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Heartland's New Webiste Up

Heartland Restaurant has a fancy new website to go along with the fancy new digs. There is already a menu posted as well.


Two days to go, anyone booked for Thursday?

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  1. I am! Table for 5 at 5:30. Can't wait!

    6 Replies
    1. re: rp1760

      I'm thinking about it, but sunfish and morel gnocchi were on the menu when I went during their last service in the old space. Also, Travail Kitchen and Amusements (former Victory 44 guys) is also planning to open Thursday...

      1. re: semanticantics

        My sister in San Franciso saw the menu - was interested to know where the sunnies are from, as those caught in Minnesota cannot be commercially sold. Canada? Or farmed? Was wondering if you might know. Or, if she's wrong, that would be even better, because as my older sister she claims she's never wrong. :)

          1. re: rp1760

            I'd imagine they'd tell you if you called and asked.

            I just got a fishing license recently, and was looking at various regulations online (DNR) because I've seen some odd things at the docks already. Anyways, I believe, in perusing, that I read someone like myself couldn't sell you sunfish, but there are commercials licenses available.

          2. re: semanticantics

            Travail is opening next Thursday, per Facebook.

            1. re: kevin47

              Travail Kitchen and Amusements: Thursday the 22nd until further notice.
              [posted]Saturday at 4:34pm · LikeUnlike · Flag

        1. Aw, isn't it sweet that the dish featured on the menu page is in the shape of a heart? http://heartlandrestaurant.com/index2... But, the space looks spectacular.

          I'm going to miss it as a neighborhood place, but I'm sure it will be great in the new space as long as Lenny can keep track of all of the moving parts.


          1 Reply
          1. re: The Dairy Queen

            I called yesterday to see when they would open and was told Thurs 7/22, but I'm a bit disappointed that the market is not up and running yet, they said 'later in August'.... the market part of it sounds really interesting and like it will make it a more unique place than simply a restaurant. I'd love to hear reports though on the restaurant from people going this week, the menu sounds really good to me even if it is not new..........

          2. Had drinks there last night. The new space is fantastic.

            1. Had dinner there on Saturday night. It was a big, beautiful venue, but I did miss the coziness of the other restaurant. I started with a frisee of wild boar tasso, and duck egg aioli. Wow, was this delicious. The wild boar tasso was a salty (in a good way), meaty addition to the creamy aioli. My fiance had the duck prosciutto with cherries, red wine vinegar reduction and basil sprouts. He liked it quite a bit. I really enjoyed the prosciutto. For his entree, he had the smoked lamb chops, fingerling potatoes and sweet and sour onion sauce. He loved it. I had the chicken breast, chard, polenta, and tomato coulis. I loved this. The chicken was cooked perfectly and the skin was so crisp it shattered like glass when I cut into it. The polenta was wonderfully creamy and would gladly order it alone if offered as a side. The chard was cooked well too. Very straightfoward preparation, but done extremely well. We also split the roasted fingerling potatoes with preserved tomato butter. Crispy delicious potatoes with the subtle, but delicately sweet tomato butter. No complaints from us that night. I'm curious to hear if anyone has had the sunfish entree yet. How was it?

              4 Replies
              1. re: BigSal

                BigSal, thanks for the delicious review, sounds like the food is great.....I love reading someone genuinely saying they loved a certain dish.........I'm going to have to save up my bucks and head over there.

                1. re: faith

                  Faith, After reading some of your posts, I noticed you mentioned you are a low salt person. As such, I feel that I should mention that my chicken was generously salted. There were even grains of salt on the roasted skin of my chicken. I did not find it salty, but thought I should mention it for those that prefer less salt than I do.

                  1. re: BigSal

                    BigSal, thanks for the salt warning. I have gotten in the habit of asking for 'no extra salt' any time I order a meat entree such as a whole piece of chicken or fish or beef or bison.... because it is very common for the surface to get sprinkled before it's served. Usually this is effective with the exception of Meritage...

                    410 Saint Peter St, Saint Paul, MN 55102

                2. re: BigSal

                  Went back on Friday. I fear this place will become a regular spot. The food is spectacular. I have to say - there's nothing I miss about the former space. I found the ceilings too low and the room too square.

