We had a reservation at Fugaise (in Northeast Minneapolis) Saturday night. We were there from 8 to 10 PM, and we shared the restaurant with only two other tables of diners.
The menu is small (a half dozen appetizers and entrees, plus an option of a five or eight course tasting menu where, I gather, you pretty much get small portions of the entire menu). The preparations are strongly French-influenced ... lots of butter.
The bread basket has a couple of varieties of very nice, crusty slices of rustic breads. I started with tomato-mint bisque topped with a mozzarella-Serrano ham crostini. Very nice, and not all that heavy. My wife's starter was beet risotto surrounded by sorrel foam and topped with a fried quail egg. I always find fried quail eggs amusing ... it's an egg the size of a quarter! Anyway, this was very tasty, and the risotto's beet flavor dominated, instead of being drowned out by chicken stock or herb flavors.
My entree was pan-sauteed skate over haricot verts with a brown butter Hollandaise. This was well-prepared though extremely rich. My wife had a tenderloin filet with chive blossom butter and fingerling potatoes ... basically, a steak and potato dish. The tenderloin was a generous size (at least 8 oz), but it was a little chewier than I expected. Perhaps not a Prime grade?
We split the cheese plate, an extremely aggressive pairing of two blues (Fourme d'Ambert and an excellent Cabrales), Robiola (a strong soft cheese), and Lancashire (aged but milder ... and completely overwhelmed by the rest of the plate). We finished with Fugaise's take on molten chocolate cake ... dressed up with caramel and creme anglaise, but pretty much unmemorable.
Service was attentive and friendly. They let us know that they are about to switch to a new menu. If you want to try Fugaise, I recommend you do so soon. With only three customers on a Saturday night, I wonder how much longer they'll be around.
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