The Minnesota Timberwolves teamed up with chef David Fhima to create a locally sourced, globally savvy menu for fans in the fancy seats this season at Target Center.
Next year, after the $130 million overhaul of the Target Center is complete, the concession windows of the new concourse will see new menu items, too, including maple beef sliders, which were sampled at a media preview Tuesday. These were braised beef shoulder roasted slowly for 18 hours, finished in maple syrup and served on one of Fhima’s housemade brioche. They are as ridiculously delicious as you would imagine candied beef on a perfect bun to be.
Fhima, who owns Faces on Mears Park in St. Paul and caters the restaurants at Life Time Fitness locations, served up the sliders along with scallops meunière wrapped in bacon; duck and pumpkin risotto; and a chicken-cauliflower-carrot-garbanzo bean tagine, with wine pairings by the Timberwolves’ sommelier.
Chief revenue officer Ryan Tanke of the Timberwolves gave a handful of media a sneak peek at the new suites open this season, including the 20 theater boxes that include tables and oversized chairs. Nineteen of them are sold out at a price of $55,000 to $75,000 per year. They’re all-inclusive for Timberwolves games and can be purchased in packages for 4 to 6 guests.
The Timberwolves open their home season Tuesday against the Memphis Grizzlies. Their home court renovation is ongoing, culminating next spring-summer with the concourses, the seating bowl and the restrooms. After that final phase, fans in the cheap seats will get a taste of Fhima’s flavors. He calls it “great high-end dining for every day.”
On the higher end at the suite level, the Wolves already added Club TI, sponsored by Treasure Island Resort and Casino, geared toward millennials with a gastropub-type menu serving burgers and wings. Some 300 fans have access to the all-inclusive pub where Tanke said the aim is to create a party atmosphere.
Then there are the Chairman’s Club suites, the ones so expensive Tanke said the prices have not been made public. The suites have a glass facade and access to a communal bar, serving and dining area., which is where Fhima served his worldly delights.
“I’m disappointed we don’t get to start with the concessions,” Fhima said as he began his presentation. He talked about using whole and organic ingredients and international flavors.
For the first game, the theme will be Spain and Fhima is ready with a big paella pan. Desserts included a savory goat cheese cheesecake and plenty of chocolate offerings.
Fhima said he eventually intends to have a rotating schedule of local chefs who prepare and serve their specialties on the concourse level for average fans. “That’s where there is a lot of work to be done,” he said.
He will be using bread and buns made from his bakery.
Fans of the fluorescent nacho cheese and rubbery hot dogs should not be concerned, however. Those concessions will still be available.