Summer Snapshots: Restaurant Week

Okay, let me preface this whole gushy rhapsody of foodie effusiveness by saying that yes, I am aware that Restaurant Week is not exclusive to either summer or Minneapolis. Let me negate that preface by saying OMG I so do not care, because Restaurant Week is just. that. awesome. 

Hannah, my former Big 4 senior Kyle (also known as K-Behr), and I have a longstanding tradition of enjoying fine food and dining together. K-Behr was actually the person who first introduced me to raw sushi...we worked on several out-of-town audits together and used and abused that meal allowance like it was our bitch. And Hannah--well, everyone knows she's my favorite brunch partner-in-crime...what better pair to try out awesome, crazy restaurants with? 

This summer, we hit the July Restaurant Week and visited Haute Dish in the North Loop. I'm ashamed to say I lived literally across the street from Haute Dish from last August til April, and had never been inside. Everyone I know who's been there has raved about their innovative plating and flavors, and their quirky riffs on traditional Minnesotan classics sounded too fun to miss. 

I'm not trying to turn this into a foodie blog or anything, but honestly, this meal was so remarkable and just plain interesting that I couldn't NOT be "that girl who takes a picture of every plate" (including Hannah's plates as well ha!)...

First course: 

Kyle and I had the "House Salad: South Dakota Steakhouse Style," a pretty little dish of slivered grilled iceberg lettuce, the thinnest rings of red onion, brioche croutons, a couple rolled and fluted cucumbers, charred cherry tomatoes, and dollops of French and Bleu Cheese dressing. Prettiest salad I've ever seen. 

Hannah stepped out of the box and ordered the charcuterie plate, which featured several different smoked sausages and meats, spicy mustard, gourmet pickles, and (I think) peanut butter...served on some kind of trencher of hollowed-out log. The presentation was fantastic. 

Second course: 


K-Behr and I had the "Mac'n'Cheese." Never has a casual name belied such a gourmet take on the Kraft classic. This one featured a taleggio-and-truffle oil sauce, liberally interspersed with rich crab and roe, topped with buttery panko and a dash of shaved celery.

Hannah had the "Cool Ranch Gnocchi," which were served over a to-die-for parmesan foam with a parmesan crisp, along with roasted tomatoes. The gnocchi themselves legitimately tasted like Cool Ranch Doritos and were the perfect combination of crispy on the outside, soft and buttery on the inside. 

Third course: 

Hannah and Kyle had the restaurant's signature Tater Tot Haute Dish...slow-cooked short ribs served with porcini mushrooms, potato croquettes, and green beans. I was introduced to tater tot hot dish very recently, and this was NOT your typical Northern-Minnesotan-Lutheran-Woman-in-a-Kitchen-with-a-Can-of-Campbell's Cream of Mushroom hot dish. 

I had the Flavor Country Burger, which came with EVERYTHING, and I mean everything. Normally I'm a plain-Jane burger girl, but the wasabi Mayo, jalapeno pickles, truffle oiled, grilled bun, and candied bacon combined in a weird, synergistic way to create pretty much burger perfection. The highlight, though, was the fries, which were dusted with "ketchup powder" in lieu of the traditional sauce. They provided the perfect crispy, sweet-and-spicy sidekick to the overwhelming burger. 


We all shared two offerings. The first selection, the chocolate creme brulee cake, came off more as a really good custardy brownie than creme brulee...until we scooped up some of the espresso fudge and crumbled candied/caramelized crispies off the plate. Then it was like this awesome deconstructed delicious thing that I loved...

...but not more than the Buttermilk Tart, which was served on a bourbon graham cracker crust, topped with a pecan praline cookie thing, and liberally drizzled with bourbon caramel glaze. Every bite was a delectable revelation. I'd go back just for that and a Minnesota Mule. 

Now that I've bored you all with a recap of a meal you didn't get to eat, change that...get thyself to Haute Dish asap and enjoy a meal that I guarantee will be playful and palate-pleasing. Bonus: They also serve brunch...which means you haven't heard the last of this place in my books!