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Best New Must Dine Digs?

Tis true! Just found this on their FB page re Sunday evening specials.

1. Whole Roasted Chicken Meal ... with a bottle of wine $55
Stuffed with foie gras and brioche, served with vegetables, kasha varnishkas, and a salad digestif to complete: A true steal! And, we expect to sell them out every week, so be sure you make a reservation and note your interest.

First chance I have, I'm there.

Sep 03, 2014
clepro in Minneapolis-St. Paul

Heavy Table's Out of Towner's Guide.

Ah, looks like I missed that. I should have kept reading the comments; thanks for bringing it to my attention.

Best New Must Dine Digs?

Do you know if this is the same roasted chicken for two with a bottle of wine for $55 that Zentral is offering on Sunday evenings, starting Sept 7th? Man, that sounds like a Sunday to live for.

I've been there twice, but haven't had the chicken yet.

Sep 02, 2014
clepro in Minneapolis-St. Paul

Favorite chicken broth no longer available in MSP!

Better than Bouillon's OK, but a bit too salty for me. I like Kitchen Basics. Have heard Swanson's specialty chicken broths (not the standard one) are decent, but haven't tried them myself.

Sep 02, 2014
clepro in Minneapolis-St. Paul

Heavy Table's Out of Towner's Guide.

It's not a single guy who wrote it, it's the HT staff. Which is where the problem starts. I love Heavy Table, but this particular article was a real CF.

It's weighted heavily, all but two entries, towards Minneapolis, apparently an outcome of asking the staff to simply submit one place per category, based on where it is they themselves go. You've got a bunch of staff members who live west of the river, you're gonna see happen exactly what happened. Which would be fine, had they not positioned it as a guide to where people hang out in both cities. We'll be waiting for a mea culpa and an update, Heavy Table.

Sep 02, 2014
clepro in Minneapolis-St. Paul

Best chilaquiles in Twin Cities?

Resurrecting this thread to note that Sonora Grill on Lake and 33rd has started serving brunch Saturdays and Sundays, and has red and green chilaquiles on its brunch menu. I had the green this morning with two perfectly done over easy eggs, slow roasted pork guajillo, and a red sangria. It was a lovely, unhurried breakfast.

Jun 28, 2014
clepro in Minneapolis-St. Paul

A few days in Minneapolis area - did my CH homework

If you end up at Ngon, they have an excellent pork belly appetizer.

A few days in Minneapolis area - did my CH homework

Brasserie Zentral popped immediately into my mind too when I saw the reference to Central European, buttressed by the later mention of pork. Check out the pork cheeks on Zentral's menu http://www.zentral-mpls.com/pdf/menus...

Asparagus with sauce

I mostly roast my asparagus, but I also love a steamed, chilled asparagus with a tangy mustard lemon sauce, prepared according to a recipe in my much-used Green on Greens cookbook.

Jun 03, 2014
clepro in Home Cooking

Sad to report the passing of Veggo

We'll miss him, even those of us who only knew him by his writing here. Thank you for letting us know, and condolences to you and the rest of Veggo's family, and to what I am sure must be a wide, wide circle of friends.

May 28, 2014
clepro in Site Talk

Brasserie Zentral

Thanks for pointing that out!

Apr 24, 2014
clepro in Minneapolis-St. Paul

Brasserie Zentral

I went this evening and also had a wonderful experience. There were four of us and Zentral offers a number of small plates, so we were able to try a good variety. Don't know if they will all remain on the menu next week when they open, but I can highly recommend the outstanding white asparagus & hazelnut cream soup, whole halibut tail, gnocchi (light, billowy, among the best I've ever had), ravioli stuffed with nettle and served with spring peas, spaetzle with roasted rabbit and mushrooms, the whole roasted chicken stuffed with foie gras and an inspired foie gras sampler that I personally can't report on but my dining companions loved. We also had an artichoke gratin that was very good, altho richer than I would prefer for a side dish. The menu is fascinating; offerings that are fresh, intriguing, and unlike anything else here in the cities.

There's a vast wine list, including wines from Croatia and Hungary. I'd report in detail on our delicious cocktails if only I could remember what was in them... our favorites were the Lawnmower and something-something Lena. Be warned--the Lena packs a real punch.

Deserts all round were excellent, in particular a tangy black current sorbet and an incredibly delicious, clean and fresh tasting pear sorbet.

The environment is lovely but relaxed, and service was excellent. The train runs right outside its windows, or if you prefer to drive, parking is easy, with lots in the building and across the street on the other side of 5th ($4 for the entire evening). I'm very excited about this new venture, and looking forward to many more dinners there. And lunches, because lucky me, it's just two blocks from where I work.

