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Jfood visits Heartland (St Paul) - Elegant Simplicity

jfood Sep 24, 2008 06:51 PM

Jfood finished his Tri-fecta week of dinners in MSP by dining at Heartland. This little gem is tucked in a residential neighborhood in St. Paul and Jfood really appreciated his Garmin to arrive. It was early so the restaurant was just beginning the evening service.

The best way to describe the experience was elegant simplicity.

The hostess/server showed Jfood his table with windows to his back so he could read his book with natural light. A nice glass of water and Jfood looked at the menu.

He was looking forward to the boar chop but with hazelnut in the cauliflower gratin asked the server if he could substitute one of the other dish’s sides. The server told him no problem. Then as Jfood was reviewing the menu, she returned and told him the chef would make the gratin without the nuts, very nice.

So Jfood ordered the rabbit prepared three ways as an appetizer and the wild boar chop as an entree.

The rabbit was prepared (a) braised confiture roulade, (b) smoke loin and (c) crabapple liver mousse. The mousse was perfect, a slight tanginess offset the sweetness of the apple-gooseberry compote with a smoothness that melted on the tongue. The smoked loin brought a deep smokiness and tenderness and was accompanied by a chokecherry-ginger reduction where the ginger offset the loin's smokiness. The third piece was a nicely braised piece of rabbit rolled within a sweet pastry and slightly browned. with an eggplant-golden raisin mostarda. Jfood has to rate this dish a 10.

The wild boar chop was perfectly cooked. Beautiful grill marks and flavor on the outside and beautifully pink on the interior. The taste was a combination of lamb and pork, a light gaminess but not overwhelming at all. The cauliflower was crisp and flavorful and the maple syrup reduction was divine. Now Jfood does not see a lot of boar in CT so this was a real treat. Although Jfood loved the boar the cauliflower just did not do anything for him. The sauce on the other hand was as good as it gets. So Jfood will rate this dish a 9. Whether it would garner a 10 if Jfood could have eaten with the hazelnuts, not sure, but a great simple dish.

So Jfood is 3 for 3 on great dinner this week in MSP. 112 Eatery, Alma and Heartland. And Jfood just heard that Mrs. Jfood is making cheese blintzes for dinner when he lands tomorrow night back home. Oh man what a week.

Thank you so much MSP Hounds.

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  1. b
    BigE Sep 25, 2008 07:30 AM

    That is quite the week.

    The boar chop at Heartland might be my favorite entree in MSP.

    1. k
      karykat Sep 25, 2008 09:44 AM

      You've hit all our favorite places. (Aren't you glad I told you to go to Heartland?)
      Thanks for these great reviews.

      1. manomin Sep 25, 2008 02:57 PM

        Thanks for the reviews - nice detail. I'm heading there myself in Nov. and will have my birthday
        there can't figure out where though. I'm already going to 112 before the Rockettes. You've
        given me "food for thought" - a hui hou!

        1. Phoo_d Sep 30, 2008 02:43 PM

          Jfood - Glad to hear that Heartland delivered for you. You defined it perfectly. After a meal there once, I had the fortune of chatting with the head chef (can't recall his name). We had eaten a wonderful risotto with lamb bacon. He explained that he purchases the lamb whole and butchers it himself to gain access to marvelous cuts like the bacon. That place is a gem.

          1 Reply
          1. re: Phoo_d
            s
            soupkitten Sep 30, 2008 02:47 PM

            lenny russo

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