Jfood visits 112 Eatery (MSP) - Can you say unbelievably fantastic?
- jfood Sep 8, 2008 07:11 PM
Jfood had the pleasure of an unbelievable meal at 112 Eatery. Thank you to everyone who suggested this restaurant that now stands tall on Jfood’s “A-List”. And after fighting the traffic in downtown MSP due to construction, jfood would do it again in a heartbeat.
The ambience of the converted warehouse space allow for enjoyment while still maintaining the traditions of the brick walls and copper ceilings. A smallish 8-seat bar greets the diners with 8-10 booths and a few tables on the first floor. There is also a second floor but jfood did not visit. He was solo and grabbed a seat at the bar. The menu is the same as on the restaurant’s website so jfood was well prepared when the bartender brought the menu over.
Jfood ordered the lamb scottadito w/ goats milk yogurt for an appetizer, the tagliatelle w/ foie gras meatballs for an entrée, and a side of pan-fried gnocchi w/ parmesan reggiano.
The bartender brought a basket of bread and butter. The bread was warm and the butter was soft and easy to spread. The bread was a light sour dough with a hint of garlic. It was delightful. Jfood likes salted butter but even the cream butter was great on the bread.
The lamb was served. It was three small chops, pounded thin and grilled. The first bite and jfood knew he was in for a special night. They were prefect. Even with the thinness of the chop the chef was able to keep a little pink on the inside. The goat milk yogurt had parsley included and the combination of the two made for a perfect dish. With the three bones yelling at jfood when he was done with his knife and fork, jfood threw the white flag and grabbed each and gnawed on the bone. Fantastic. It is just too easy to give this dish a 10.
After a nice pause in which jfood had a nice conversation with an elderly couple at the bar the bartender brought the tagliatelle and the gnocchi.
The gnocchi as a side dish was as large as the half order of pasta. They were the size of round nickels, nicely sautéed, placed on the plate with the reggiano perfectly melted on top. The texture was perfect, the potato had a delicate flavor, hard to believe and the reggiano was not too strong for the dish. Again jfood has to give this dish a 10.
The tagliatelle was paper thin, nicely cooked with a great little sauce. Then the best part of the evening, the foie gras meatballs. What the heck were these things. They were about as good as it gets. The foie gras came through nicely, the texture was great and the moistness was perfect. And if you then combined all the elements, the taste of the pasta, sauce and meatballs, all you could do was smile and close your eyes. Another perfect 10.
While eating the entrée jfood struck up a conversation with a couple from Minneapolis. By chance he was also into food to the point that his lovely wife offered jfood a piece of her chicken. Interesting discussion followed on whether the lemon should be added. Jfood tried the chicken with and without the lemon and the wife was right, it was better with the lemon. The three of them discussed restaurants and food for another 20 minutes until the couple needed to leave. jfood thinks he convinced them to look at chowhound, they would be a great addition.
So jfood decided to try some dessert. He ordered the butterscotch budino. A wonderful crème topped with butterscotch sauce and some salt. Jfood thought the crème was perfect, the butterscotch was a tad sweet and he is not a big fan of the salt. But overall he would give this an 8-9.
Service would also have to rank a 9-10.
So for jfood this meal scores a 10. Not only is it on the Must Return list but there is a good chance it will be this week.
Thanks to all for this absolutely gem of perfection.
Glad to hear you had a great time ! I love a restaurant where the chef can pull off cutlets/chops by cooking them med-rare... surprisingly few places pull it off well.
p.s. you refer to yourself in the 3rd person !?
Oh I'm so glad you went! I came across your thread about your not so good experience at Corner Table and I had just been to 112 the night before. I decided we needed to be redeemed and thought 112 seemed perfect so I posted there. I think that kind of food, the classics that 112 does so well and CT tries to do, leave no margin for error. To me if you're going to try to make gnocchi it better be simple and perfect, otherwise don't bother. Oh man...I might have to go and have some gnocchi tonight..