My significant other and I recently ate at Wild Sage. As a dedicated foodie, we have frequented what I consider to be "all" the fine dining establishments in Sioux Falls, but had yet to try Wild Sage.
The building location is downtown, and somewhat out of the way, which I assume contributes in part to its relative unknown nature; the interior, however, is beautiful - definitely one of the nicer in Sioux Falls, in my eyes second only to Foley's.
We arrived for an early dinner, so service was a bit spotty. There were numerous times that we saw servers standing around by the pass, waiting for something to do or someone to serve. Although a minor quibble, this is not something I would expect from an upper-tier establishment. The menu is focused on regional, locally-grown game and vegetables, and is reasonably priced for the area. Appetizers are $5-10 and entrees are $20-25. Wine list is by no means expansive, but there are a fair amount (roughly 40) bottles, with the average glass being $8.
I had a superb Pinot Noir from Oregon, and my date had a light Chardonnay; although there was no somellier on staff, our waiter was knowledgeable about wines, and selected two that paired nicely with our entrees, which was appreciated.
As we had a movie we were hoping to attend that night, we opted for salads to start, bypassing the appetizers. She got a simple field salad (hard to go wrong there) with the usual accoutrements and a house-made garlic ranch that was quite good. The only flaw I could find was that the cherry tomatoes were very cold and hard, suggesting that they used frozen product - again, not what I expected from an establishment of this caliber. However, these were offset by the absolutely stunning sliced carrot that garnished the salad. I'm not sure of the preparation, but I believe that they were simply butter poached, as the flavor was the most vibrant I have ever tasted in a carrot. It sounds funny to attribute so much deliciousness to a garnish on the side salad, but these were literally the best-tasting carrots I have ever had. I, on the other hand, opted for the Caesar salad. Agian, hard to go wrong here...great lettuce and great dressing; if anything, the presence of purchased parmesan detracted from the dish - I just like it so much more when there is fresh shaved or grated...oh well.
For mains, she had the red snapper. This was a simple preparation where the fish was coated in panko and parmesan, then flash fried, resulting in a crisp exterior and flaky, moist interior. I was initially leery of her ordering the dish, as she is not a big fish or seafood fan, but my fears were unfounded. A well-done, mild whitefish that she thoroughly enjoyed. The snapper was accompanied by a sweet tomato chutney, which helped foil the bitter parmesan, and worked well overall. I ordered the duck breast, which came in a port-cranberry reduction. Traditionally, I have been served duck breast rare or, at the most, medium rare. This, however, came out just over medium, with no trace of pink in the meat at all. Although this wasn't a huge effect on the meat, I could definitely tell that there was some moisture and texture lost, as the duck was lacking the velvety, succulent quality that traditionally defines a savory duck breast. This was remedied, however, by the port-cranberry reduction, which was sensational. When combine with a few craberries and the sauce, the duck breast was transported to new heights of flavor, leaving me completely devoid of any disappointment over possible overcooking. The fat caul around the breast was left on while searing, leaving a thin layer of savory, gelatinous flavor that was greatly appreciated. All in all, a good sized portion of flavorful duck that would have benefitted from cooking less, combined with a knockout sauce that nearly salvaged the entire dish. Sides for both dishes were steamed seasonal vegetables, with roasted potatoes for her and garlic mashed for me. Very well done on the vegetables, which I believe were locally grown.
Neither of us are huge dessert fans, but as this was our first time at the establishment, we decided to go with a fruit tart/crisp that was being offered that night. I assume that there is not a permanent pastry chef on staff, but this was quite well-executed, with a flaky crust giving way to a moist interior filled with raspberries, blackberries, strawberries and apples in a dark fruit sauce. A nice way to end the meal, and certainly not too heavy or filling.
Altogether, with two salads, two mains, dessert and 4 glasses of wine, the bill was just south of $90 - certainly reasonable, considering the decor, ambience, service and food. Wild Sage is definitely on their way to becoming one of the premier dining establishments in Sioux Falls. Although I enjoy Tre Lounge and Foley's a bit more, we will definitely be returning to Wild Sage, and I can see this place most certainly becoming one of our go-to's for a nice meal. I would highly reccommend this restaurant, and cannot wait to return!
Wild Sage Grille
300 N. Cherapa Place
Sioux Falls, SD 57103
Wild Sage-- in the Cherapa Place Building-- local organic seasonal and varied menu. Wine & beer.
Sushi Masa-- yes, sushi in Sioux Falls. Quite good for the Midwest
Tea Steak House (Tea, SD, 7 miles from SF)-- great meat. Cheap. The rest is a trip :) Do not expect a reasonable wine experience
Taqueria Nikki's-- Small (mexican) tacos... $1.25 each. Long on flavor, short on atmosphere
girasole(s?)--means sunflower in spanish-- it's not too far from the main "cute" part of town. A mexican restaurant with great food, in a strip mall setting, but don't be fooled --food is good (or at least was a year ago)...the original owner opened a new place but not sure what the name is or where located in sioux falls...the people at girasole would know