                  We had goat chops and pork chops. Very nice.

                3. Like others who've commented, I, too, will miss the neighborhood place.

                  I have reservations for this upcoming Saturday evening at one of the chef's tables. This is a new feature of the new venue. Three tables are designated as chef's tables. Lenny asked me how many courses we want and what our budget is. He also asked if we would like Mega to pair wines. When I mentioned I'd be bringing my own wines, he wrote back immediately to ask what they were so he could create a menu to complement them.

                  Looking forward to dinner Saturday. Will report back.

                  1. Stopped in for a bite over the weekend. without reservations we were offered seats in the bar area, which was fine for a casual stop-in, though a bit hallway like with all the traffic of servers bustling back and forth (my that pass is a long way from the tables).

                    as for the food it was great as ever - i was always more of a couple small plates from the wine bar instead of a full multi course meal heartland fan, and i felt like the offerings on the bar menu were greatly expanded of the old location - there were easily 8-10 small plates, an equal number of large ones, and half a dozen cheese flights or sweet options.

                    we ordered the brined chicken w kale and the curried goat sausage with braised greens - the chicken was served with a peach sauce that could have been cloying but was an excellent match with the natural sweetness of the chicken (a dark quarter for 18 bucks was on the high end of reasonable, but very very good).

                    my goat sausages were superlative. im not a huge fan of sweeter sauces and this came with a gastrique(im fairly sure) that had sour cherries in it. i think i ended up with part lactinato and part red cabbage (the menu mentioned only cabbage) and about half of a succulently roasted onion. the flavor and course texture - without being the slightest bit tough or dry - of the goat sausage was phenomenal, a meal id take any night. my only thought was that it seemed a bit unseasonable for high-summer, not in the choice of ingredients but the heartiness of the dish would have been excellently suited to a colder day.

                    the space is, as everyones said, super interesting. i loved all the exposed wood, thought the high high ceiling-ed atrium thing was really cool and generally think they did a swell job. like others i think its lost some neighborhood charm (8 dollar valet parking, for real?) but it seems like they hit the nail on the head in terms of becoming st pauls premier destination (i felt like everyone was always recommending heartland as one of st pauls best that was a little out of the way and that problems been fixed for sure). 25 bucks for a great local beer and two excellent sausages w accompaniments is a price id happily pay any day in nyc.

                    1. Reporting as promised.

                      Four of us enjoyed dinner on Saturday night at one of the three chef's tables. To reserve one of them, you have to call or e-mail separately. Using the reservation feature on the web site will book you a table via opentable.com. Lenny e-mailed back to askhow many courses we would like to have and what our budget is. Nice touch -- rather than a here's-what-you-get-approach, a menu will be crafted based on what you want and what you can or cannot spend. I was also asked if we wanted Mega to pair wines. I mentioned I'd be bringing my own, and the Lenny said he's design a menu around the wines I was going to bring. I ended up giving him wine options and we took it from there.

                      Amuse. Paddlefish caviar on cucumber with black pepper creme fraiche. When this was delivered to the table, Lenny came out to tell us what the dish was and where each ingredient came from. He did this for all dishes. The pride of using locally sourced ingredients was apparent, and was a nice touch. Oh, and the amuse rocked.

                      First. Gnocchi with ricotta cream, english peas, and hazelnuts. Fantastic gnocchi in terms of both flavor and texutre. Lenny's mother taught him how to make it. He used russet potatoes and roasted them (too much water is retained otherwise). Peas were heavenly. Favorite course of two of the four of us.

                      Second. Cornmeal crusted cisco with corn crayfish tail relish in a corn court bouillon. Cisco, we were told, is a salmonoid. It was mildly flavored, and seemed like a small whitefish or lake trout. Broth was excellent. I wanted a bit more of that, but maybe it would have soggied the crust..

                      Third. Pan seared duck breast and baby onions with plum ketchup sauce and savoy cabbage. The menu description just said something about plum flavored sauce, but it was mixed with Heartlan's housemade ketchup, which contains cayenne pepper. Wonerful balance to this dish, and the favorite of a third diner.

                      Fourth. Some form of cave-aged bleu cheese from near New Prague, almond honey, brioche, and sour cherry conserve. This cheese was to-die-for, and was my favorite. That's not a slight on the rest of the menu by any means, but this cheese gave me a foodgasm.

