Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > General Midwest Archive >
Jul 16, 2009 06:35 AM

MSP - Going to Alma

I am going to Alma Saturday night and would love to hear any recommendations from you foodies out there.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. I was just there a week ago, my date had the Spring Vegetable & Herb Salad, Braised Lamb in Pastry, and the Slow Roasted Pork; I had the Spice Seared Beef Carpaccio, Warm Artichoke "Panzanella," and Pan Roasted Local Duck. All of it was amazing, they sent us a great amusé and a midcourse. Overall I think I liked my date's meal more than mine. The pork was absolutely fantastic, with the bacon saltiness paired with the sweet-tart of the rhubarb compote. The lamb was also great. It was all delicious, but I felt the duck was missing something and the garnish portions were a little off. I was satisfied with it though since it was duck "two ways" and had a good sized chunk of confit. All around very good meal. Alex, Bryan, Hannah, and crew do a fantastic job at all times.

    1. Do the three courses, try and have it all and enjoy their wine list.

      1. I was there on Tuesday and also had the pork. I agree with amgarrison's assessment. It was a great combination of flavors (richness from pork, salty and crisp from bacon and the sweet tart from the rhubarb compote). I also enjoyed the 2nd course special. It was a a half moon shaped stuffed pasta filled with a delicate, carrot puree. It came with a light sauce, topped with fresh peas. Delightful. I also had some of the lightly crusted halibut. Overall, I enjoyed it. The fish was cooked perfectly, light and flaky, but if I were to go back tomorrow, I wouldn't order it again. Enjoy your dinner.

        1. Judging by amgarrisons post the menu hasnt changed since i was there a few weeks (3?) ago. you can read my report by searching alma in the search function - assuming its working today. ill say this, jfood posted in reply to my post that he had the exact same things and wasnt happy with them but ill say that the miso kissed cod was one of the best things ive ever put in my mouth.

          the duck was without a doubt up to the high standard alex sets at alma (its been great every time ive had it, assuming you love succulent dark meat and beautifully crisp skin). the pea soup was great, the carpaccio as amg mentions was fantastic, i found the lamb a bit heavy but still fantastically lamb-y and the rolled piece of phyllo chock full of it.

          for mains as much as i loved the duck the roasted pork is really beyond compare and made the pork tenderloin medallions we ate at 112 later that week seem sad and almost laughable by comparison. beautifully soft and full of flavor with a great pairing of salty embedded bacon and onion subise, complemented perfectly by the rhubarb as noted upthread.

          ill add that to forget dessert is to do alma a great disservice, as they are really really good, if not the fanciest or most avante garde, the donuts and lemon cake w/berries were great and you'd be hard pressed to find issues with the chocolate caramel tart. the cheese selection is always fantastic and i love that it has included prarie breeze cheddar the last two times i visited, a great way to end an awesome meal. the only issue i would take with alma is the somewhat egregious (though competitive compared to other top end places) mark up on the wine, but we had a very good mid priced california cab that was good for the money, if not a great deal.

          7 Replies
          1. re: tex.s.toast

            alex was not in the kitchen the night jfood was there and the next time, no alex, no jfood. He would rather go down the street to Brasa and give Alex business elsewhere.

            1. re: jfood

              Alex rarely is in the kitchen at Alma as far as I know, Bryan and Mike run the day to day. He's most likely at Brasa 2 most of the time right now. Nicest guy on the planet.

              1. re: amgarrison

                The pork sounds great but may not be an option for me. May go with the Duck if it is great.

                1. re: amgarrison

                  there were no males in the kitchen that night

                  1. re: jfood

                    as ive said in other threads, ive had two stupendous and one very very good meal all without alex's presence. I think that jfood should reconsider his policy if he wants to enjoy alma again, especially with the opening of Brasa 2.

                    Everyone has an off night, and it most certainly is unfortunate that the bill on those nights looks no different from on superb ones.

                    I have certainly noticed alma to have more women cooking than my experience tells me is typical of the biz, but an all female crew? interesting. If i am not mistaken Bryan is a somewhat stocky guy with substantially more hair under his head than on top (ok im thinking of a bald guy with a big beard)

                    1. re: tex.s.toast

                      yeah your right TST, one post late at night, the other way too early. jfood will definitely be back. gotta get some sleep.

                      1. re: jfood

                        phew. id hate to think such a prolific consumer of our fine cuisine would write off a place based on a single meal (even as i finish posting about my bad 112 experience and why i dont think it was a single night execution issue).

                        if you get back before they've changed the menu, definitely try the lamb middle and the pork main. if well raised and truly flavorful sheep and pigs dont scream authentically midwestern (in a more delicious way than your recent jucy lucy's) than i dont know what does.