January 14, 2013
119 Washington Ave. North Minneapolis, MN | www.haute-dish.com
I do a lot of reading and research surrounding restaurants, particularly those that I have interest in visiting in the near future. What kind of food do they serve? What is the restaurant known for? What can I expect in terms of creativity and depth of the cuisine? Needless to say much of this information comes from the internet – and while the accuracy of such information can fall into question – reviews from sites such as Yelp at least provide some indication of what to expect. However, once in a great while, a restaurant performs above-and-beyond in a most pleasing way.
Heading into my reservation at Haute Dish I had strong expectations for the food. Haute Dish is billed as a restaurant known for modern interpretations of American comfort foods. The environment within the restaurant is interesting and certainly comforting. Deep wooden tones and a long bar greet you at the front door. The main dining section in the back of the restaurant is adequately lit but still has an older, lodge-like comfort to it.
This visit was actually a number of months ago during restaurant week and so the dishes we tried throughout the night were, as I understand, some Haute Dish favorites and menu staples. There was a little inaccuracy with the menu posted online for restaurant week and the actual menu in the restaurant, but nothing major or upsetting to the visit.
If I were to pick one area of the culinary world where my palate is weakest I’d definitely say “alcohols.” I’ve never been a consistent enjoyer of alcoholic pairings with meals. That being said we did enjoy the opportunity try a variety of locally crafted beers in this flight. A wide selection is offered at Haute Dish from which you are able to select 5 per flight.
Our first bite of the night came in a miniature cast iron skillet filled with fatty pork belly and hearty beans. The dish had all the makings of a comforting, home style skillet and the flavors were well married.
This was the first dish that really surprised me in terms of flavor and execution. Based on the description I had expected a more rustic interpretation of the dish but instead found it to be quite complex and elevated. The flavor of the tartare was delightfully fatty and filled with great spice notes. The egg yolk added another layer of luxurious texture and flavor. The oyster shooter really brought the whole plate together. With each sip you get a strong spicy bite of citrus and sour which helps to balance out the rest of the dish.
This was another dish that presented a modern, upscale interpretation of a classic comfort food. Certainly not you’re “grandma’s mac and cheese”, Haute Dish’s version is elevated with king crab, fish roe, and truffle. The mild yet somewhat fruity flavor of tallegio gives just the right amount of cheese-flavor without weighing down the dish.
This eponymous dish epitomizes our experience at Haute Dish. A simple comfort food like tater tots is interpreted to greater heights paired with tender short rib and a porcini béchamel. The tater tots are perfectly prepared with a crisp exterior shell surrounding the creamy contents within. The fattiness of the short rib pairs very well with the creamy tater tots and the flavor of mushroom.
I had recently read that Haute Dish was recognized as one of the top restaurants “redefining comfort food” – a designation that it is certainly worthy of. I had come into this meal with the expectation of more modern interpretations of classic American comfort food, but was surprised at the level at which everything was executed. Each dish was conceptually and technically well crafted. I savored each dish and found myself enjoying the creativeness and depth of flavor presented.
We’ll certainly be back to Haute Dish in the future to sample more of their comfort food reinventions.
119 Washington Avenue North
Minneapolis, MN 55401
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