Heidi's- Woodman's new resto in MSP
- GastronautMN Oct 17, 2007 11:01 PM
I saw that Heidi's in the former Pane Vino Dolce space was open for a Private Party tonight. Any CHs had a taste yet?
I like Blackbird a lot and I am worried that they may get overlooked by the Woodman (much deserved) hype. Will the neighborhood be able to adequatley support two new chef driven joints that close to one another (they share a common wall)?
If there is a neighborhood that will support 2 nearby small chef-driven restaurants, it's that area. The area demographics are amazing. Grab a map and look @ the area within a one mile radius of 50th and Aldrich. It's thick with the wealthy, liberal and highly educated...just the type of folks who want great chef-driven unique dining establishments in their neighborhood. A reliable source told me that according to a demographic study that 18% of residents within a mile of that intersection posess a PhD. It's a goldmine.
What else is on that block...is there a coffee house?
re: g rote
Blackbird is in the former home of a Caribou. There is also the Malt shop next door, but that is aiming at a different market and is pretty hit and miss in regards to quality.
And yes, I have known that Woodman has been planning to take the joint over for months. It's been kinfd of hard to miss if you read much on food in the TC.
We went to Heidi's on Halloween.
The first thing we noticed was that the wine was served at the right temperature. This is to say that the red we chose was chilled slightly and wasn't room temperature. A wine that is to cold will warm up over time there is no fix (except perhaps ice from your water) for an overly warm wine.
I had Beet Variation #13. If you had told me I would eat beet sorbet on a bed of brussel sprouts and like it before halloween I would have doubted you, but it was really good.
Darling Hubby(DH) had 'Buffalo' shrimp skewers. They shrimp were rolled in blue cheese and panko (with some sort of technical prep I just don't remember) and were served with a celery foam. DH's responce was "This is great, now All I need is a beer and a football game."
I had the Pork tenderloin with a curry sauce and a bacon carrot pie. The pork was beautifully done and was complimented beautifully by the curry sauce which was well balanced and didn't make me feel like I had eaten a curry bomb(which had occured to us elsewhere recently). The bacon carrot pie was interesting. What really struck me about it was not the bacon or the carrots but the amazingly lovely pie crust they sat in.
It was wonderful, a thing of beauty, I aspire to being able to make a crust like that.
DH had the Short rib filet with the sesame spatzle. It was super tasty also (He actually let me have some of it as opposed to him keeping the shrimp to himself.)
The service was great. The space was nice. I don't know that I personally like the wall sconces but they work in the space.
We will be back.
My friend and I went there a couple of nights ago. The service is outstanding! To begin, we were served generous portions of freshly cut bread. The buffalo shrimp were the low point of the meal. . . the coating was soggy and they were lukewarm. The blue cheese/celery foam was good. The squash soup was amazing!! It was delicious, creamy, buttery, and light. In the center were tiny cubes of roasted squash. It was garnished with delicious strips of fried sage. The seared ahi tuna appetizer was delicious too--tiny squares of ruby red seared tuna were placed on top of a couple strips of eggplant and garnished with some kind of flavored oil/vinegar sauce (I tasted wasabi) and slivers of crispy eggplant skin. Lastly, the vegetarian paradalla was good too--it had some kind of vegetable ragu on top. . .maybe root vegetables in what I think was a brown butter sauce.
A friend and I ordered up 10 items. 4 apps, 4 entrees, and 2 desserts. 110 bucks. With nary a problem in sight - and once you consider they have been open less than a month, even more exciting knowing this isn't even the ceiling...probably far from it...
The notable dishes of the evening were the crab spring rolls stuffed with a crab mousse and an excellent cilantro pesto/sauce - 5 bites for 9.00 gets you to that point where Thomas Keller strives for - leaving you wanting just one more bite...never letting your palette get tired of crab, herb, chewy spring rolls. The lollipops are another delight for 9 dollars .50. Little chicken drummies (braised? So tender to be just cooked) executed simply and deftly. Paired with dried apricots, some greens, and truffle - simple food. Yet executed good enough to be exciting, interesting, delightful.