A bakery adventure, in which our heroine tries to go to Mojo Monkey but ends up at Rebecca's instead

I did end up at Verdant Tea and it was fantastic. I had one of their special drinks--orange juice, sparkling water, bitters and kombucha, and for lunch perfectly cooked soba noodles in a clean tasting broth with a few green onions, topped with mildly spicy, maybe curried(?) carrot ginger puree, alongside a bowl of fresh tasting, crisp, lightly pickled vegetables. Carrots, cucumbers, and white radishes, I think. It may be because I've been going through chemo and so certain foods appeal to me more than they would normally, but this is one of my top 10 meals of the past year. I loved it.

A bakery adventure, in which our heroine tries to go to Mojo Monkey but ends up at Rebecca's instead

Anne, I've got to meet someone in that neighborhood for lunch next week and am now considering Rebecca's. Their website doesn't indicate a lunch menu, but I saw references to soups, sandwiches elsewhere. Did you notice if they had lunch items? And is there any seating?

Mar 23, 2014
clepro in Minneapolis-St. Paul

MSP: Poutine

I just heard today that Ward Six over on the East Side has a version going that's great.

Feb 09, 2014
clepro in Minneapolis-St. Paul

What's for Christmas Breakfast?

Finnish oven pancake (Dutch baby, pannukakku) with a squeeze of fresh lemon, then topped with lingonberries and maple syrup from back home. Thick cut bacon on the side, orange juice, and lots of coffee.

Potica - where can I find some?

Did you get there? What do you think? I do love Andre's but remember you saying several years back here that it wasn't the real Iron Range deal. Rats.

Dec 08, 2013
clepro in Minneapolis-St. Paul

Fine Dining in St. Paul?

Wrote a long recommendation for MOTH before reading down and seeing you'd already made it there. What did you order?

Nov 23, 2013
clepro in Minneapolis-St. Paul

Fine Dining in St. Paul?

I've become progressively more and more pleased with MOTH over the past year. I think they've really stepped up their kitchen, the drinks are excellent, and the environment both relaxing or invigorating, so it works whatever mood we're in. I've especially enjoyed the big shared appetizers platter, which varies from week to week. One week it included a little crock of a savory bean and tomato stew, topped with a perfectly cooked quail's egg, that was one of the best things I've eaten this year. They make a very good Moscow Mule, although due to theft it's no longer served in the traditional copper cup, alas. I would recommend their vodka flights, borscht, the marinated red cabbage and the beet salad, pickled vegetables, cheboureki, pate or russian herring appetizers, the Siberian pelmeni and the vareniki, and duck breast ekaterina. I've friends who love their wild rice cabbage rolls and beef stroganoff too, although I can't speak to them myself. The poached pear salad is a nice, light alternative too, with pears that are crisp and spicy.

Thanksgiving Dinner in Madison, WI

Thank you!

We were considering Layla's Persian, but glad to have these additional options.

Nov 21, 2013
clepro in Great Lakes

NPR: See How Food Stamp Cuts Are Hitting Across The U.S.

Also, this infrastructure you're talking about? Did the government not play a role in its development?

The government is not necessarily just an entity apart from us that TAKES. It is also the way in which we collectively act.

NPR: See How Food Stamp Cuts Are Hitting Across The U.S.

Yes. Previous generations, the people who helped establish social security and medicare, who built powerful labor unions, who fought in the streets over politics, who engaged in labor unrest, who lived with upheavals caused by economic unrest, who were a motley crew including radicals and visionaries of all stripes, somehow also are the same people in this simplistic, sentimental image you have of people who took any job they could find, kept their mouths shut, expected nothing, and would never never never expect help from any quarter but be immensely and virtuously grateful if any were doled out.

You might want to read a little public welfare history, labor union history or heck, just any kind of history, and fill out that picture you're painting a little bit.

For instance, maybe start with good old Thomas Paine and his Agrarian Justice (1795). A pamphlet, not a book, so a quick read: http://www.constitution.org/tp/agjust...

Here's something interesting he had to say:

"Personal property is the effect of society; and it is as impossible for an individual to acquire personal property without the aid of society, as it is for him to make land originally. Separate an individual from society, and give him an island or a continent to possess, and he cannot acquire personal property. He cannot be rich. So inseparably are the means connected with the end, in all cases, that where the former do not exist the latter cannot be obtained. All accumulation, therefore, of personal property, beyond what a man’s own hands produce, is derived to him by living in society; and he owes on every principle of justice, of gratitude, and of civilization, a part of that accumulation back again to society from whence the whole came."

NPR: See How Food Stamp Cuts Are Hitting Across The U.S.

