Restaurants & Bars 42

The Bark on Burch

SarahInMinneapolis | Mar 17, 2013 05:58 AM


The steak. After some fun, consternation and extended conversation with our and pleasant and well-versed server, our party of three split the $110 prime porterhouse.

What we got was a medium-to-small sized porterhouse on a wood slab, with sides of an unremarkable Bearnaise, an odd-tasting house dark steak sauce and a pile of cold mushrooms seasoned with hot peppers. Steak was garnished with a whole lemon cut in half. When is the last time you had a steak and wished there was a squeeze of lemon to go with that? Exactly. Lemons are for fish.

The steak was good, but worth $5 a bite? No. Our conversation quickly turned to what we could have done on our home grills with the most expensive cuts of “name brand” steak we could have bought at local markets. Not exactly the conversation Burch was hoping we would have.

Strike conversation. Insert shout-fest. Enough already on the trendy acoustics designed to make you feel like there’s energy in the room. As in other intentionally acoustically challenged places, we just wondered why were spending a $100 a person to shout at each other.

The sides. Twice-fried thick cut French fries. Good with the ketchup but what was that bland mayo ramekin thing? Some smashed potato dish. Cauliflower. Kale. Small portions of each heavily seasoned, overdressed dish. The place bills itself for dumplings. But when is the last time you set out to have a great steak and wanted dumplings with that? Exactly. Dumplings are for chicken.

Each of us started with the Brussels sprouts salad. Mostly because it was the only salad on the menu that whispered, “try me.” Ok, we did.

Apparently meals at Burch are served with bread. Ours was not. House offered free deserts and coffee to rectify that. We declined. Without asking, the house then bought our first round of drinks. House did the right thing. [Because, really. You just ordered a $110 steak. You don’t want to appear cheap by having to ask for the free bread.]

Will any of us go back to Burch? Probably not.

But we will wonder in amazement as the professional critic crowd will now weigh in on how wonderful the place is, Big name local chef. Big money spent on renovating the local pharmacy. This place will get great reviews, and we’ll wonder why and yet know why.

It will be like The Bachelor Farmer. Big last name kids. Mediocre, overpriced food. But big money was spent on the space. And that must be recognized.

One has to wonder if Big Name Chef at Burch would ever have the guts to do the right thing and toss the entire menu? Give us a reasonably priced steak, potatoes and salad steakhouse worthy of a once-a-month visit?

As opposed to what we got. A one-time adventure in yet-another too loud dining room where the food generated questions but not satisfying answers.

Best value on the menu was a $26 Malbec. But I’m sure I can find a better Malbec at a third of that price when I’m out shopping for those great steaks to grill at home.

Back to Burch and where I started.


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