Corner Table

 May 14, 2011

4257 Nicollet Ave Minneapolis, MN   www.cornertablerestaurant.com

I left sunny Honolulu yesterday evening to come to the Minneapolis/St. Paul area to visit a few potential apartments. For me, no visit to a future place of residence would be complete without also checking out as much of the local food as possible. As such, these next few days up here in the Twin Cities area will be packed with apartment viewings and food!

For the first meal of my visit to the Twin Cities area I decided to check out the Corner Table, a restaurant with a great reputation for serving excellent food using locally sourced ingredients. The “localvore” or “farm-to-table” movement is something that interests me very much. As a future resident of the Twin Cities area (later this summer), I wanted to see what a local chef could do with local ingredients. Corner Table offers a variety of menu items as well as a “100 Mile” tasting menu which features only ingredients sourced within 100 miles of the restaurant. For this visit I opted to select my own dishes off the regular menu, but next time I will definitely be trying the “100 Mile” menu. Here’s what we tried out tonight:

Pork belly with “kim chee” style white beans – Crispy, fatty, and tender the pork belly appetizer was a nice start to dinner. The kim chee interpretation to white beans wasn’t quite what I had expected, but served to add some additional spice to the dish.

Braised pork shoulder with curry sauce & basamati rice – A generous serving of tender pork shoulder, this entree was filled with a contrast of spice and tang. The basamati rice was fluffy and well seasoned.

Pan fried trout with ramps & a cilantro gastrique – The crispy fried trout was not as flavorful as I had hoped, but the accompanying items made up for it. The cilantro gastrique provided a pop of flavor with each bite.

Chef’s Selection dessert – Brioche donuts with cardamom sugar, chocolate mousse & a sweet potato pie with cardamom ice cream & candied lemon zest. Arguably the best dish of the night, we enjoyed the selection of sweet and savory dessert items. The brioche donuts were light, fluffy, and sweet. I enjoyed the spice of the cardamom ice cream very much.

Overall I would say that the Corner Table provides a chance for diners to experience local, fresh ingredients with fine dining preparations in a casual environment. Service was excellent during our meal. Our server was never long away from the table and she did a great job of checking in with us to make sure our dining experience was going well.

I can say with great certainty that I will be back to Corner Table in the future after we make our final move up to the area over the summer. I can’t wait to try the “100 Mile” menu and get an even greater taste of local ingredients.

Corner Table
4257 Nicollet Ave Minneapolis, MN 55409
http://www.cornertablerestaurant.com/

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