Corner Table in Minneapolis was a pleasant dinner after a really long day. Jfood needs to characterize this small, very cute restaurant as one that has a lot of potential. The restaurant has 36 seats plus an additional 6 at the bar overlooking the open kitchen.
The web site menu was the one presented to Jfood and he ordered the Gnocchi with garlic, arugula, goat cheese for an appetizer and the Lamb with Israeli couscous, fennel, oven dried tomato, roasted corn as an entrée. Several specials were also described.
While Jfood was waiting the waiter was kind enough to bring a little sample of the Corn soup, parsley, castle rock cream, hope creamery butter topped with tomato relish in an espresso cup. The soup was creamy (no kidding with pureed corn, cream and butter) and had a nice flavor although the corn never really took control of the dish. The tomato relish on top was very rich in flavor and if this is ordered the flavor is much better as it approaches room temperature. Jfood would give this dish a 6.
A few nice slices of bread were next delivered with a slug of butter. This was the first uptick that the restaurant could use. If you are cooking with the butter, a slug is fine to throw in the pan but try to have a little more pride when serving to a customer. The bread could also have benefited from a little warmth. Overall it was an OK, typical bread and butter.
The gnocchi arrived and Jfood stared a little at it. He was expecting the normal simmered gnocchi with some garlic and arugula. Instead the chef sautéed the cheese, not potato, gnocchi and garlic and placed the arugula and goat cheese on top. If the gnocchi is not potato, it is a good idea to place this fact on the menu. Now the taste. Arugula was very nice, not too bitter, perfectly dressed. With the first taste of the gnocchi, Jfood was brought back to casa Jfood and mrs Jfood’s cheese blintzes. Unfortunately in cooking, the chef compressed them and the only thing Jfood could think of was please do not do this to gnocchi or to hamburgers. Jfood would give this dish a 6-7 for a nice flavor and a nice twist.
The lamb was next on the table. It was nicely sliced atop the couscous, et. al. The first thing Jfood noticed was the doneness, very rare on one end and medium on the other. And unfortunately there was a tendon/sinew going right through the middle. This made for an extremely uncomfortable eating experience. First it was difficult to cut and then even harder to chew. This is not within the chef’s total control, but there was also a very wide range of seasoning on the meat. Jfood’s first bite snapped his head back it was so salty and then other slices had none. The sage also overpowered the other ingredients in the couscous. The dish was good but would benefit from a little more attention from the chef. Jfood can only give this dish a 5.
The server was very nice and he tried a little too hard in some aspects and failed a bit in others. Please ask the doneness desired in the lamb. He checked in properly, asked if more bread was required, but when Jfood’s entrée was 2/3 completed, he approached and asked if Jfood wanted some coffee. It was very nice but a little out of place. But Jfood would never ding a server for being too attentive, just a point of reference.
All of this for $39 including tax and tip.
Although there were issues, this small little owner-operated restaurant is a nice and relaxing bistro type neighborhood place. For the meal Jfood would give the meal a 6. Good, but needs some attentiveness.
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