Each Friday, this list will track five of the best things Heavy Table’s writers, editors, and photographers have recently bitten or sipped. Have a suggestion for the Hot Five? Email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Hot Five is a weekly feature created by the Heavy Table and supported by Shepherd Song Farm.
Ahi Tuna Poke Bowl With Spicy Mayo at The Cove
The newly opened Cove in Dinkytown may lack the subtle touch of other Japanese or Japanese-inflected spots like Kado No Mise, Kyatchi, or Pinku, but there’s a certain satisfying earthiness to the chaotic, gloppy riot of flavors and textures that define the restaurant’s poke bowl. Guests can choose salmon or tuna and a house dressing or a spicy mayo; we chose the latter of each option and enjoyed the resulting dish, which brought together heat, creaminess, earthiness, citric brightness, and more.
[Debuting on the Hot Five | Submitted by James Norton]
Sour Cream-Raisin Pie at the Cedarwood Restaurant in Onamia
After a long day trip to the Iron Range, my 94-year-old father and I needed some supper and stopped at the Cedarwood Restaurant in Onamia. The counter had a whiteboard with a lengthy list of pies, and I pointed out one in particular to Dad: sour cream-raisin pie. Neither of us has had a piece of sour cream-raisin pie in more than four years, since my mother died; she was a stellar pie maker, and sour cream-raisin was her specialty. Dad had to think about it for a few moments, but agreed that maybe it was OK to try it. When the slice arrived, I let him go first. He took a bite, frowning, then said: “That’s pretty good. Not as good as your mother’s, of course, but pretty good.” He took another bite. “You know, that’s really good. I just don’t think there’s anything more elegant than sour cream-raisin pie.” I tried a bite and had to agree: The joy of sour cream-raisin pie is in its tangy-sweet creamy filling, which Cedarwood provided in near perfection. Poking at the crust, I posited the idea that not only was it homemade, it might have involved lard. Dad poked at the crust too, marveling at its flakiness: “Just like your mother used to make.” It was a great way to transition out of the sour-cream-raisin-pie-less stage of mourning.
[Debuting on the Hot Five | Submitted by Amy Rea]
Muffaletta Sandwich at The Original on 42nd
The Muffaletta sandwich at the newly opened The Original on 42nd was described by owner Andy Lilja as the shop’s most popular. After having it, that’s no surprise: It’s all about the balance, with rich and tender meat, a yielding roll, plus nice crunch, acid, and heat from the giardiniera.
[Last Week on the Hot Five: #1 | Submitted by James Norton]
‘You Can Rum But You Can’t Hide’ Slushie at Hola Arepa
Sitting at Hola Arepa’s open-air bar last Saturday night drinking a fruity, sweet rum slushie ($9) as the heat index dipped back into the 90s, I was in the Caribbean for an hour or so. It was pure escapism, and it was beautiful.
[Debuting on the Hot Five | Submitted by Ted Held]
Plain Bagel with Scallion Cream Cheese at Rise Bagel Company
Speaking personally, I judge a bagel shop not by its most complex or audacious offerings, but by its simplest ones. By that account, the newly opened Rise Bagel Company in the North Loop is a rousing success. Its plain bagel has a lovely dense interior and chewy-but-not-leathery exterior, and it’s a terrific vehicle for a variety of respectfully tricked out cream cheeses like the savory scallion number that we savored.
[Debuting on the Hot Five | Submitted by James Norton]
After 10 years of going strong in the Armatage neighborhood of Minneapolis, Cafe Maude will close its doors at the end of July and reopen as a Bartmann Group restaurant helmed by Chef Asher Miller (pictured above with Wolfgang Puck.) Miller will blend Maude’s existing French flavors with California influences. Press release follows.
Bartmann Group and Asher Miller to take over Café Maude space in South Minneapolis.
WHAT: Kim Bartmann and Chef Asher Miller will partner on a new project in the Café Maude space at 54th and Penn Avenue South. Look for a new concept and a refreshed space in the fall. Plans include an enhanced dining room, patio updates, a broader beverage selection, and a menu that will respect the space’s French heritage while adding California influences and taking advantage of the existing wood-fire grill. In Bartmann style, the restaurant will feature local purveyors and produce, including crops from the group’s own farm plot at Garden Farme in Ramsey, MN. Other sustainable practices include energy efficient choices, composting, recycling, and zero-waste initiatives.
Kim Bartmann, founder, Bartmann Group.
An innovator in the Twin Cities restaurant scene since she opened Café Wyrd in 1991, and currently an owner and/or partner in 9 restaurants, Kim also has been recognized as a leader in sustainability. Currently, Bartmann is the Vice President on the board of the Land Stewardship Project, and the President on the board of Women Chefs and Restaurateurs, working to advance the careers of women across the culinary industry through education, promotion, connection and inspiration.
More info: http://www.bartmanngroup.rocks
Asher Miller: Chef/Owner.
Asher Miller has been working and living in the growing restaurant and hospitality business in the Minneapolis area for 16 years. One of his first cooking jobs was at Barbette for Kim Bartmann. He then spent six years at the Walker Art Center, working his way up to Executive Chef for Wolfgang Puck and more recently ran celebrity chef Andrew Zimmern’s food truck business. Miller brings experience in many different styles of cooking, execution and management to this new venture.
