Four of us finally snagged a spot at Heidi’s Minneapolis recently. Well we didn’t technically snag one as we made reservations early in the week for a Sunday evening 6:45p dinner. Upon arriving I made a note to self: ask what the dress code is when making a reservation.
We walked in wearing business casual but the hostess was wearing jeans. Geez, I wanted to wear jeans. Though within a half hour we all wished we were wearing Bermuda shorts as it was so blankety, blank, blank HOT. Even our waiter was hot; but we weren’t ready for that prelude to summer.
After an extended perusal of the menu and a couple of samples of wine we landed on a Macon Lugny, “Les Charmes” 2006 Chardonnay from Burgundy ($24). It was light and crisp with hints of green apple and pear; having a pleasant mineral finish.
Knowing that Chef Woodman was at the stove, we decided on a variety of appetizers including a tri-colored cauliflower soup. The hot cream was brought table-side in a ceramic tea pot and poured over the other ingredients. It was amazing how the different varieties of cauliflower each had their own distinct flavor. We also shared a Spinach salad with a porcini mushroom vinaigrette, pink peppercorns and shaved Asiago (6.50) and a crêpe with foie gras, curried Beluga black lentils and hibiscus syrup ($9). The crêpe was a perfect balance between the creaminess of the foie gras, saltiness of the lentils and the sweetness of the hibiscus syrup. I thought an unusual ingredient combination but in the end a classic flavor profile.
Woodman has also added an intermezzo course to the dinner menu which could be either the Shefzilla’s or a Chef’s Surprise. The night we were there, the Surprise would be $14. With the silver lid removed at the table we were presented with 5 plump oysters, topped with mined shallots in an arugula broth. It reminded me of an Oysters Rockefeller stepped up a couple of notches.
Our entrees included handmade ravioli stuffed with beets, with goat cheese and chives, served on a bed of truffle scented beet and fennel broth ($11). We were informed that the chef omitted the beet broth component as it was just too overpowering, substituting a parmesan ‘foam’ instead. The vegetarian “Bolognese” porcini stew on fresh pappardelle, with Swiss chard, Grana Padano, and Armando Manni’s olive oil ($9/$12) was chock full of mushrooms and chard. The Grana Padano was delicious but didn’t have enough salt to balance the remaining flavors. The Atlantic lobster soup with lotus root, bamboo shoot, scallion, savory cabbage and vinaigre de citron was a bowl large enough for an entrée. As good as they all were, I wished I had ordered the sautéed Australian sea bass which the fourth in our party savored. It was enjoyed with a parsley puree, parsnips and creamy mussel foam ($18). The one taste that I managed to pilfer was melt in your mouth heaven, perfectly seared and delicious.
Had we not all be glistening and ready to faint, we would have delved into the desserts starting with the Dreamsicle Crème Brûlée ($5); Mango Sorbet with Leche Cake ($5.5); Vanilla Poached Pear with Yogurt and Pistachio ($5.5) and finishing with the Chocolate Cake with Espresso Ice Cream ($7.21). If I missed any details, I’m blaming it on the heat
Hopefully, the AC will be functioning by the time summer really hits, or we’ll plan for a cool evening the next time we visit this great neighborhood restaurant.
819 W 50th St
Minneapolis, MN 55419