From Caesar salads to pie, a look at the year's best dishes.
Courtney Perry, Special to the Star Tribune
At Sparks, chef Jonathan Hunt prepares the ultimate hummus, with hints of tahini and zesty smoked paprika sneaking in under a lively garlic kick. It's suitably enhanced by wedges of the kitchen's sturdy, warm-from-the-oven pita.
230 S. Cedar Lake Rd., Mpls., 612-259-8943, www.sparksmpls.com
Among the many gifts Steven Brown flaunts at Tilia is his soup-making ability, exemplified by a dynamite beer-cheese formula (aged white Cheddar, a Fulton-brewed ale, hints of thyme and mustard) that forever vanquished the genre's 1970s silhouette.
2726 W. 43rd St., Mpls., 612-354-2806, www.tiliampls.com
One benefit of a relocated Oceanaire Seafood Room is that its signature dish -- the crab cake to end all crab cakes -- is suddenly (and happily) much more accessible. And available, for the first time, at lunch.
50 S. 6th St., Mpls., 612-333-2277, www.theoceanaire.com
A Scandinavian hash -- tender rye spaetzle, tangy cabbage and a rich pork shoulder pastrami, all topped with a poached egg -- is one of many reasons why the Bachelor Farmer became 2012's prime brunch destination.
50 N. 2nd Av., Mpls., 612-206-3920, www.thebachelorfarmer.com
After just one taste of chef Ian Gray's ultra-juicy, ultra-savory and smartly embellished goat burger at the Gray House, beef and turkey seemed hopelessly dull by comparison. Oh, and the chocolate custard? Uh-maze-ing.
610 W. Lake St., Mpls., 612-823-4338, www.thegrayhouseeats.com
Newcomer Union quickly cultivated a talker of a dish in the form of pumpkin-filled, brown butter-embellished ravioli, each bite flecked with a gentle vinegar sting. It's vegetarian cooking at its most inspired.
731 Hennepin Av. S., Mpls., 612-455-6690, www.unionmpls.com
Few dishes evoked a deeper sense of place more vividly than the coral-tinted herring caviar -- sourced from the dockside fish market next door -- served with crackers, diced onion and dill-infused sour cream, at the Angry Trout Cafe.
408 W. Hwy. 61, Grand Marais, Minn. 1-218-387-1265, www.angrytroutcafe.com
Restaurants: The best dishes of the year
- Article by: By RICK NELSON
- Star Tribune
- January 2, 2013 - 3:52 PM
It would help if I could read my own handwriting. I guess that's the downside of sneaking off to the restroom to hastily toss off a few written-against-the-wall notes.
Rarely organized enough to carry an actual notebook, my version of note-taking frequently relies upon any usable slip of paper that I've tucked inside my wallet: a dry cleaning voucher, a Target receipt, a half-filled Post-it Note, a dollar bill.
One particular set of chicken scratchings would have challenged even the most seasoned Egyptologist, but I finally decyphered what I'd dashed out so many months ago, and it reads something like, "Wow, best dish I've tasted this month." I amassed quite a few reactions like that in 2012. Read all about them:
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