant for me to look forward to going back to!

Top 5 things about Corner Table
1. Farro Risotto
2. Sweet Potato Donuts
3. Potato Gnocchi
4. Pork Belly
5. The wine parings were spot on

Bottom 5 things
1. I still wish I had gotten the cow tongue reuben
2. The menu changes all the time, so it’s hard to get the same thing twice
3. It’s a small dining room, so you need reservations
4. It’s a little spendy on non-Restaurant-Week evenings
5. It’s impressively dark inside, so your photos won’t turn out (sorry bloggers/hipsters)

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