MSP Dara Didn't Exaggerate - Barbette is Great
I went to Barbette this evening with a friend and while I stuck to my favorites (salad, cheese plate and pommes frites) he ventured into new territory by ordering the lamb with sweet green curry.
Let me say that a well dressed salad is a thing of beauty and my perky fresh field greens were perfectly dressed. And though this might sound picky, I am so happy that they halved the grape tomatoes which were separately dressed in a little olive oil, basil and garlic. On such a hair challenging high humidity day it was just what I needed.
The fries rocked as they always do.
Hey, it was a cheese and fruit plate so not much to go on about there. Maybe one thing: Under the bread was a cute little surprise of raisins, currants and pine nuts. Kinda fun.
My friend who is not given to praise (I never heard him comment on food except to say "It's fine."), said when I asked him about the lamb "I think this might actually be excellent." Higher praise from a stoic can not be heard. I asked to taste the curry and it was maybe the most complex blend of flavors I've tasted in quite a while.
The waitress got extra points for asking my friend if he'd like a little bread to soak up the remaining curry sauce. The suggestion and bread were warmly received.
I guess this means I have to go back to do a little menu exploring of my own. The soup tonight was tomato watermelon and basil. Man, I wish I'd gotten it even though I don't really like cold soups. Ouch! (that's the sound of me kicking myself).
1600 W Lake St, Minneapolis, MN 55408
Yep, I have always liked this place. It was great to hear from Dara that the table service during the day might have improved -- because of that I had taken to going only for dinner, and making sure I sat at the bar.
And their Bastille Day festival last Sunday was a blast! (except that they ran out of mussels and clams. And corn. And burgers. But they had rivers of Bell's on tap.
There are weeks when I eat at Barbette three or four times. Which, I realize, is crazy. But they do a really solid breakfast every day, nice light lunches, terrific happy hour grub, super full-on meals... it's hard to find an occasion NOT to go there. And it's a swell place to bring out-of-towners to prove that Minneapolis has culture. In my book -- and among my friends -- a modestly priced, classy neighborhood joint that delivers sophistication and fun without being too uptight is generally more impressive than $30-a-plate haute cuisine.
I share the Colonel Mustard love, too. Barbette is my favorite place to take people when they're in from out of town. I like showing off that place much more than showing off most of the other top shelf places because the place has such charm. It's proximity to the lake also makes it attractive. It's like a "look, see, we're not about igloos and whitening agents."