Tonight we went to Piccolo for dinner. We’d been there a few months ago and LOVED it. They are extremely talented and creative with a lot of cuts of meat and ingredients that aren’t normally used in other restaurants, because they take a lot of work to get right. Tonight solidified Piccolo as my favorite restaurant. Every course was absolutely perfect. The atmosphere is exactly what I want in a restaurant – refined, but not so stuffy that I feel like I have to wear a jacket, and I even got away with dark jeans tonight. The restaurant is also well lit, which makes looking at the food and taking pictures way, way easier than a lot of other restaurants.
The staff is always super responsive, knowledgeable, and very friendly, which is not always the norm at high end places. Not at all snooty or condescending. Tonight we didn’t want to skip anything on the menu, so we ordered everything (the plates are small, and we skipped the cheese course) and split them between us. Apparently if you do that, you earn a T-Shirt, so Julie and I are now the proud owners of Piccolo T-Shirts, which makes my favorite restaurant that much cooler!
We’ve been lucky enough to have eaten at a lot of really nice restaurants and this one is the best, especially for the price. Yes, it’s more expensive than a normal midwest restaurant, but you can easily spend 2-3 times as much and not get anywhere near as good of food. It truly is a bargain for the quality of the food they are putting out.
Everything was truly amazing, but some standouts included:
The foie gras torchon. I have no idea how they got the smoothest, butteriest texture ever into that foie gras disc, but it was amazing, both in flavor and texture. Julie and I fought over this one.
The proscuitto wrapped shrimp. Again, not sure how they managed to form the shrimp into a roll like that, while keeping the flavor and texture of shrimp. Also was served with a roasted sunchoke and a chicken liver mousse served in shell, which was a really fun and tasy little bonus.
The veal tongue pasta. You could put brown butter sauce on just about anything and I would eat it. Great flavor combinations on this one.
The pork shortribs. Crispy skin and great combo with the chestnuts and apple butter.
The pumpkin spice cake. There were a bunch of interesting flavors in this one, with the really spicy cake and the bacon powder. Definitely not like any dessert I’d ever had before, in a good way.
Even the little accompaniments were amazing. With the duck there was a perfect disc of acorn squash wrapped in Swiss chard. The acorn squash was amazingly soft, and I’m still trying to figure out how they got it to be wrapped perfectly in the chard.
If you are ever in the Twin Cities, you *need* to go to Piccolo. I promise you won’t be disappointed!
On to the pics!