Monday, November 28, 2011

Home is where the Heartland is.

OK- So I am always going on and on about how wonderful buying local is and how great is it to incorporate it into your life, but the Heartland Restaurant in St.paul has taken this to a completely different level...a completely different level of awesome that is!  

It was our last night in MN. We tried to get a dinner going with all the kids, but it didn't end up working. Nathan wasn't feeling great and we would be leaving early the next morning, but still I wanted to go out and try something exciting and new.

I googled "best prix fixe in Minnesota, and Heartland came up. I was perusing the menu and Chris said to me, "I heard that place is supposed to be amazing."

Works for me.

We made an open table reservation at about 7:10 for a 7:30 reservation. So, we hauled ass to St. Paul.

After a little confusion about the parking situation, we went it. It was huge in there!

And of course. Priorities, we first took a gander at the drink menu.

Chris wanted a Hendricks Marttini. But listen to this.. They didnt have it. Why? Because their hard alcohol is ...ta-dah! Local!

So, he got some local gin instead.
I tried a sip, but since gin isn't really my cup of tea,
or my cup of anything- I am a poor judge.

I wanted a Kir Royale, and what they brought me was a prosecco with Creme de Violette. It was very tart, and very yummy.

We sipped and perused

I am sure you can imagine my excitement when our Amuse Bouche arrived.

Not something I am accustomed to here.

A little something from the kitchen, our server said.

It was a wild rice and squash gougere
filled with mascarpone mousse
served with apple raspberry jam.

It was a perfect start to the meal.

For bread service we have the choice between a blue cheese and nut roll, and a goat milk roll.

We each ordered a small plate first.

I was hellbent on getting the Pheasant rillettes.
It was served with Turnip Mostarda (Almost like soft candied turnip.)
and Apple Sourdough croustades.

Christopher ordered the Duck Breast Proscuitto
with Arugula Pistou
Pickled cranberries
and Beet sprouts.

Now, I shit you  not when I say that
every element of this dish was completely

The flavour of the sprouts, the saltiness of the duck.
it was all so balanced and

Nathan's whitefish fritters
disappeared while me and Chris were monkeying
with the camera.

He said they were fantastic though
served with cucumber salad,
sour cream dressing
and chili pepper oil.

And then came time for the mains.

See, aren't you giddy with anticipation!?

I ordered the midwestern cassoulet.
There were 4 kinds of meat in it!
I mean,
most hot dogs can't even claim that!

Smoked lamb, pork, beef sausage,
and pheasant confit.
So flavourful! But, it got a little salty for me after a while.

Both of the guys got the pheasant breast.

of course

Men and their breasts... geez.

They were served with a lovely apple turnip dressing,
braised greens and preserved plum glace de viande (which is a demi-glace that has been even further reduced, for concentrated and brilliant flavour) .

What a really fantastic meal.

I was exceptionally happy, when I was reading and found
that the Chef used to be the Exec. Chef at W.A.Frost and Co!
Which some of you may know, I adore!

Anyhow. If you are looking for a place with
truly fantastic food
prepared by talented (and hopefully washed) hands,
you must check this place out.