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Molecular Gastronomy?

I'm coming to the Cities for a visit in July, and I was looking for restaurants that incorporate Molecular Gastronomy into their menus. I found a post from a year ago on the same topic that mentioned Cosmos may have some MG dishes on the menu. Any other restaurants to try?

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  1. Not that I've heard of, although you should wait for the more experienced diners / posters to throw their two cents in.

    My reply is mostly about the fad and viability of MG. I think there are only a few cities that can truly support the MG dedicated places, NY, CHI, LA, etc., due to the generally high cost. I wonder what percentage of the big hitters (Alinea, WD-50, Moto) clientele is local / frequent, and not destination based? I think it's cool that it exists, and that it helps expands technique and ideas about food and flavor, but how much of it is gimmick and just for show?

    As it pertains to MN, I don't think Minnesotans are exactly known for wanting extremely daring cuisine bundled with generally miniscule portions and high prices.

    That said, I just bought the Alinea cookbook to dink around with. The olive oil pudding, while basic, will melt your face off it's so good.

    1. The only thing even remotely close would be what Bradstreet is doing with ice. I don't see finding anyplace in MSP that would satisfy your search.

      If I really wanted to tap authorities on this question, I would email or post to the blogs of Dara Moskowitz Grumdahl or Andrew Zimmern.

      2 Replies
      1. re: MSPD

        Maybe inquire at Piccolo? They are certainly doing micro-sized portions.......:) but maybe not molecular sized

      2. This is so far away from me.

        1. I've seen some MG techniques at play at Spoonriver as well as Cosmos.

          750 S 2nd St, Minneapolis, MN 55401

          1. Molecular gastronomy is a pretty broad term.

            Victory 44 always has a few dishes that incorporate the science as it is commonly understood. They are big on presenting ingredients in various states, from foam to crisps. However you classify it, the food is amazing.

            Victory 44
            2203 44th Ave N, Minneapolis, MN

            2 Replies
            1. re: kevin47

              I agree that Victory 44 is the closest we have to anyone doing MG. Tasmanian Honey Pearls were on my plate last week. Little jellied spheres of honey. Fun stuff. Go with the tasting menu, for sure.

              Cosmos and Piccolo both play at it some, too. I love MG. Alinea / Grant Achatz has been my favorite dining experience for years. I find that Victory 44's creativity and whimsy are the closest we have to that in MSP.

              Victory 44
              2203 44th Ave N, Minneapolis, MN

              1. re: FireRev

                For the price, I'd absolutely give Victory a whirl. The creativity is top notch.

            2. v-44 does play with its food a bit, but the atmosphere and level of service is so *not* alinea. it would make for a fun dinner, but it's important to bear in mind that the place is at its heart a neighborhood bar with a great deal of talent under the hood-- but there will still be dudes sitting at the bar enjoying their burgers. half the time the service model makes it so that you wind up sitting there for fifteen minutes with nothing in front of you before you flag down a cook/server for the check. i like v-44, but i don't want the op's expectations to be way off base, here.

              observation: our best restaurants, at every price point, aren't MG places.

              honest question: why seek MG restaurants here? how about local foods places? excellent bistros? pubs? steakhouses? just curious.

              5 Replies
              1. re: soupkitten

                Good point soupkitten. Why not enjoy the strengths of the area rather than looking for something that either doesn't exist or if it does, will not be donme on a very high level. I think that is solid advice wherever/whenever travelling !

                1. re: TonyO

                  I'll certainly concede that V-44 does not reflect Alinea's ambiance. The 40 of Miller High Life as a visual centerpiece should be your first clue. However, the poster asked about molecular gastronomy, and V-44 incorporates this into an excellent product.

                  The full tasting menu at V-44 is one-fifth the cost of Alinea, which is the best restaurant in the country, and one of the best in the world. But it also bring elite cuisine to a neighborhood that desperately needs commerce.

                  We aren't going to get an Alinea until restaurants like Victory 44 turn a profit.

                  Victory 44
                  2203 44th Ave N, Minneapolis, MN

                  1. re: kevin47

                    we're trying to give the op a good rec here, not just support our neighborhood favorites. . . one meal from an out-of-town visitor won't make or break v-44, but a disappointing experience may go a long way toward making a bad trip for the op, and what's worse, s/he'll go home with a very skewed view of the dining scene here in msp. if i was going to another city and say: posted about going to sushi restaurants, and the locals knew that that wasn't the strength of their area-- i'd want them to just come right out and tell me that, and then say that they are really way better known for their local bbq or farmstead cheese or whatever, so i could seek that out instead.

                    i don't think i or anyone else wants v-44 to fail, it's totally a neat little pub, doing cool stuff, against the odds, in a pretty tough (economically speaking) neighborhood, to boot-- but i do think it's probably not the experience that the op is looking for, and i think there are *way* better restaurants in town, that don't happen to focus on the MG angle. that's all.

                    1. re: soupkitten

                      I find it hard to believe that anyone who knows what molecular gastronomy would cite the Twin Cities as any sort of front-runner of the genre. But yes, if you have a short time here, you are better off hitting up Heartland or one of our Vietnamese restaurants if you are looking for a slice of Minnesota.

                      I disagree that there are way better restaurants in town. Some are superior, albeit at elevated price points. By my lights, the place is engaging in an interesting experiment Viz. trade-off of cost for service. So let that me known up front.

                      The work they are doing transcends "neighborhood joint" in my view. Months ago, I might have cringed at the assessment, but my recommendation stands, geography notwithstanding.

                      Of course, you are more than welcome to disagree. I just wanted to make my stance clear.

                      1. re: kevin47

                        not disagreeing at all. on the contrary, i'm pretty intrigued that v-44 appears to have captured the hearts of so many respected hounds. i think e. harcey is definitely one to watch, and dh has nothing but nice things to say about him, though i don't know him personally, myself. the only point i was trying to make for the op, was that compared to restaurants in other cities with serious MG scenes, v-44 is MG "lite," in pub atmosphere, off the beaten path. but maybe the op is intrigued her/himself, by now! :)

              2. I've got one word for you: Lutefisk. The mother of all Molecular Gastronomy.

                3 Replies
                1. re: JimGrinsfelder

                  Very funny - and true! So where can the OP find the best lutefisk in town? As far as I know, it's rare to see it outside of church dinners and people's homes.

                  1. re: AnneInMpls

                    Supposedly, Pearson's Edina Restaurant always has a supply of lutefisk at the ready. (Surprisingly to everyone, I'm sure) I've not searched it out though so I can't confirm this.

                    Pearson's Edina Restaurant
                    3808 W 50th St, Minneapolis, MN 55410

                    1. re: AnneInMpls


                      I'm glad you got the humor. As far as I know, and I don't know much about Lutefisk from personal experience, it's supposed to be pretty darn good at Mt. Olivet Lutheran church near christmas time.