                      Dessert. Apricot bombe studded with blueberries, Cointreau dark chocolate truffle, and t delicate tuile make from something I can't remember (we were given printed menus of our dinner, but mine isn't hand right now). Great option of flavors. Bombe could have been a little softer before serving, but the taste was wonderful.

                      Service. Professional and detailed, as always. So many places could learn from the servers at Heartland.

                      Ambience/Space. Between the fish and duck, Lenny gave the four of us a tour of the complex. But I'll sort of guide you thrugh the front door on. The main doors lead to a split entry. All dining is upstairs, but I'm going to descibe the lower level first. Bathrooms on lower level. I didn't use them so I can't comment. Lenny showed us three coolers on this level. The first had the meats. Sausage was hanging, and prosciutti were curing (they'll be ready in 2.5 years). The second cooler had the raw food, and there were about a dozen trays of fresh chanterelles in there. In the third cooler were more "prepared" foods and some pears that were pickling. Also on the lower level was the space for the Farm Direct Market, which Lenny hopes to open in September. Meat counter, fish counter, prepared foods, raw foods. Decent-sized space. Finally on the lower level is space for a banquet room that will seat 120.

                      Upper level. To the right of the host stand is the bar. There is both table seating and lounge seating in the bar area. Full bar (old location was beer and wine only). The bar contiues to have its own menu. To the right of the bar is the main dining room. It's brighter in there, open and airy. Directly beyond the host stand is the open air kitchen on the left and three chef's tables on the right (seating 4-6 each). The tables abut a balcony where you can look both down and up (above is both sommerical and residential space). On the other side of that open space are the offices for the staff, a conference room, and another banquet room (seating 80).

                      It's an ambitious undertaking. Lowertown right now is in the throes of light rail construction through 2014. It is totally worth braving through the torn up streets to dine there, though. Yes, the valet parking is $8, but there is easy to find street and surface lot parking. If you have a favorite parking spot for the farmers market, you'll probably be able to park there when you go to Heartland.

                      9 Replies
                      1. re: Brad Ballinger

                        thanks for the excellent write up. i'd love to take the tour and look inside the coolers! sounds fantastic.

                        1. re: Brad Ballinger

                          Does sound fantastic. Did Lenny give you price ranges and what you'd get for each range? Having never scheduled a chef's table, I'm wondering what you used as a basis for your budget.

                          1. re: BatMan

                            Lenny did not give price ranges, number of courses, etc. But I was comfortable letting him know what we were thinking. But I totally understand your reasons for asking.

                            One thing you could do is ask him, "What are some of the things others have typcially done?" Ask him for a range of budgets he's been given by customers. As one data point, the three-course flora and fauna menus featured nightly might be a place to build from.

                            1. re: Brad Ballinger

                              I just went to check out the finally -opened Farm Direct Market at Heartland. I was pretty underwhelmed...something doesn't really click about the environment as a market. Maybe I'm spoiled by the co-ops and farmers' markets in town....but this place seemed like kind of an afterthought to the restaurant , which by the way, was packed with people.

                              I sampled several items from the deli---a smoked chicken slaw and a wild rice salad with bacon. All were oversalted....also got a roast beef sandwich....again, every element was salty or peppery....the beef was peppered, the pumpernickel was very strong, they put hot pepper relish on as well, and some heirloom tomato slices which got lost in the fray. This is one of their sandwiches advertised---it's not a custom sandwich menu.

                              There is a lot of noise from the large bank of freezer and coolers. Tables with fresh produce displayed along with house-made pickles and jams and sauerkraut. Also a pastry case with very small croissants and some cupcakes and bars and cookies.

                              Just didn't feel much soul there, I was glad to hear Lenny was doing this but I probably won't be back.

                              1. re: faith

                                The meats are all processed in the restaurant's own charcuterie kitchen. The kraut and other pickled goods are made with all local inputs as well. The industrial food complex is alive and well in other venues within walking distance where the food tastes like it does in every American city at every time of the year. This product is all about soul, individuality, and taste.

