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Aug 16, 2010 07:14 PM

Jfood visits Haute Dish - It Has Potential

Jfood has been reading about Haute Dish and decided to give it a try. The space is very nice with a front area with a long bar that seats >20, tables along the other wall which seats 18 and a back room that seats an additional 30. Upon ordering your drinks be aware in a positive sense that there are 16 different drafts, 10 large bottle beers, 12 regular bottles of beer and a wine list that ranges in price from 28 to 40 (there is a ’05 Jordan Cab for $75). Jfood will also mention that the menu lists 34 different bourbons. Above the bar at probably 10 feet above ground level are two TV’s, the placement of which make them difficult to watch.

For his appetizer Jfood ordered the General Tso Sweetbreads with foie fried rice ($14) and for his entrée he ordered the Tater Tot Haute Dish – Short Ribs with baby green beans, porcini béchamel and tots. ($19).

After a 15 minute wait the server brought the sweetbreads. A large serving of fried sweetbreads sat atop the fried rice that contained peas, carrots and a scrambled egg. Alongside the dish was a piece of foie gras mousse. On the positive side Jfood really enjoyed the flavors of the sauce, the fried rice, and the sweetbreads were perfectly cooked. The item that confused him most was why take the delicate flavors of sweetbreads and overwhelm it with the GT sauce. You could barely taste the sweetbread’s sweetness. Likewise he thought the mousse was very over salted.

As soon as the plate was removed the entrée was brought. Jfood thought it was an incredible rush. The short rib dish contained a large boneless rib, four tots, sautéed mushrooms, some green beans, a small amount of porcini béchamel and a touch of jus. The ribs were braised for several hours as indicated by the deep purple color and tenderness. The tots had a wonderful texture, crunchy outside and a wonderful smoothness on the inside. This dish required some more TLC and focus in the kitchen. The rib was inconsistent on texture, a great tenderness on half and somewhat dry on the other half. There was very little sauce on the plate to add flavor to the dish (with all that great braising liquid, please share with the customers). Although the texture of the tots was fantastic, again the kitchen was very heavy-handed with the salt. The béchamel had a very good porcini flavor but the sautéed mushrooms had so much lemon it snapped Jfood's head back, wow was it lemony. This dish had great potential but on this night’s attempt it fell short.

Jfood would give Haute Dish a “good” with a lot of upside potential. Maybe a Monday night is an off night for them, but Jfood was expecting a lot more.

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    1. Thanks jfood, I haven't seen a review in some time from you....and I'm glad to see someone mention problems with salt....such a common problem in restaurant food unfortunately. I've thought about trying this place, the porcini bechamel appeals to me and I like the idea of a fancier version of hot dish....but am cautious about places that use a lot of salt.

      13 Replies
      1. re: faith

        been home for a month. :-))

        If you click on the picture of the foie you can see the salt on it.

        1. re: jfood

          I have heard others complain about too much salt there as well. I had a better prepared short rib when I went. Did you notice a hint of truffle oil as well?

          1. re: Latinpig

            if there was any truffle oil it dissipated in jfood's dish plush the bechamel was very flavorful and would have hidden any truffle oil hint. and jfood is not a fan of truffle oil since most have no truffle in it at all but merely a chemical imitation.

            1. re: jfood

              Interesting jfood that you don't like truffle oil, I have heard also that it is mostly fake, yet still costs big bucks for a tiny bottle...I find the taste kind of overbearing in a weird way, maybe I'd like the real thing better. But got some cheese once with bits of truffle and found it too much. Normally I enjoy all kinds of cheese, including stinky etc. But I don't seem to like saffron either, tastes like bleach to me...maybe these are things where a little goes a long way. I guess I have a very sensitive palate..for better or worse. But yes, your photo does show that salt on the foie, looks like a salt mine on there...not a trend I'm fond of, and given the attitude history with this chef somehow I doubt the liberal salt thing is going to go away. I get the feeling some chefs resent anyone who doesn't like their style including with salt.

              1. re: faith

                Thanks for the head's up on the chef. Jfood just read the following article:


                Very well done article. page one describes the dishes jfood ate, not all that different but the author enjoyed them more.

                Jfood is glad he said "interesting" when the bartender asked him if he liked the GT sweetbreads.

          2. re: jfood

            Looks like someone had an accident with the salt shaker.

            1. re: pikawicca

              As little jfood would say..."that is so not my fault."

              1. re: jfood

                Makes me want to go and order something vegetarian just to watch him freak out. It's not high art, it's food for paying customers.

                1. re: jfood

                  I am not assigning the fault to you, j, but to the kitchen. If I were served something that looked like this, it would go straight back to the kitchen.

                    1. re: jfood

                      I'm relieved. I fly through MSP, but have never stopped over. After reading your posts, I'm convinced that I need to stay and eat a spell.

                      1. re: pikawicca

                        well you are from the Show Me state, so jfood did and you saw. great burger tonight.


                        1. re: jfood

                          I WISH that salt was an accident but I'm afraid that flaky sparkly salt is very very trendy now and they want it to be visible....just don't tell the cardiologist...

          3. I went to Haute Dish last time I was in the TC's and also had the General Tso sweetbreads app (wasn't feeling too hungry). To me the sauce wasn't too overwhelming and the flavors seemed balanced. My foie mousse also did not have anywhere near as much salt. Wish I could show you but I had a pretty hard time with a decent photo because of the poor lighting in there. I plan to go back when I'm in town this week to try out the duck in a can.

            1. Easily the worst restaurant I've been to in the past 5 years. The steak tartar was bland, the char-cuts was a pathetic attempt at charcuterie, the mac and cheese was worse than anything at the Noodles chain, there was no pork flavor in the pork n beans, and the hautedish was alright, but nothing special. Plates were cold, service was awful, and the bill was over $100. Absolutely foul.

              1. I made my first visit to Haute Dish on Wednesday night.

                First, the space. I love the bar area (where I sat). Nice beer and liquor selection as well.

                Like jfood, I ordered the sweetbreads to start. The dish was OK, but didn't really wow me. I agree that the sauce, while good, overwhelmed the sweetbreads. Had I not gotten one particularly mineral-y gamey piece, I would have guessed I was eating chicken. The rest of the dish was fine. Not sure what the point of the foie was, but it tasted good. No indication of the salt load jfood got.

                Next, I ordered the monte cristo. I have a fascination with this calorie bomb of a sandwich, so I had to give the HD version a try. I'll admit that my impression of a monte is basically the deep fried grilled cheese version I've gotten at Grandma's and Bennigans, and that's what I like. It arrived as three little rectangles sitting in a raspberry sauce, covered in syrup with a little sliver of foie (same as the Tso) on top. Not sure what the point of that was, but anyways. The bread (brioche, according to my server) was soft and soggy, and the sandwich ingredients were difficult to distinguish. It basically tasted like sweet on sweet, with a little tart from the raspberry. A little overwhelming, for me. And at $15, not what I had expected.

                Two dishes and two drinks came to $48, before tip. Pretty steep for what I got.

                Overall, I love the space and the vibe, but the food didn't grab me. I'll definitely give it another shot, though.

                3590 River Rapids Dr NW, Minneapolis, MN 55448