On Sunday morning, Julie and I traveled over to Minneapolis for a couple of days of mini-vacation. We ate at a couple nice restaurants, caught a Twins game, and even dealt with a somewhat flat tire and a trip to Ikea.
We left early Sunday, parked the car at the hotel, and walked over to Target Field. We met my parents there an hour or so before the game and walked over to a nearby pizza place for lunch. If you are in the area, Black Sheep Pizza is a highly recommended spot. Great pizza, perfect crust, and not at all expensive.
We then went over to the game and got baked in the sun for a few hours. I have to start remembering that day games have extra considerations for seating vs. night games. The Twins won, and I think everyone had a good time, so in that regard the game was a success.
Mini-mascots helping with the T-Shirt cannon.
After the game, my parents went back to their campsite and we walked back to the hotel to check in. I normally just get nice downtown hotels via Priceline, usually at ridiculously good prices. This allows us to try all the different hotels in the area. The W Hotel was definitely on the nicer end of where we’ve stayed. The hotel was almost too hip for us – with giant pink lighting in the lobby and lots of dark paints in the room. There was also a window from the bedroom into the shower, which was a little strange. Overall though, the room was super comfortable, well laid out, and Julie says it had probably the best toiletries of just about any hotel we’ve stayed out. It’s not a big hotel, with only about 10 rooms on each floor, but I’m hoping Priceline will come back with this one again on a future visit.
The outside of the hotel
Quite the mini-bar. There was a whole drawer full of snacks
Frosted window from the bedroom into the shower
After cleaning up, we headed over to the Bachelor Farmer for dinner. They do a Sunday Supper, which is 3 courses, served family style. They don’t accept reservations on Sunday, and you don’t really have a say in the food, unless there are dietary restrictions. We had a similar meal at Niche when we were in St. Louis last year. We found the restaurant just fine, and were impressed with the decor. They did a great job of transforming what appears to have been a warehouse space into a very cool, comfortable restaurant.
The door to the restaurant
Me, waiting for food
Julie, waiting for food
The first course was fried squash blossoms with roasted zucchini and foraged chanterelle mushroom stuffing, Bibb lettuces and Champagne vinegar. I wasn’t sure what to expect when they brought it out, but the stuffed squash blossoms were awesome, and the lettuce had a great flavor, even on its own with just the vinegar dressing.
Squash blossom and lettuce
The main course was whole roasted chicken, new potatoes, caramelized cauliflower, and basil-marinated cherry tomatoes. Very simple, but everything was cooked and seasoned perfectly. It was a lot of food, but we polished it off happily. The bannock that came as the bread was one of our favorite things. Super buttery and rich and it went amazingly well with the honey butter they provided.
Chicken and bannock
The last course was orange granita, crème fraîche ice cream, Cointreau strawberries, vanilla bean hardtack. We didn’t seem to grab a picture of this, but it was a nice, refreshing finisher to the meal.
Overall, if you have a chance to go on a Sunday, or otherwise, we heartily recommend the Bachelor Farmer.
Monday, we decided to take it easy in the morning and headed over to the Midtown Global Market around 11:00 or so. The market houses the Salty Tart bakery, which is one of my favorite bakeries (after A Dash of Delicious, of course). We had a few items, but my favorite thing is always their pastry cream filled brioche. Sweet brioche muffin, filled with pastry cream, and then rolled in sugar. Nothing not to like.
Stuffing a pastry cream filled brioche into my face
We grabbed lunch at a very good Mexican restaurant in the market and then headed over to Ikea to pick up a few minor things on a list. On our way there, we ended up going through some heavy construction and hit a pot hole with a huge amount of force. I don’t know that I’ve ever felt a jolt quite like that in a car before. We didn’t notice anything amiss, but when we got out at Ikea to inspect, I noticed that our right front tire had a pretty good size bubble / bulge in the sidewall. I’d never seen anything like that before, but after a quick Google investigation, it turns out that this is not a good thing and requires the tire to be replaced. Luckily the car was still drivable, so we called over to a Tires Plus and they got the tire in while we shopped at Ikea. Replacing the tire took about 45 minutes and we were back in business. Not an ideal situation, but it could have been much worse. I take full responsibility for tempting fate since I was talking about making sure we get the spare tire checked before we drive to Montreal this fall.
After getting the tire fixed up, we headed over to Piccolo for our normal, spectacular Minneapolis dinner (the highlights of which are below) and then drove home. Couldn’t ask for a better 2 day getaway.
Chilled sweet corn soup with buttered popcorn, hearts of palm, and cornsilk
Watermelon “gazpacho” with chevre, radishes, chervil, and olive oil jelly (a favorite of the night)
Burrata with compressed oranges, celery, wild fennel pollen, and chili oil
Slow cooked veal heart with canned Italian tuna, lardo, and capers
Scrambled brown eggs with pickled pig’s feet, truffle butter, and Parmigiano
Potato gnocchi with Swiss chard, anchovies, and soft cooked duck egg
Spanish octopus with heirloom tomatoes, squid ink tortellini, black olives, and dill
Hamachi poached in ham hock stock with squash blossom, zucchini, and bay leaf gel
Callistor Farms chicken, veal brans with spruce pain perdu, fennel, and fig and lemon jam
Quail with pickled cherries, tarragon bread pudding, San Marzano tomatoes, and pistachio puree
Lamb breast with watercress, caramelized lemon, artichoke puree, and chèvre
Duroc pork belly with asparagus, green apple puree, and parmesan pudding