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Alma Favorites?

Haricotsv2 May 19, 2011 01:48 PM

Taking my aunt to Restaurant Alma for her birthday tomorrow. I'm wondering about favorites on the current menu. Thanks in advance,

Restaurant Alma
528 University Ave SE, Minneapolis, MN 55414

  1. AnneInMpls May 19, 2011 02:07 PM

    I ate there on Tuesday - between the two of us, we ordered about a third of the menu.

    It was a fabulous meal. My favorite dishes were: Watercress & Radishes (lovely light salad with a large amount of beautiful creamy ricotta), Beer Braised Lamb (didn't taste beery, just rich and delicious), Pan Roasted Halibut (Alma is tops with fish), and the Slow Roasted Duck (if you like duck, this rich dish is a must).

    We also ordered the pork-and-chutney appetizer (tasted fabulous, but was rather plain in appearance with its simple slices of roast pork) and the shrimp "lo mein" (also very tasty, but too rich and buttery for me).

    Have a lovely dinner with your aunt!


    1. l
      LauraB May 19, 2011 02:27 PM

      I also ate there earlier this week. I also very much enjoyed the watercress, radish and smoked ricotta salad. The ricotta was lightly smoked so it was more interesting, but the smoke was not overwhelming. It was finished with a touch of honey which brought everything together. The other dishes I tried were the roasted beet ravioli and the halibut. I enjoyed both of them, but not quite as much as the salad.
      I did not anyone else's dishes, but the grilled bread with eggs and asparagus and the beef dish also got rave reviews from others at the table.

      1. b
        Brad Ballinger May 19, 2011 04:17 PM

        We should all have actually planned this out. I ate there Monday. My appetizer was the grilled bread with egg and truffle. The egg had sort of an "overly-fried" quality to it. But my companions enjoyed their watercress salads, and one also enjoyed her salmon tartare. I had a taste of the salmon. Should have ordered that.

        Middle course, I had quail and it was very good. The beet ravioli was also top-notch. One of my companions ate her lamb incredibly fast. And the fourth enjoyed her polenta. I only tasted my quail and the ravioli. Would happily order either again.

        Entree. Two of us had the pork loin. Wouldn't order it again. It was moist enough, but not very flavorful.The other two loved their halibut and duck.

        The lemon souffle cake dessert is something I would order every. single. time.

        1 Reply
        1. re: Brad Ballinger
          Seige Jun 11, 2011 09:58 PM

          Not sure why I didn't read this before our trip to Alma tonight... but my take is much like yours. I, too, had the grilled bread appetizer. It was good and for me, probably the best first course on the menu (there were parts of others that didn't excite me), but I wouldn't say it was a dish I'd want to eat again and again.

          Second course for me was the quail which was amazing. The flavors were out of this world... like lick your plate delicious. Hubby got the lamb for his middle course which was also delicious. The lamb was phenomenally tender. Top-notch!

          I got the pork loin for my entree. Hubby got the striploin. I liked the combination of the asparagus, soubise (although I would have liked a bit more soubise on the plate) and the rhubarb; however, the taste I had of the striploin was hands-down my fav. I could have snorted the black garlic with the striploin... seriously. It was perfectly prepared.

          I got the lemon souffle cake; Hubby got the salted caramel cake. I LOVE lemon as I stated earlier in this thread, and this souffle cake was very good (and served with strawberries which I also adore). However, I'd have to say again, I think Hubby's choice was better... I liked the salted caramel cake a lot.

          And can I just mention something that I've never seen in an Alma post. The nutella carmel corn that you get with the comment card/bill. OMG It is crack on a little plate! They need to bag that stuff and sell it retail. I would truly buy mass quantities and send it to every person I know. To die. for.

          So first experience at Alma was fantastic! Oh and I also have to put a plug in for our waitress - Rose - she was terrific! So knowledgeable and super friendly... adored her!

        2. h
          Haricotsv2 May 20, 2011 08:37 PM

          Thanks for the ideas. I had the radish salad and liked it. Also trout, which wasn't mentioned, but was VERY good! My sister had the duck, which won the best of the evening award. My aunt had the pork loin, which was good, but not exceptional imo. Flourless chocolate cake was terrific.

          1. l
            liney714 May 23, 2011 07:25 AM

            We ate there two weeks ago. The stand out in the middle section was the lamb. Tender and amazing flavor. The pork entree we thought was the best of what we all ordered.

