Rochester MN has one of the best farmer's markets in the country. We're surrounded by artisan dairies, chantarelle-ridden forests, and farms raising grass-fed beef and organic pork. With the availability of excellent ingredients to rival Northern California's, why have SE Minnesota residents had to stay at home to get a good meal? Why have Rochester restaurants (even the "good" ones) relied on such mediocre ingredients combined in such un-inspired ways? Why hasn't someone with skill and training jumped at the chance to take advantage of these local products and become the Alice Waters of the Upper Midwest?
Well, here it is.
Nosh in Wabasha opened recently. Fresh, local, largely organic ingredients are presented with technique that indicates the chef must have some classical French training and flavors that are sort of Latin-America-meets-Mediteranean. Charcouterie and baking is done in-house. The menu rotates with the season and availability of ingredients. Main courses run $15 - $20, pricey for the region, but really quite reasonable for an excellent restaurant.
Bottom line - I highly recommend Nosh and am excited that finally someone in the restaurant industry is taking advantage of SE Minnesota's local ingredients with care and skill.