Always the procrastinator, another Minnesota Restaurant Week has come and gone and I’m finally writing about it. Better late than never, I suppose. I only made it to one spot this season, but my friend Sarah and I made it count. We went to Corner Table, it was my first time there and it definitely won’t be my last.
Let me start off by admitting that we didn’t have a reservation (again, major procrastinator), which is a big fat no-no for Corner Table during Restaurant Week. Luckily, they had a couple of open seats at the bar which are first come first served, and we were able to scoop those coveted seats up like the early-bird dinner dates we are. Our lack of planning really paid off because in my humble opinion, these are by far the best seats in the house. Corner Table doesn’t have a bar, what’s behind the bar is their kitchen, which means you get to watch these masters prepare exquisite dishes right in front of you for the duration of your time there. I was a very bad conversationalist that night, the chefs had me absolutely transfixed by their plating.
Dinner started with rolls, and I cannot overemphasis this; DON’T SLEEP ON THE ROLLS! These puppies are goooooood. Perfectly light and fluffy, they melt in your mouth, and unless you are actually allergic to gluten, passing on them should be considered a crime.
For our first course, I chose the gem lettuce with flours and tarragon, and Sarah chose the pork rillette with fig, mustard, and sprouted seed bread. I loved my salad, it was fresh and vibrant, but at the end of the day I think Sarah won round one. That fig was so good it’s not even fair.
We both chose the confit duck leg with cabbage rolls and jus for our entrees. I was ready for the duck to be incredible, I had afterall been watching the chefs prepare this masterpiece for the better part of an hour at this point. What I wasn’t ready for was how good the cabbage rolls were. I’m not a cook, not by a long shot, so I can’t tell you exactly why these little babies were so good, but you guys, they may just have been the best things I ate all night. I know! How could that be when compared to duck confit?! Let’s just assume the chefs are literal wizards and this whole dinner experience was a magic act.
We finished our evening with desert; chocolate gateau for me and sweet potato doughnuts for Sarah. The chocolate gateau was delicious, lots of coconut, ice cream, and chocolate, which was just what the doctor ordered. Sarah’s a generous date and shared her doughnuts, so you can trust me when I say that these were the best damn doughnuts I’ve had in quite some time, and yes, they tasted very strongly of sweet potato. I may just have to figure out how to make these (or rather figure out how Zack can make these), and serve them every year as a new Thanksgiving tradition.
What I loved most about the experience was watching the chefs work. Again, those seats are first come first served, so you’ll have to roll the dice as to whether or not you’ll have a spot at the bar/kitchen (there are only six total), but it was so much fun watching these artists do their thing. During restaurant week, this tasting menu is only $35, which is a hell of a deal for dinner and a show. I can’t wait to see what magic they come up with for the next Restaurant Week. I may get a reservation like a responsible adult, but man oh man, that kitchen seat is hard to pass up. Either way, you’ll find me there.