Minnesota Week!

by Sarah on August 3, 2010

Some may think Minnesota week isn’t as exciting as Shark Week, but I beg to differ.

We arrived in Minneapolis right on time…but our bags didn’t.  No matter.  We took the excellent and cheap light rail train into town, checked into the hotel, got freshened up and walked over to Minneapolis’ Wherehouse District for some dinner.  Now, this place 112 Eatery had been recommended to me, but I didn’t know what a hot spot this really was till I started looking around on the internets after the fact.  112 has gotten glowing press from the NY Times, Bon Appetit, Food & Wine, SF Chronicle as well as a number of local rags.  It’s so hot that chef Isaac Becker has been nominated for Best Chef Midwest 3 years running.

That’s pretty hot.

photo above by Sarah McGee

On our too-short visit to 112, we were able to see and experience everything that the reviews say about this place.  Friendly service, an eclectic and well-priced menu, top-notch ingredients.  I loved the playful take on high-end ingredients–ingredients that usually end up in a fussy or precious preparation.

Don’t mind my crappy pictures, it was perfectly dark in there.  Would be a great place for a date.

photo by Vance Dovenbarger

Steak tartare.  I love the yolk just sitting there on top.  My kids were taken aback by it at first, but once it was mixed in, they gobbled it up.  Slightly oniony, with a bit of a bite from the seasonings, it was silky goodness sitting on top of a slice of toasted baguette.  $9.

Artichoke salad with goat cheese cream dressing.  I think some confited tomatoes are in there too.  Good and refreshing after the chopped steak. $10.

Zane ordered the duck pate banh mi.  $6.  Can you believe those prices?  That’s almost as cheap as the Vietnamese joints on Stockton Blvd.

I ordered the bacon, egg and harissa sandwich.  On toasted brioche.  SO GOOD.  I think I’m going to have to recreate this at home because there’s no way I can wait till I go back to Minneapolis to have one of these babies.  $7.

My pasta lover Zak ordered the house-made tagliatelle with foie gras meatballs.  Yes, you heard me.  Foie. Gras. Meat. Balls.  Soft, with a texture not unlike tofu–yet with the rich and decadent flavor of foie gras.  The pasta was perfectly soft and tender too, and it was all buried under a flurry of grated cheese.  $11.

On the side, we tried the asparagus with tonnato.  Tonnato is a tuna sauce, if you didn’t know, and it’s usually served with cold sliced veal or turkey.  It’s quite tasty and a perfect summer evening meal.  This dish unfortunately was the only bummer of the night.  It was way way way too salty.  There was some snafu in the kitchen, and it didn’t come out till late so they gave it to us for free anyway.  I’m sure it was an oversight because everything else was seasoned so perfectly. $8.

I was dying at this point from overeating, but you know teenaged boys.  They want dessert.  They went for the Tres Leches cake.  Jeez was this good!  Light and rich at the same time.  And the portion was enormous.  $7.

So, if you live in the Midwest–or find yourself there for whatever reason–get down to 112 Eatery and get some food.  Dinner, late-night snack, whatever–they’re open late.

112 Eatery

112 north 3rd street

minneapolis, minnesota 55401

612.343.7696

isaac becker / executive chef
dennis leaf-smith / chef de cuisine


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