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.
The Lucky Peach at Heyday
The cocktail of the week at Heyday has been so popular that it will be worked into the next seasonal cocktail menu. The Lucky Peach has an unexpected combination of bay leaf and fruit, making it refreshing and complex. The peach character isn’t glaring, either.
[Debuting on the Hot Five | Submitted by Paige Latham]
Filone from Baker’s Field
At a recent tasting of breads from the newly opened Baker’s Field mill and bakery, different flours created loaves with wide-ranging textures and flavors. One of the standouts was the Filone (an Italian-style baguette) that has a wonderfully crusty exterior, with flavors reminiscent of sourdough, and a light, chewy interior.
[Debuting on the Hot Five | Submitted from a story by Amy Rea]
Kung Pao Chicken at Tea House
Kung Pao Chicken is a throwaway dish at most Chinese restaurants — syrupy, one dimensionally hot if hot at all, most distinguished for having a reddish color but no real flavor. The Kung Pao Chicken at Tea House ($14), by contrast, had a great kick, and the kick was complex — both spicy hot from chilis and numbing hot from the application of Szechuan peppercorns. It had a real depth of flavor supported by lovely notes of ginger. There was a sweetness present, but it wasn’t out of balance, and the chicken itself was cooked properly rather than parched indefinitely until dry. Served on properly cooked white rice, it was a potent and seductive dish, each bite offering subtle variations on a theme.
[Debuting on the Hot Five| Submitted by James Norton from the Green Line Checklist]
Croissants from Duluth’s Best Bread
Duluth’s Best Bread shines most ostentatiously through its croissants, which are pure dynamite — their crispy, crackly, multilayered exteriors are a sheath for a rich, buttery, moist interior. The shop’s chocolate croissants use first-rate chocolate from the Minnesota chocolatiers at Meadowlands. The chocolate has a bright, almost fruity character and a moderate amount of sugar that turns what could be a novelty croissant into a surprisingly refined experience.
[Last Week on the Hot Five: #4 | Submitted from a story by James Norton]
Cherry Iced Tea at Caspian Bistro
The house-brewed iced tea served at Caspian Bistro is properly strong, and the cherry flavoring arrives not as an integrated part of the beverage, but rather as a tiny glass beaker of cherry syrup that can be sprinkled — or ceremoniously dumped — into the tea, as the diner wishes.
[Debuting on the Hot Five | Submitted by James Norton from the Green Line Checklist]