Sunday, October 23, 2011

Restaurant Rumination :: Wise Acre Eatery

This weekend I headed over to the Tangletown neighborhood of Minneapolis to check out Wise Acre Eatery with some friends.  I've been wanting to check out this farm-to-table restaurant for some time now, and let me tell you, it was well worth the wait.  Except that I shouldn't have waited so long... 

Just on paper, Wise Acre is pretty astounding.  The two owners of Wise Acre are farm boys at heart, and after starting the neighboring Tangletown garden center, they decided to begin a restaurant venture serving meals sourced from their family farm in Plato, Minnesota.  The menu states that the ingredients have been harvested within the last 24 hours from the 130-acre farm, and that is certainly a boast-worthy quality.  You can taste the freshness and the love for the ingredients in every bite.  In fact, my friend said that he'd never had such amazing tasting beef before.  And it wasn't due to any spices or seasonings...the inherent flavor of the food was what delighted him most.  We decided that it was probably because the cows are happy!

The atmosphere itself  is lovely.  It felt warm and friendly inside the small space, complete with a small bar and a spot up front showcasing all of the goodies available for purchase.  (You can buy eggs, canned items, and lots of other great items right from the restaurant!)  We sat outside because the weather was still quite nice and the patio was dotted with large, space heaters to cut down on the chill.  So I could see the hustle and bustle inside, but I was able to enjoy the fresh air with my friends.  Awesome. 

And the food....oh my the food......  Holy stars it was amazing!  To start, I ordered the pickle plate for the table.  I love pickles and will often eat an entire jar in one sitting (not even joking), but pickled veggies are a bit of a question mark.  This plate featured pickled eggs, pickled garlic, and other pickled vegetables, offering enough for a few bites for each of us.  Turns out, I don't mind pickled veggies and I'm now obsessed with pickled garlic!  The pickling wasn't overwhelming so the sweetness of the vegetables really shone through.  I had half a mind to buy a jar of pickled garlic before I left, but I don't want to make a habit out of eating jars of garlic. 

My main course was similarly fantastic: harvest crepe cannelloni.  Sweet and delicious crepes were rolled into cannelloni shapes and stuffed with a ratatouille made with all fresh vegetables.  Served alongside the faux pasta rolls was a great mix of creamy and kerneled corn that was cooked to perfection and some broccoli florets with basil and roasted almonds.  Blew my MIND.  I wish I could say that I tackled my dinner with some restraint, but I had gobbled up everything on my plate before my friends had finished half of their burgers.  I just couldn't help myself.  So I started helping myself to bits off of surrounding plates and was able to try a few more options.  

My four friends ordered some of the burger options, which came with a side of fries and wild rice slaw.  The wild rice slaw could be a meal all on it's own.  Think of a traditional slaw but subtract the often overpowering (but admittedly delicious) dressing, add a subtle sweetness, and throw in hearty grains of wild rice.  You've got yourself a great side!  And in perfect fall fashion, the french fries were served with a homemade pumpkin cranberry ketchup.  Swoon worthy, for sure. 

But hands down, the best part of the meal was the dessert.  We ordered two sundaes, one a traditional brownie sundae with vanilla custard and hot fudge, and one specialty sundae made with rosemary custard and poached pears.  I have no words to describe the amazing deliciousness of this rosemary custard.  Subtle rosemary flavor...creamy custard...happiness all around.  I desperately want more.  The presentation of the sundaes in little, squat jars was cute, but it made it challenging to get at the corners of the brownie tucked at the bottom!  But among friends, messiness is encouraged, and we all made it work!

So if you haven't left for Wise Acre Eatery and you are still reading this blog, shame on you. Go there right now.  The dinner options are fantastic and the breakfast menu is making me very excited. They don't take reservations, but if you have to wait, enjoy the decor (there's an adorable print in the women's restroom!), and contemplate a pickled garlic purchase.  Now stop reading and start eating!

1 comment:

  1. I went for breakfast and was served a plate of cold food, which included potatoes with rotten black spots. The din was awful, service worse. Will not go back.