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The Bachelor Farmer - who has been and can comment

It just got a four star review in the Star Tribune, so I'm curious to hear what people think...


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  1. It was good, but not worth the total hype. I would rather pay those prices at Alma.

    1. I went with two friends, and we were all impressed. I think it's deserving.

      1 Reply
      1. re: forgottendreamr

        So, after seeing so many "downs," I read Dara's take in MN Monthly. Apparently, by luck or skill, my party can navigate a menu. We seemed to avoid a lot of the misses. We had the poached eggs, pea soup...things one normally doesn't order expecting much, but ended up very complex in delivery.
        Now, reading all the mixed reviews, I too am mixed...I'm worried a second trip will not do justice to our initial meal!

      2. I agree with chadradchad. I personally was not impressed, however I had the special - pork tenderloin and pork belly - which had no texture or flavor. Popovers were good. I also got the beet toast which was a great way to start. I'm glad I tried it, but there are a dozen more deserving restaurants that will win my patronage over Bachelor Farmer.

        1 Reply
        1. re: MNLawGirl

          12 restaurants in front of this. That's a thought. I don't get out enough to know of 12 I'd put ahead of BF. It's not often that Minneapolis gets an infusion of talent from outside. We do love our hometown heroes, but there is something to be experienced in tasting food that comes from palates that are trained elsewhere.

          BF lamb sausage appetizer (months ago now) was the best sausage I've tasted in town.

          Making your own toasts is a social and playful process I would say is simply inventive.

          The wine auction board, if they're still doing it, is an outstanding way to broaden the wine offering and is brilliant by itself.

          BF won't float every boat, but it is a definite sweet spot.

        2. I went early on and loved it, but have not been able to align a reservation and babysitter since, dammit!

          Get your drink at the Marvel Bar and bring it up, though — much better than the upstairs bar (and all they have to eat downstairs are cheetos, which can be amazingly yummy in their own right...)

          1. We went about a month ago. I think had we stopped after appetizers and toasts, I would have said definitely - 4 stars. These dishes were delicious and on-par with some of the other best places I have visited in the Twin Cities lately. I agree with keg that I also loved the wine program concept. They will open a 1/2 bottle of anything on the menu (for 1/2 of the menu price) and then put the remaining two glasses on a board. You can order glasses off the board (for 1/4 of the bottle price). It is a nice way to expand the by the glass and 1/2 bottle options. We definitely took advantage of the increased options and liked what we tried. I tried a glass of white Burgundy from the board and we split a 1/2 bottle of pinot noir from the list - both of which were quite good.

            However, the entrees and desserts were fine, but not particularly interesting.

            Therefore, as a total picture it is more of a 3 or 3 and 1/2 star sort of place - but I would like to go back and perhaps try it more as a "small plates" sort of place as I think I could happily make a meal out of the appetizers and toasts - they really were delicious...and maybe have a cocktail for dessert downstairs...the Marvel bar does make awesome drinks!

            1 Reply
            1. re: LauraB

              I didn't think of it this way at the time, but I would totally agree that the starters were the stars and the entrees and (especially) desserts were nothing special. We had probably 5 apps - butter lettuce salad, kale soup, eggs with cured salmon, charcuterie plate, and Camembert toast. All were extremely good except the toast - I wasn't sure how they could not make Camembert amazing but it wasn't really. For entrees I split the chicken with a friend and it was fine, but not amazing. My husband can't even remember what he got - which I guess is the definition of forgettable. Similarly, for dessert I'm blanking a bit but it was maybe an apple tart with ice cream. It definitely was not anything worth repeating.

              Considering we just had a flawless meal at Saffron, I definitely wouldn't say that BF is the best in the city

            2. I had dinner at BF last night and while it was good, I have one negative comment. I am picky about salt but I really felt like the market fish dish (haddock) was incredibly salty. I couldn't even finish it. Maybe just a fluke?

              That said, I thought the tartare was delicious and had a fun, interesting presentation. The "toast" appetizers are adorable. The service was AMAZING- probably the best service I have ever had in a restaurant. The wine auction board is also a really clever idea!

              1. four of us went there the night before the review; good luck, i think. we started at the marvel bar and i had the oliveto. one of the best and most interesting drinks ever. foamy, creamy, citrusy, deliciousness. we ordered a $1 glass of cheetos and tho we laughed, i was pleasantly surprised at how nice they were with our drinks. then upstairs to the bachelor farmer where we each ordered an app and a popover. i had the scallops on the potato pancake with saffron mayo and it was splendid. the scallops were sooo tender. the pancake was a tad oily but still mighty fine. and how can one not love a popover with honey butter? our server was helpful and charming. we loved the atmosphere, the lighting, the whole ambience and the friendliness of all who worked there. when deciding i wanted a second drink (the oliveto again), we were told we would need to be escorted down to the marvel bar because it is locked from the bachelor farmer stairway. it was worth the trek downstairs (and the pricey $12 charge for the drink). there is a bar at the bachelor farmer, but it doesn't have the scope of beverages as does the marvel bar.

                we'll be back for more!

                1. Ive been a two times. The food was good- very fresh, but lacked a little character for me. For that price, i was expecting a little more personality. Furthermore the place is filled with hipsters-, but the hipster wait staff are not foodies- in fact, our waitress couldnt comment on food because she does 'eat things with heads' so to speak.

                  The whole place reminded me of a place called The Angry Trout in Grand Marais, but without the wonderful knowledgeable staff and beautiful view of lake superior.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: ashii

                    I just saw that RIck Nelson selected Bachelor Farmer restaurant of the year. What am I missing here? I posted above regarding my experience. My friend and I swore we would not come back - but now my hubby wants to check it out. I continue to hear mixed reviews from others. Some just love it, others don't. Those who love it - can you provide more detail on what, how, why your meal was amazing? It seems getting several starters as the meal may be the right way to go. Thoughts?

                  2. I was just there this week. The food did not knock my socks off, but I really, really loved the place anyway, mostly because the vibe is just great--the perfect mix of nice food and an unstuffy ambiance. The wine split deal is the best idea ever.
                    Judged by food alone, it does not deserve the somewhat over the top media love it's getting, IMO. Overall the food was nice and good, but there was really nothing particularly special about most of what we had. Similar to a lot of the previous comments, my favorite was the appetizer of smoked steelhead trout/scrambled egg/pain de mie. The giant popovers with honey butter ROCKED. As silly as that sounds, those had no small part in winning me over.

                    To be fair, it's really a comfort food kind of restaurant, so they're already at a disadvantage in the "knock my socks off' department vs. some of the more creative stuff that goes on elsewhere. (For reference, my Minneapolis 2011 socks were probably most knocked off by the tasting menu at Travail)
                    I am a tough critic and I liked it. I will probably go back. I'm sure someone will want to kill me for this, but it's like a preppier, fresher version of Red Stag.

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: splatgirl

                      Thanks splatgirl. Great honest opinion - enough to take my husband for a visit.

                      1. re: splatgirl

                        Splatgirl nailed it: Preppier, fresher version of Red Stag. Food was good, but not great. Did love the homemade crackers and radishes. I find it odd that this place got such killer reviews. Then I concluded that those doing the reviewing are invested in making places where serious money has been spent to open them successful.

                        1. re: splatgirl

                          The first comment still hits the nail on the head for me its good but not as good as other places that are the same price or less. I'd much rather head down the street to Bar La Grassa.