            1. nsxtasy Jun 9, 2011 07:42 AM

              I noticed that Opentable says that the attire at Alma is "Casual Dress" rather than the usual "Business Casual" normally found at upscale restaurants. How accurate is this? (I realize you can always dress nicer than what it says, but for example, would attire like blue jeans or even shorts be considered inappropriate or acceptable there?)

              6 Replies
              1. re: nsxtasy
                The Dairy Queen Jun 9, 2011 07:46 AM

                If you dress up, you'll be dressier than the staff. They wear black denim or other black slacks. Last time I went to Alma our server's black jeans were too low in a way that was a little, um, uncomfortable for us shall we say, when she bent over. My husband has never let me forget that whenever I bring up the subject of Alma. Personally, I say just go to Brasa, which I like a lot. Totally different level of dining of course, but I still prefer it.


                1. re: The Dairy Queen
                  nsxtasy Jun 9, 2011 09:54 AM

                  LOL! Thanks for the advice. That experience sounds like restaurant critic Phil Vettel's review of Avec in Chicago, which ended with this: "Chairs and barstools have no backs--zero--so if back support is an issue, sit on the wood banquette spanning the outer wall and BYOB (bring your own bolster). And a note to those who favor super low-rise jeans: Backless chairs are not necessarily the best place for those pants. I spent one dinner with a straight-ahead view of a woman whose pants were two inches shy of modesty; no doubt she would be scandalized to know we were on such visually intimate terms."

                  1. re: nsxtasy
                    The Dairy Queen Jun 10, 2011 11:51 AM

                    Yes, that would be a similar experience.

                    I just notice that you asked if shorts would be appropriate at Alma. Nice jeans, yes, but I probably wouldn't do shorts.


                2. re: nsxtasy
                  BigE Jun 9, 2011 10:34 AM

                  I wouldn't go as far as shorts...think of it as a slightly upscale neighborhood joint with white table cloths. I've always worn jeans and a nice shirt and felt right at home.

                  1. re: BigE
                    nsxtasy Jun 9, 2011 11:39 AM

                    Okay, thanks!

                    1. re: BigE
                      soupkitten Jul 15, 2011 06:04 PM

                      alma doesn"t have tablecloths, white black, checkered. . . or any other color. however the "feel" of the restaurant, the service, and execution of the food is "white tablecloth."

                      mspers seem to be a casual lot. you can wear jeans to pretty much any restaurant in town. shorts are probably too casual for alma imo.

                  2. s
                    Seige Jun 9, 2011 08:51 AM

                    We're headed to Alma for the first time on Saturday night. I'm so excited! It's been on my list for forever. Any must have suggestions on the current menu? I'm already eyeing the lemon souffle for dessert - I LOVE lemon anything for dessert!

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: Seige
                      BigE Jun 9, 2011 10:36 AM

                      I love every version of tartar I've ever had there. Never had the salmon tartar, but I would bet its pretty awesome.

                      Always loved the duck entrees too.

                    2. l
                      linfr21 Jul 15, 2011 05:08 PM

                      Finally, after reading many mouth watering posts about Restaurant Alma, I finally had a dinner there. I went with my family and we split a selection of first and second course dishes, and each got an entree. The two dishes that were favorites at the table were the lemon orzo pasta and the potato in crisp pastry. The potato crisp pastry was phenomenal. What I really liked about the dish was the salad with whitefish. Mmmmm...

                      As for entrees, I got the trout with potatoes two ways and a black truffle dressing. The trout was pan roasted with the skin left on and cooked to beautiful crispiness. It was accompanied by a potato puree on the bottom and crispy freshly fried potato chips on top. The best part of the dish was the rich black truffle sauce. Heavenly. It was not too heavy, just perfectly dressing the fish. The ONLY negative with the whole meal was on my dish, two fish bones in the filet. But no biggie. My parents both got the chicken, which was a VERY generous portion. Very tender, just fell off the bone. My sister and her hubby got the duck, which was seasoned perfectly and accompanied with a duck confit and chard crepe. Great way to balance the savory duck.

                      For dessert, I got the salted caramel cake. As mentioned in other posts, it was delightful. The salty, sweet combination with the moist texture of the cake was perfect. Top this with the light crunch of the caramel on the outside? Perfection.

                      It was a great meal. Service was good, the atmosphere was great, and the food superb.

                      Restaurant Alma
                      528 University Ave SE, Minneapolis, MN 55414

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