                                1. re: keg

                                  i went there for the first time friday night. dinner was delicious. half of our party (of 6) got the fixed menus, the other half ordered a la carte, and the staff was very accommodating. the dining room (and wine bar area) are both really well designed, as noted above. i'll definitely be adding the bar area to the list of places to get happy hour downtown.

                                  i'm also xcited about the direct market...where else in the twin cities can you buy rendered duck fat, duck stock, and fish fume? it's a great addition to st. paul.

                                  1. re: keg

                                    you can use all the local stuff you want but if you use too much salt, in my opinion, you ruin the stuff. You might as well use inferior goods and drown them out with all the salt. I think good stuff should shine on its own, or be highlighted with seasonings. And the art of creating a good sandwich is just that, an art. It needs to include a balance of flavors, not an overkill of overbearing stuff, as in the roast beef sandwich I had.

                                    1. re: faith

                                      So you're saying it was salty eh? I haven't experienced it. The salt I mean.

                                      I buy my pastrami and turkey for sandwiches form the market and they're fantastic. The pastrami is the best in the TC.

                                      I've also purchased their frozen soups, some bread, and a few of their desserts. That market is a godsend.

                                      1. re: faith

                                        In my opinion, the issue isn't the amount of salt used in the dishes. It's that a majority of MN residents have never been exposed to proper seasoning. I know a large number of people in this area who find mustard too be too much for their palates.

                                        I've noticed the salt complaint on a number of higher end restaurant posts on this board. Do you really think all these chefs were trained improperly in how to season food? Or do you think it may be something with the individuals palate? I've been to Heartland at least a dozen times and have yet to encounter a dish that I found overly salty.

                              1. re: misterodell

                                What do you mean? It's not really different from what it looked like prior to the move.

                                1. re: Brad Ballinger

                                  How long of a cab ride from the Metrodome area of Minneapolis is Heartland ??

                                  900 S 5th St, Minneapolis, MN 55415

                                  1. re: TonyO

                                    20 minutes. Tops. Best circumstance, non rush hour, under 10 minutes. Worst circumstance 20 - 25, and that's if you're going rush hour in the rain. But the exact time has something to do with how long it takes to get from "metrodome area" to 94. It can take 1 minute or 10 - depending on what side of the Dome you're at. But still, 20 tops in reasonable circumstances, and worth every minute of the cab ride.

                                    1. re: foreverhungry

                                      Door to door, 20 minutes is best case scenario. Under 10 minutes? Not a chance.

                                    2. re: TonyO

                                      cab ride will be > $25. . . one way.

                                2. Dined at the chef's table again last Saturday night. Same great experience. Got another tour, and was able to see the market this time. Looks fantastic! I'm definitely going back to buy crappie! Lots of options for stocks as well. And duck fat!

                                  One dish we had at dinner was the best rabbit I've ever had.

                                  3 Replies
                                  1. re: Brad Ballinger

                                    CRAPPIE?!?! Is this in the market with the door that faces the Farmers Market?

                                    1. re: semanticantics

                                      Yes. The fish comes from international waters. Rainy Lake I believe, but I might be wrong. The size of the ones I saw was wonderful and the eyes were crystal clear. They come dressed, not filleted.

                                      1. re: Brad Ballinger

                                        Thank you much for this information. Mom loves crappie, but I was not able to catch her any this fall. I'll give them a call and see if they are still available.

                                  2. Good Luck to Chef Russo in the 2011 JBF Awards!

                                    Recently were feted at Heartland to a sumptuous private dinner for 24. Our meal started with Sparkling Wine and appetizers of house-made charcuterie, local artisanal cheeses and grilled vegetables.

                                    Dinner service consisted of:

                                    Rainbow Trout with a Tomato and Crayfish Cream, Radish salad.
                                    Poussin with Hazelnut Barley Cake, Hedgehog Mushroom Sauce
                                    Roasted Goat, Parsnip Mashed Potatoes, Crimini Mushrooms, Zanté Currants and Dark Cherry Sauce.

                                    Desert was Angel Food Cake (by special request) with Frozen Wild Flower Honey-Pear Yoghurt, Hazelnut Praline Palmier and Raspberry Coulis.

                                    One participant required a dairy-free, gluten-free and vinegar-free meal and this was easily accomplished. The food and service was excellent for our three-hour repast.