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Dec 3, 2009 06:07 PM

Jfood hits Craftsman (MSP) - Fantastic

The last time Jfood visited Craftsman it was part of the 2009 Great Cheeseburger Hunt. With that escapade over Jfood returned to try some of the chef’s cold weather fare. So after working his way through his Garmin sending him down dead end streets (same as the first time) he arrived, parked and grabbed a seat at the bar.

As he spoke with the bartender, he discovered she really knew her menu, her restaurants, and her food up to showing Jfood the menu of that little restaurant in NY named Per Se where she ate the past weekend.

After a few discussion points, Jfood decided to order a half order of the Spaghetti Carbonara with guanciale, egg, cream and cheese as a appetizer and the Confit of rabbit leg with creamy polenta and a sauté of greens garnished with a honey gastrique as his entrée.

The server brought a few slices of bread and butter. The bread was very good but the butter was outstanding. It was difficult to not eat this quickly.

After a few minutes the Carbonara arrived. It was about the size of a fist. Atop the pasta was a nice amount of grated cheese and the first item Jfood noticed was the amount of guanciale. The bartender arrived and explained that the guanciale was house made. After a few bites Jfood thought this was once of the best Carbonara Jfood has ever tasted. He slowly worked his way through the entire dish.

After a short break the rabbit arrived. Jfood's first bite was the polenta. It was wonderful. And the polenta had a trace of the honey gastrique and the flavor of this sauce was beyond description. Now Jfood moved onto the rabbit. He slowly sliced a small piece and had a huge decision, eat it solo or place some polenta on it. Naked was the way to go. Perfect, perfect. Now it was time to blend the flavors. Jfood took a little rabbit, a little polenta and some gastrique and tried it all together. Eyes closed, slow breath and a big smile. This dish was like a big old-fashioned food-hug. Jfood continued through this delightful meal.

So Jfood will give Craftsman a big thumb’s up and thanks the entire staff for a great meal.

Craftsman Restaurant
4300 Lake Street, Minneapolis, MN 55406

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  1. This is my favorite restaurant in Minneapolis. Glad you enjoyed it.

    1. I live in the neighborhood and enjoy the Craftsman once a month or so. Make sure you have the charcuterie plate next time. All home made/aged/cured etc. Maybe add a salad and you will be good to go.

      1. To piggyback off what dalewest said, Mike Phillips (Head Chef/Owner) is well known for his in house charcuterie program.

        This place is near the top of my 'must try' list.

        Thanks, as always, for a nice review.

        2 Replies
        1. re: BigE

          The bartender made sure to tell jfood the guanciale was house made. And given how great it was the meat platter looks like a real treat for the next visit.

          1. re: jfood

            i second, third, or fourth the recs for the fabulous in-house charcuterie plate--though it would be a huge app for a solo diner, close to a meal in itself. glad you went past the burger at the craftsman. i also rec the venison-- a fantastic cold-weather main. anything with local meats, chef mike phillips tends to knock out of the park.

        2. How was their wine list? Last (and only) time I was at Craftsman, about 6 months ago, the wine list was really unappealing to me. We ended up having beers instead...because they had some good stuff on the beer list.

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