I know The Bachelor Farmer doesn't get much love here, but a colleague recommended it a couple years ago, it sounded intriguing, and I wanted to try it before my business trips to the Twin Cities come to an end. So I went to last week's Sunday Supper and it was just superb!
This was a fixed-price 3 course menu for $34. The first course salad of house-made cheese, beets, potatoes, and almond vinaigrette made a nice starter, and the pecan pie bar with barley-malt ice cream was a delicious closer. The star however was the amazing choucroute garnie. The pork was absolutely stunning, both the shoulder and the smoked rib. The cabbage was cut thicker than usual for a choucroute, but given the great flavor this was an excellent choice.
I figured these were probably pretty local ingredients so I asked where they came from when they cleared my empty plate away. The pork was a Red Wattle Pork from Pork & Plants in Altura. All that praise for the pork on their web site? It's for real - this was amazing. I don't remember the farm for the cabbage, but it was from just over the border in Wisconsin.
I was surprised there weren't any Alsace wines by the glass available to go with the choucroute, but this was no problem given the well chosen selection of 3 Midwest beers on tap. The waitress recommended the Fulton Ringer American Pale Ale as the best accompaniment for the menu and that was spot on. I also very much enjoyed the Founders Porter as a second beer with the last of the pork and the pecan dessert.
Coming from California this is just the type of meal I love in this price range - a great treatment of local ingredients, cooked with care. The portion sizes were perfect. I was worried that the choucroute would be served in the typical large portion that would not leave room for the rest of the meal, but no such problems here.
I really like this Sunday Supper that several Minneapolis restaurants offer (Cafe Levain is the other I've been to) and will miss that in my travels.