WHEN: Café Maude will remain open, celebrating its 10-year anniversary, through July 31st; Bartmann encourages regulars to get their last Maude visits in before then. The newly imagined place, surely to remain a neighborhood favorite, will open Fall 2017.
WHERE: Café Maude, 5411 Penn Avenue S, MPLS. Armitage Neigborhood 612-822-5411
The baker Emily Marks is also an artist. She is deeply conscious of the details around her. At The Bachelor Farmer, she revels in the restaurant’s mission to build relationships with small farms and producers. She notices when the hue of her egg yolks changes her lemon curd to neon yellow, and when the shells change from thin to thick and brittle.
She’s rewritten recipes to account for the different types of wheat in her Baker’s Field flour. What one baker could view as an annoying inconsistency, Marks finds inspiring. She understands that the grain supply changes with the weather and the farmers.
As a pastry chef, she focuses on what’s in season or what she has preserved over the summer. As an artist, she plays with the tangible elements of her world, bending flavors, pushing limits. But she’s eager to play with more than your taste buds; she wants to provoke a feeling in you or a memory of something you’ve had in the past. Her medium is food, but her work is in nostalgia.
HEAVY TABLE: What was your culinary upbringing like?
MARKS: My parents adopted me from Korea when I was four months old. I grew up in White Bear Lake. My earliest memories are mostly around food. My parents were hardworking and didn’t prepare fancy food for us, but my dad had a routine of reading cookbooks every morning like someone would read the newspaper. When I was old enough, I started reading them with him.
In one of my most vivid childhood memories, I was looking up at our kitchen countertop, every inch filled with strawberries from Pine Tree Apple Orchard. To this day, every time I smell strawberries, my mind flashes back to that memory, and I think of the summers our countertops would be filled with the berries that my sister and I would help my dad make into quick jams to put on toast and to give as gifts.
In high school, I read cookbooks and food magazines and watched a lot of public TV like Martha Stewart and Julia Child. I got kitchen appliances for birthday gifts. I still have my tiny white KitchenAid mixer I’ve had for twenty years. It’s super old-school and has been through a lot, but it still works just fine. Every time I pull it out, I think of how small and old it is. I still love it. After a day working in a commercial kitchen with huge equipment, coming home to bake with it feels a bit like using an Easy-Bake Oven.
HEAVY TABLE: Did you know what you wanted to be when you grew up?
MARKS: From a young age, when someone would ask me what I wanted to be when I grew up, I’d tell them I wanted to stay at home and have a lemonade stand in the yard. When high school graduation came along, I was less sure. I really didn’t like school or the idea of more of it. I was involved in the fine arts in high school and thought it was fun, but I still didn’t feel like I was passionate enough about anything. Culinary school should’ve been obvious, but it was not on my radar.
I ended up going to college at Northwestern, a super-tiny Bible school in St. Paul. It was nice at the time, and had a small art department with really great instructors. I focused on drawing and painting and gravitated toward nature in my work. At the end of college, I was more into abstract expressionist and minimalist art; the things that look easy but are super complex. It’s the same for me now with baking.
In college I think I kind of drove my roommates crazy. We had these tiny kitchenettes in our dorm rooms where I made kimchi once. I probably stank up the whole hall. My roommates didn’t make fun of me, probably because I also often baked them treats. I remember hand-whipping cream for a whipped-cream topping and my roommates were completely amazed.
This story is a product of Heavy Table’s first Listening Session, underwritten and hosted by the Lakewinds Food Co-op. On May 23, we interviewed 15 local food artisans over the course of eight hours, with a goal of taking a snapshot of the vibrant Minnesota food scene.
These are the salad days of beer writing. Barely a week goes by without the release of something new and beguiling: High-end coffee beers! Barrel-aged sours! Cross-brewery collaborations! Beers infused with (insert local/seasonal/rare ingredient here)!
Local craft beers increasingly come out with a ready-made hook or handle to grip into: It’s super spicy! It’s hoppy beyond belief! It’s loaded with real blueberry flavor! It’s a re-creation of a (domestically) obscure German style! Some of these angles are gimmicks, some of them are delicious and brilliant, and some are unquestionably both. And many of them are routes for the brewer to boost the price (to, say, $12-$18 a 750 milliliter bottle) and compete head-to-head with wine in terms of depth of flavor and prestige.
Therefore it’s interesting and noteworthy when local craft brewers head in the other direction with their product — putting it out in cans, simplifying the flavor profiles, aiming for sessionability and accessibility without losing the “craft” balance and quality that they’ve become known for. Many local brewers with sophisticated barrel-aging programs have begun a simultaneous surge into the everyday thirst-quencher market, and Fulton has been right in the mix with the launch last year of its Standard Lager brand.
Now Fulton is doubling down, with the addition of a no-frills Pilsner to its roster of perennial beers.
