Located near UM, Alma offers a very relaxed atmosphere. The servers were all female, each sporting an interesting display of body art, which as you know Jfood is still in the learning phase, but the old dog is is being taught a new trick. Each was very professional, knowledgeable and great in what they did, major kudos to all. Another night of his book and a seat at the bar.
They have a 3-course tasting menu for $45. Jfood ordered the Sweet Corn Flan with dry jack cheese, pickled onion, guajillo sauce, crispy tortilla, the Tubetti Pasta & Spicy Fennel Sausage with fresh marinara, garlic oil, rapini, pecorino and the Pan Roasted Duck Breast with sauteed swiss chard, french lentils, glazed figs, port wine jus.
Four slices of bread, two slices of olive and one a rye type bread were brought over with a nice little ramekin of butter. Excellent bread.
Flan – the flan was full of flavor and the texture was as smooth os cream, just wonderful. The pickled onions added the tartness, the tortilla matchsticks the crunch and the guarilla sauce a nice sweetness. Each element was good on its own and together they made a wonderful tasting sensation. Jfood rates this dish a 8-9.
Pasta – the little tubes were perfectly dente and the sauce pasta ration was exactly as Jfood likes. The fennel sausage was tender, not perfectly cooked, had a nice mild zip to it, the rapini was sautéed and the marinara was a nice light addition. Sprinkled on top was the pecorino. Jfood like the background heat of this dish and the sausage. Jfood also rates this dish an 8-9.
Duck – As the “entrée” course of the night Jfood was expecting a little more food, so he was hoping to be overwhelmed by the flavors. There were 5-6 small breast slices about the size of a half-dollar and a small crispy boneless thigh-leg section. This was one small duck. There were two small glazed figs, cut in half, a nice portion of chard and a fair amount of lentils. A little jus surrounded the food on a large plate. The food looked lost on the plate. They should consider a small late so it does not look like a child’s portion. The duck had an interesting texture and the flavor was much milder than what Jfood eats back east. The leg section was nice and crispy outside and moist and tender inside. It was obvious that the chef removed the breast filet and let it rest while the thigh remained to cook. The temperature difference was extreme, one a little too cool and the other surprisingly hot. The sides did not add anything to the dish and the seasoning on the duck could have been a little heavier. The jus was completely lost on the plate. Although it was very good Jfood was hoping for some better flavors after the first two courses. It just fell a little flat. Jfood can only give this dish a 6-7.
Service was excellent and a 10 on the Jfood scale.
Would Jfood go back? Absolutely. He’ll probably ask for a table next time and ask the pace to be a little slower. Another rising star in MSP.