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Jan 15, 2011 08:26 AM

Heidi's 2.0

Second visit last night (first was part of a soft opening a few weeks back). First, the atmosphere is outstanding. Much better feel than 1.0. More space and very intimate. The have a great bar area and the kitchen is 10 x bigger. The meal was also outstanding. I had duck but also tried the beef tenderloin special. The special was one of the better steaks I have had recently in town. The duck with lingonberry was also very good. I started with the beet salad which had a really great goat cheese offering very complex flavors. For sides a highlight was the parpadelle. There was wonderful truffle profile. Highly recommended. Some of the best service I have had (only the cap grill rivals it at this point). I like how they team serve the table and are very attentive. The breads are great with special recognition to the roll with fig in it.

The negatives were few but should be noted. The sides came latter than the entrees (it is the first week). The bread would be better warm. It is baked fresh every morning on site by a local bakery. I
Ordered two Manhattans. The first came with high end Luxardo cherries. The second with a crappy mar chino cherry. The first was only three quarters filed but mixed nicely. The second was a full but not as well made. The bar is new so they are still getting the kinks out.

I would highly recommend this to all foodies out there.

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  1. We were there on Friday as well, for the wife's B-day.

    The new restaurant is absolutely gorgeous. The kitchen is wide open, and serves as a central focal point. It energizes the whole room. The main dining area is dominated by a huge tree sculpture and a graffitied concrete wall. The feel is that of an eclectic, big city steakhouse.

    The layout is great. There are no bad tables (though fans will want a seat the faces the kitchen), nobody shoved in a corner, or in the path of the wait-staff. A big improvement over the previous space.

    Our server was excellent, and the service is a couple of minor tweaks from being world class. Valet and coat check were seamless (the waitress even advanced our ticket to the valet, so we had a warm car to come back to).

    The bread service deserves special mention. Patrons are offered bread courses throughout the meal, accompanied by a heavenly, fluffy honey and sea salt butter.

    I started with the gingerbread sazerac. I thought the gingerbread component would have been a bit more conceptual. I found the drink overly sweet, so maybe I'm a purist re: sazerac.

    We started with the beef tongue and Bennie off the Hors d'oeuvres menu. The former (which, at $2, is a ridiculous bargain) seems inspired by the beef tongue taco at Chef Shack. Punchy, Asian-inspired flavors paired with extremely tender meat. It was great, though the mustard obscured the flavor of the meat more than I would have liked.

    The bennie was out of this world. An eggless take on the benedict, it's a white orb of decadence. I can't identify the technique used to prepare it, so I can only tell you to order it.

    I moved on to the Shefzilla surprise while the wife had the beets 2.0. The couple bites I had of the beets place it atop a very crowded field, and I've had some good ones.

    The surprise was a perfectly smoked salmon topped with dill ice cream. It was an exercise in balance. The cream had a nice acidity that kept the dish from being too salty. It brought together all the flavors of cream cheese and lox, and enhanced them. Brilliant.

    I was marginally disappointed by the seared duck. It was more than competently prepared, and very moist, but lacked textural balance. The coffee pecan cake turned out to be a coffee cake with pecans (as I probably should have intuited). It sagged under the weight of the meat. The dish was accompanied by scallion foam where it needed scallions. The lingonberry sauce was quite nice.

    Wife's "pork steak", however, was divine. We had a permutation of this dish last year as a Shefzilla surprise, and this is fully realized. The pepper cream sauce has an unexpected punch, offset by a dollop fantastic preserved plum.

    The pappardelle is as good as always, as were the desserts. The Yuzu and sesame souffle was brilliant, the frozen yuzu wrapped in a sort of sesame cracker. Wife was not letting me at the nitro chocolate mousse.

    That I am able to nitpick at minor imperfections on day four speaks volumes about the caliber of this place. It is wonderful. Go.

    Chef Shack
    No formal address, Minneapolis, MN

    3 Replies
    1. re: kevin47

      If you were there early, I was the table with kids.

      1. re: Latinpig

        Ah. We were seated on the opposite side of the tree. Lovely family you have.

      2. re: kevin47

        We went last night. If you haven't been, go. It was a fantastic experience. The space is lovely and I appreciated the extra room between tables. Service was fantastic. Anna was so excited and helpful as she walked us through the menu, but never overbearing or obtrusive. We ordered the scallop juicy bun and the pork bun, mussel soup and oyster bake, rabbit and duck and cheese to end the evening. While the mussel soup was my favorite, dh loved the rabbit (esp. the rabbit sausage). The only less than stellar aspect was service at the bar. My cocktail was great, but the bartender moved pretty slowly (and the bar was more than full at the time). I can't wait to go back.

      3. To both of you (and anyone else who has been to the new Heidi's): did you order a la carte or tasting?

        4 Replies
        1. re: SpursDynasty

          A la carte, though five courses for $42 seems like an excellent deal.

          1. re: kevin47

            Actually, when I went there a few days ago, the 5 course menu, if ordered individually (tongue, bennie, shefzilla, duck, chocolate mousse) would have been $2 + 4 + 7 + 17 +9 = $39. So the 5 course menu is for the mathematically challenged?

            1. re: galewskj

              That is kind of odd. I would have thought one of the sides would be included.

              1. re: kevin47

                Hmm, the server did not mention a side but that is possible. Still, with no financial incentive, I prefer to choose my own courses.

        2. I dined at Heidi's 2.0.

          I had been totally longing to go there and was ready to have my mind blown by what I thought was going to be the best meal I had in a long time and was sorely disappointed and I really didn't want to be. I was always trying to make it out to Heidi's 1.0, but never did. I was eagerly looking forward to my meal.

          The space itself...
          My god, it's beautiful. Utterly amazing. The Woodman's gave so much thought to every aspect of the place. All the artwork, the bathrooms, the flatware, the glassware and the style of service. So comfortable and so unique. The service was fantastic as well as the overall attitude from the front of the house. The wine list was great and the cocktails were thought out flavor combos that weren't overly complicated...the trend of a single cocktail taking 10 minutes to make is pretty tired. So I do appreciate their approach greatly.

          The food. I'm not going to go into major detail about each dish, but I will say that the lamb was dreamy. The sauce on the plate however, was so salty. It was like a sesame salt lick.
          The seared foie came out ice cold, seared and seasoned was just so cold and it was the dish that I was really looking forward too. Bottom line- Most dishes were under-seasoned or over-seasoned. I will go back and try again. I'm just bummed that I had to have this experience when it was something that I was looking forward to. The plates and presentation was lovely.
          I hope that this was just me that had this experience. I see Heidi's as a long standing establishment that contributes to what is the Twin Cities food scene.

          But yeah, I will go back and give it another whirl at some point.