“Everything we do at Fulton is to make sure we’re covering the basics and releasing a really quality, solid product before we branch out and do some of the crazier stuff,” says Fulton brewer Jeff Seidenstricker. “The Pilsner style is an extremely classic recipe. The vast majority of the malt is Pilsner malt, and the same thing with the hops. We stuck with the noble hops, the Saaz hops specifically, characteristic of the Pilsner style. And that’s it — just letting those ingredients shine.”
Pils is among the most balanced beers we’ve tried, with subtle, earthy noble hops and a malt backbone that offers depth of flavor, plus a bold, fruity, “hey, am I back in Milwaukee in the 1980s?” yeast bite that brings the package together. If there’s a platonic ideal of “beer,” this might be it. There’s no lavender nose, no palate-scorching astringent finish, no barnyard funk — just straight-up, balanced, refreshing brew. The impression of moderate sensibility that Pils imparts is supported by its numbers: 5.3 percent ABV, and 30 IBU, comfortably hanging out at the median for a contemporary craft-beer release.
“It’s very true to the style, as far as fermentation process and the yeast that we’re using,” says Seidenstricker.
If you’re looking for a break from overhopped booze-bombs, or if “classic and balanced” happens to be your thing, Pils represents.
Editor’s note, June 15, 2017: This story was edited to remove an inaccurate reference to esters.
This week in the Tap: One case for a tip credit, and a look ahead at upcoming restaurants, notes about spots that have closed, and about those that have recently opened.
The Tap is the metro area’s comprehensive restaurant buzz roundup, so if you see a new or newly shuttered restaurant, or anything that’s “coming soon,” email Tap editor James Norton at email@example.com.
A FEW WORDS IN FAVOR OF A TIP CREDIT
Every state has its own political traditions, and you can’t help but reflect aspects of where you grew up. I grew up in Madison, Wis., and I was intimately aware of two parallel but different left-wing political impulses: progressivism and radicalism. Both are squishy terms, and both bear plenty of subjective interpretation and historical analysis.
But here’s one idea of what they mean. A progressive searches for roads to improvement for the population at large, with an eye toward easing inequality and improving the overall welfare of the people. A progressive works, well, progressively: seeking incremental improvement through a series of political compromises and experimental initiatives.
A radical, by contrast, knows precisely what the ideal future should look like, and fights for it 100 percent — compromise is seen as weakness, and half-measures are a waste of time.
Raising the minimum wage in Minneapolis to $15 an hour with a tip credit — which is to say, with servers’ tips factored into calculating their wages — is a progressive move. It’s bold, sure, but there’s precedent in other cities, and the tip credit helps buffer the blow to small, independent restaurants that are already squeaking by on thin margins. Servers are guaranteed to make the new wage, and will in many cases earn more if tips are good.
Raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour for all, tips be damned, is more expensive and consequently more dangerous for restaurants. Whether the good that will be gained from giving servers considerably higher wages will be offset by restaurants’ laying off help or shutting down isn’t at all clear. In a word, it’s a radical step. The rewards are bigger, but the risk of economic damage and a grassroots backlash seems real.
If you’re trying to make up your mind on the issue — and it’s a legitimately interesting debate with solid points scored on both sides — you could do worse than reading the essays by Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges and former mayor R.T. Rybak.
The Heavy Table is written with the health of the local food community in mind.Our readers are deeply invested in the farms, purveyors, and restaurants of the Upper Midwest. That system prospers when its people prosper, but those people include everyone from dishwashers to servers to chefs to owners, and it’s important to keep the whole system in mind as we work to improve the laws of the land. — James Norton
- Rise Bagel Company, 530 N 3rd St, Minneapolis | Quality bagels in a town hungry for them.
- The Original on 42nd, 1839 E 42nd St, Minneapolis | A sandwich shop in the former Colossal Cafe location.
- StormKing Barbecue, 16½ W 26th St, Minneapolis | A new Texas-style barbecue window from the team behind the adjacent Black Sheep Pizza.
- Grand Cafe, 3804 Grand Ave S, Minneapolis | Now owned by chefs Jamie Malone (above) and Erik Anderson, the cafe features cooking with a French viewpoint along with a new stone patio at the side of the building.
- The Cove, 1320 5th St SE, Minneapolis | Can poke succeed where crudo failed? Let’s find out.
- Broken Clock Brewing Cooperative, 3134 California St NE, Minneapolis | Member-owned. the brewery is primarily a production space, with limited tastings and other public events.
- Lien Son, 1216 Broadway St NE, Minneapolis | Back in business after years out of commission.
- Tenant, 4300 Bryant Ave S, Minneapolis | A tasting-menu-only restaurant in the former Piccolo space.
- Black Stack Brewing, 755 Prior Ave N, St. Paul | Sharing a complex with Can Can Wonderland.
- Cardigan Donuts, 40 7th St S, Minneapolis | More action within the “fancy doughnut” sphere.
- Kado no Mise, 33 1st Ave N, Minneapolis | Carefully crafted Japanese fare at Kado ne Mise; sister restaurant Kaiseki Furukawa is on the way.
- Colossal Cafe, 2403 E 38th St, Minneapolis| New, larger cafe in the former Pilgrimage location.