The favorite for myself of the night has to be the Turnip Ravioli. 6-8? raviolis on a plate filled with a wonderfully light, but full of fall, turnip puree. A wonderful complement, an acidic, smooth brown butter sauce and some pea greens. Thats it. Nothing more...nothing more is necessary. It is fall without being heavy, it is perfection without being extravagant.
The few things that fizzled for me were the Halibut, which needed seasoning and citrus (the broth, and fish were lacking both) and the creme brulee was pasty/starchy? After having many a creme brulee, this one wasn't appealing, and was the only thing that wasn't finished. Those are both most forgivable on a day that was not only really busy, but still really early on in the life of the restaurant. I only speak of these things because it helps the kitchen get better, more refined.
As for the service, it needs some fine tuning, but was good enough. However, I feel considering the type of food served/atmosphere I was being sold - the service could stand to be a bit more professional - I felt our server got a little too casual with us, detracting from the overall experience. Again, not a glaring issue, and one I expect to be honed as the months pass - just throwing it out there...
I was there last night for dinner. We arrived shortly after 5p without a reservation and were seated with no problem. My friend and I shared the beet appetizer - very unusual and very good. She ordered the short ribs, I had the turnip ravioli and a side salad of cauliflower and arugula. The short ribs were so tender no knife was needed and the flavor was rich and satisifying on a cool night. The ravioli tasted like fall and the brown butter sauce gave it a sweet edge. The cauliflower in the salad was roasted, a nice surprise.
Service was just right - we will go back.
Went last night. Food was outstanding. Wine was freezing cold (red) and service was good, not great. Price points and overall total bill were excellent.
Wish it was in Saint Paul
Live nearby and have been to Heidi's several times - tried most menu items and the food has been exceptional. Great, intense flavors and reasonable price points. Service has been hit and miss, depending on the server, but seems to be improving. Feel fortunate to have this place (and Blackbird) within walking distance....
mmmm, good dinner at Heidi's this past weekend. Very solid bottle of Malbec robust and fruity not tannic at all. I may have to explore the Malbec range a little more now...
The meal... Wife enjoyed a spinch salad with asiago and mushroom vinaigrette. I reluctantly tasted it (mushrooms being the one thing i just don't "get"). Surprisingly I really liked it. The entrees were similarly good. I got the sweet and sour pork which I loved. My only qualm would be that there wasn't anything to balance the sweetness of the sauce... something like some fresh greens on the side. That said, I did love it and I ate every bite. Wife got the Turnip ravioli which has been discussed on this thread already. Indeed very tasty.
We'll be going back
The new menu came out last week.
The turnip ravioli has been replace with a beet and goat cheese ravioli.
There is a foie gras dish which is the best we have ever had from Chef Woodman. It's foie on a bed of lentils and all of which was sitting on a crepe. So freaking nummy.
The lamb shank with anise and lavender on a bed of wild rice was beautifully cooked and interesting.
And good Heavens the sides. The potatoes raclette(sp?) were great and only to be topped by the pea and carrot risotto where he used carrot juice and pea shoots as elements in the dish.
CG and I went to Heidi’s last night. Lots have posted here about the volume and sort of lack of ambience, and they were not wrong. I’m not complaining—but if you are looking for quiet or romantic, you should know this might not be the right place.
The food eclipsed any care about loud acoustics, the occasional chilly blast from the opening front door, or even the envious “crusty” we were getting from people waiting for their tables- reservations are a MUST. Here’s what we ordered:
Crab spring roll with cilantro pesto and jalapeno jelly beans- made me rock back and forth with delight. Soft (not chewy at all) spring roll paper with pillowy crab filling- and the jalapeno beans? Ferran Adria would be proud.
