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Restaurants & Bars

St. Paul --- Another Great Meal At The Barbary Fig

Michael Florey | Aug 6, 200910:56 AM     1

I have seen over the last couple years a number of negative reviews by folks who did not like the food at the Barbary Fig. They seemed off the mark to me, but I thought maybe I'd just gotten comfortable over the years eating there, and perhaps the cuisine had become stale.

I took the family there again last night, and my conclusion is that I'll have to agree to disagree with the critics. We had yet another phenomenal meal. I had the Mediterranean Plate special, which last night was two light phylo dough pockets filled with grilled eggplant, roasted red peppers, and goat cheese. They were topped with a homemade apricot chutney. The combination was superb. The pockets were flaky, the eggplant fresh and tender, the goat cheese sharp and picquant, the chutney sweet and rich. Really excellent.

For dinner I had the rabbit confit in mustard sauce. It was exquisite. The confit of rabbit was juicy and tender, with not one molecule of fat or gristle anywhere in it. The mustard sauce was light, flavorful, but not overpowering. A perfect glue to hold the dish together. The rabbit was mixed with fresh, perfectly cooked julienne vegetables, and served over orzo rice. This is what the Fig does best: healthy, flavorful and satisfying food, for $12. I'm hard pressed to think of anywhere else in town that produces this level of sophistication in food at this price point.

Both my kids -- including my wildly picky 9 year-old -- love the homemade merguez sausage, and the Algerian soup. The patio in the summer is also a huge bonus.

I think the specials tend to be better than the standard menu items, and I'd default to ordering them. On the menu the tagine of chicken and the shekshouka are really good.

This family-owned restaurant is first-rate.

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