Restaurant Reviews: 2002 Archives
Nepali cooking is similar to Indian, but milder. The story we heard is that because spices grow in the valleys and the Nepalese live high in the mountains, they use them sparingly. That explanation sounds a little too pat for us, but who knows? We can tell you that the dishes at Everest on Grand are more subtle than you'd get in an Indian restaurant.
Thanks to the rise of the neighborhood bistro in the Twin Cities, great eating and wonderful atmosphere may be right around the corner.
There's a new dining movement in this country: the small, upscale, funky, limited-but-interesting menu, wine-friendly, neighborhood restaurant. Even though they're generally called cafes, we think of them as American bistros. Minneapolis and St. Paul are lousy with them. And if you're lucky, it's a great meal within walking distance.
It's easy to have a terrific meal at Beirut: order a side of their pureed garlic and smear it on everything. It's deceptively called "garlic sauce" on the menu, but it has the consistency of butter and is made almost entirely out of garlic, with some olive oil, lemon juice, and a pinch of salt thrown in. Everything tastes better with garlic sauce; we've even taken to buying tubs to bring home to put on our toast in the morning.
Formerly called Port of Beirut, this restaurant has undergone a recent remodeling.
Even before it opened, Minneapolis foodies were buzzing about Vincent. Vincent Francoual left as chef at Café Un Deux Trois and would open his own restaurant. With a pedigree that includes sous chef at Le Bernardin in New York, he could have gone anywhere in the country. Instead, he chose to transform a former downtown chain-coffee and a chain-bagel place into his namesake restaurant.
Cambodian food is similar to other Southeast Asian cuisines; it's less sweet than Thai and less salty than Vietnamese. It's a subtle variant on those two traditions, with dishes that feature a rich interweaving of cultural influences and fresh, light flavors. Cilantro, its seed (called coriander), mint leaves, and lemongrass are all popular in Cambodian cuisine.
If you're interested in trying Cambodian cooking, Cheng Heng is your only option in the Twin Cities.
It's pronounced "TAH-pas" -- please make the standard joke yourselves. Tapas are Spanish bar food: small plates of morsels meant for sharing. In Spain, no one eats dinner before ten, so tapas fill the gap in the day between siesta and supper; we're happy to while away the late afternoon with friends, a glass of wine, and snacks. Here in the United States, tapas are a dinner option.
When we go to the State Fair, more often than not, we eat our meals at Schumacher's. The food is uniformly interesting and good, head and shoulders above the usual State Fair faire. The lines are rarely long, and there is covered seating inside.
Our favorite menu item is the stuffed cabbage rolls.
Photo of Bruce Schneier by Per Ervland.
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