Crepe with foie gras, curried black beluga lentils, Hibiscus syrup- I think I heard music with the first mouthful. The richness of the foie contrasted with the tart- sweet hibiscus syrup was a symphony.
Buffalo shrimp, panko, blue cheese and celery foam- really interesting how they got the blue cheese combined with the panko, but there wasn't as much moistness as I was hoping for. A little underseasoned, according to CG.
Side of arugula cauliflower salad- slightly oversalted, but I liked the roasted cauliflower
Side of buttered pappardelle- perfectly cooked, and THE side to get if you have any dish with a sauce component
Homemade ravioli stuffed with beets, goat cheese, and chives served on a bed of truffle scented beet and fennel broth- the scent of truffle greeted me. The ravioli were stuffed full, and the chevre balanced the beets beautifully. Loved the crispy potato threads atop the foam.
Special of pan roasted pork tenderloin atop celery infused couscous with mushroom tarragon sauce- moist and perfectly balanced. Not overly tarragon-y, and I loved the combo of the sauce with the pappardelle. Nice use of Israeli couscous, as well.
Dessert- chocolate cake with espresso ice cream- the cake was a little dry and the whipped cream, while having a lovely anise flavor, was overwhipped.
We do give HUGE points for being served room temp unsalted butter, sprinkled with salt.
My new benchmark for the best finishing touch? When I order coffee, I always ask for “heavy cream and sugar.” Most times the server nods, and then proceeds to bring me half-and-half. Only twice (this being the second time) in the TC have I ever been given actual HEAVY cream—that was perfect.
One comment about the service—although there were hiccups, when we placed the order for all the different dishes, I told the server we didn’t really care about the order— I would much rather have food come out as it’s ready than have food sitting around waiting for other dishes to be finished before delivery- that’s when you get soggy crusts, lukewarm sides, etc. He was brilliant about how he paced the meal- we got the crab spring roll (the easiest one to share) as our pre-appetizer starter, then the shrimp and the foie, then our entrees and sides.
We were so pleased, we will definitely be back.
I hosted a dinner for 18 people there last week in the back room and it was a fantastic experience. They gave us a short "greatest hits" menu that included the Lamb Shank, Sea Bass and the Carrot and Spring pea shoot Risotto for entrees and a variety of the appetizers and desserts. Everything was spot on. It was a little loud but I could hear guests the whole time except for a couple of short moments but this was a table of 19 people.
The service was great too. Attentive without being fawning. They checked in with me about timing of courses and everything worked like clockwork. I have run many events like this and this really was the easiest to execute, and most importantly my clients loved it. I was getting love letters from clients for days afterword.
I would highly recommend this place for entertaining.
Dizzy, we were there last night as well and totally agree. Service was really slow as was the kitchen. We also thought the food was a hit/miss deal.
Lamp & Filet special were outstanding, lobster soup & butter lettuce salad were good, and the beet ravioli was a total miss for us. Our server did mention that Woodman had just tweaked the recipe. To their credit, when we mentioned the miss on the beets for us, they comped the dish, which they certainly did not have to do.
On a wine note. We asked our server for a rec and it was also a miss; even after consulting with their "wine expert." In fact, it didn't pair with any of the 5 dishes we ordered.
I so wanted to love this place, but since we don't live in the area, it's unlikely we'd go back.
Had dinner here on Sunday evening.
Did the butter lettuce salad and foie gras crepe.
Beet/goat cheese ravioli - sea bass - pheasant special
We weren't in a particular rush so the casual service didn't matter much. The dining room is loud and on this particular night, quite warm. They eventually propped a door open. Which felt like a peculiar solution. Any hesitations I have about the place are mostly on the ambiance side of the equation.
Food was strong though. The beet ravioli was perhaps the winner of the nice for us. My pheasant was good...the sauce was perhaps a bit over salted. The foie gras was good...tasted like an earthy autumn dish, so I was happy to have the lighter salad. Everybody liked their meals and we had a nice wine that seemed to work with the variety.