Indeed. Know what else is a problem? When mathematically speaking, a small percentage of a population captures an increasingly larger proportion of the wealth.

NPR: See How Food Stamp Cuts Are Hitting Across The U.S.

One of the problems is access. I too would hope and prefer SNAP recipients shop wisely, both for their sakes and for all taxpayers (which, do not forget, many SNAP recipients are also). I am not fool enough to imagine that everyone who receives SNAP shops wisely. However, it's just as unwise to neglect the barriers that can make that "wise shopping" very difficult if not impossible. Easy for us with our cars and our time and well-stocked grocery stores, and our ability to stockpile and select and feed our hungers however we may choose to sit back and chide; not always possible to do the same in different circumstances.

What Christmas cookies are you baking this year?

Buttertart, have you ever made ma'amouls? I had my first taste of them at a coffeeshop in Madison, WI several weeks back. They were so delicious and I was so elated with them that the owner pulled 12 from the freezer and sent them home with me. A buttery crust wrapped around ground spices, nuts and dates, dusted with confectioner's sugar. So rich, but not overly sweet, and perfect with bitter coffee. One cookie served three of us. Not because it was huge, but because it was so delicious only tiny bites were needed.

This recipe looks promising: http://tastykitchen.com/blog/2013/06/...

Does anyone else have experience with this cookie and a trusted recipe to share?

Nov 19, 2013
clepro in Home Cooking

What Christmas cookies are you baking this year?

Four years later, and I just noticed this. But had to laugh, because when I saw your name, and then saw the description, I wondered if you would be touting MY ginger spice cookies. And indeed you are. Yes, they are seriously delicious! I think I'll make up a batch this weekend.

Nov 19, 2013
clepro in Home Cooking

Thanksgiving Dinner in Madison, WI

I too am in search of a place for Thanksgiving dinner in Madison. Just called the Dayton Street Grille and they aren't serving this year, alas.

Madison on the Cheap has yet to update their list for 2013.

This is getting a little frustrating. I will return with news of what I find later today and tomorrow.

Nov 18, 2013
clepro in Great Lakes

100 Recipes Every Mom (or Dad) Should Know, Chowhound edition

Thanks! Excellent advice; I'll take it.

Nov 17, 2013
clepro in Home Cooking

100 Recipes Every Mom (or Dad) Should Know, Chowhound edition

Now, for the rest.

The real name for the cake is Walnut and Prune Cake Perigord Style. http://domesticintelligence.files.wor... I am obsessive when I make this. I blanch, skin and toast the walnuts. Dice the prunes and dust them with flour so they suspend properly, and bake it in a fluted tube pan. It's an outstanding cake.

The other two...I'm sorry, but once again, I just make them by the seat of my pants.

Whether it's the Spanakopita or spinach/goat cheese pie, I usually start by sauteing a good amount of leeks and green onions if possible, otherwise some yellow or white onions thinly sliced or diced, in olive oil. One or two minced garlic cloves is good too, but not essential, IMO. Salt, pepper. Cool down. Get the spinach ready...if frozen, a couple of boxes, thawed and very, very well squeezed of all moisture. If fresh, which is preferred, a couple of pounds roughly chopped, then sauteed in a little bit of boiling water, just long enough to turn the leaves limp. Chop again after cooking. To the cooled spinach I add the onions and a bunch of parsley, chopped. I also like to add chopped fresh dill (or tiny bit of dried dill...go light on the dill, regardless). Some people really like a little chopped fresh mint, but I'm not one of them.

Then beat up a couple of eggs, and add that to the greens with whatever amount of feta or chevre you like, crumbled. Taste, salt and pepper again. Don't skimp on the pepper.

Layer a few leaves of filo, each one brushed with melted butter or olive oil, pour in the spinach mixture, and top with more buttered filo leaves and bake. Or take a prepared pie shell (we like whole wheat for these) and simply spoon in the filling, smooth and bake. The top will crack a little bit on the open pie generally, once it's cooked through. These are delicious warm or cold, and always held up well packed in school lunches.

For the miso soup, I follow the same basic pattern as these instructions. http://www.seriouseats.com/recipes/20... You can use any type of miso; white, brown, red. Note the part about how to temper in the miso at the end; if you've ever made a Greek lemon soup, where you pulled out some hot broth to mix with your beaten eggs and THEN added that mixture back into the hot soup, this is the same idea, I highly recommend doing that, as it allows you to control better the amount of miso as you go, and ensure it all dissolves properly.

Nov 17, 2013
clepro in Home Cooking

100 Recipes Every Mom (or Dad) Should Know, Chowhound edition

Blaming mine on the Prednisone.

Nov 17, 2013
clepro in Home Cooking