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Tasting Menu at Sanctuary (MSP) [Split from Mid-month Dining Out Highlights Thread]

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Tasting Menu at Sanctuary (MSP) [Split from Mid-month Dining Out Highlights Thread]

pgokey | May 19, 2008 07:12 PM

Just got back from the tasting menu at Sanctuary. Mostly excellent. First course - pork belly with red wine reduction and pink salt - terrific. Second course - micro green salad with tomato vinaigrette and black salt, radish, and green onions - loved it. Third course - braised alligator with sweet potato fries. Loved the alligator, the fries didn't seem to match the course, but were pleasant. Fourth course - seared halibut with garlic aioli. I wasn't thrilled. The halibut wasn't seasoned well, and I frankly don't think it's a fish that lends itself well to searing at all. I think it needs to be cooked all the way through. The inside was too soft and mushy. Searing works really well for ahi, scallops, and other seafoods that have the right texture inside.

The dessert was odd - on the left was a slice of baguette with rosemary manchego (the server called it manchego cheddar??). In the middle of the plate was a slice of cream-less truffle. On the right was a half of a strawberry and a small dollop of whipped cream. It was one of the most uncomposed desserts I've been in a while. The pieces didn't seem to relate at all. The truffle and the cheese were delicious (especially the cheese). The whipped cream was pretty bad, though. It was totally unflavored - no vanilla, no zest, not even any sugar. It was literally just cream that was whipped. It was off-putting.

So I thought it was mostly excellent, but when it missed the mark, it really missed it. I guess the menu changes monthly. For $35 for a 5 course meal, I would definitely go back to try other courses. Other than a disappointing piece of halibut, the other dishes were fine. (I am sort of nitpicking on the dessert.)

I also had a recent trip to Solera. Had several items, of course. The stand out was the braised lamb and couscous dish.

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