It's Restaurant Week in Minneapolis again, and that means Hannah, K-Behr and I are up to our usual shenanigans! This time around, we decided there was no better way to beat the cold of a February winter than by dining on a roof.
Yes, a roof, in the deepest, bitterest chill Minneapolis has had on offer lately. How, you might ask? It wasn't with parkas and mittens close at hand...rather, thanks to the ingenuity and gorgeous setting of Union Rooftop.
Union is Minneapolis's first rooftop space to claim a retractable roof, making it a four-season dining and entertainment destination. We loved the atmosphere...had I closed my eyes to the skyline of my beloved hometown outside the glass windows, it could have felt like any charming Parisian street café!
Being the Restaurant Week devotée that I am, I had naturally perused the menu before arriving. I have to say, our last restaurant week adventures to Kincaid's and Haute Dish had left my expectations high, so I was excited to see that Union's menu looked strong on all fronts. It definitely adds to the dining experience that Hannah, Kyle and I each try to order different appetizers and entrées so we can sample each other's! It makes for a great way to taste-test most of the Restaurant Week menu for sure.
My first course was a shaved, sautéed Brussels sprout salad with caramelized pears, aged bleu cheese, candied walnuts and a balsamic vinaigrette. Oh my word, perfection. The Brussels sprouts were still warm and added the perfect textural crunch to the cooler greens, while the richness of the bleu cheese played so nicely with the cooler, fresh pear flavor. I absolutely loved it...it's on my list to try to replicate at home, although Brussels sprouts intimidate the living daylights out of me. Hannah's maitake mushroom salad and Kyle's classic Caesar also looked amazing!
As for entrées...there was never a doubt in my mind. I'm an absolute fiend for butternut squash in pasta in any form, so I went with the butternut squash ravioli without a second thought. It completely blew my mind in every way. Imagine, if you will, the concept of browned-butter roasted cauliflower. Yes. YES. Just keep imagining that, and if you aren't imagining legitimately the most delicious vegetable ever, then imagine harder. I know it totally defeats the concept of a nice healthy stalk of cauliflower, but the browned butter added the most insane flavor and richness to the entire dish. Another total win. Hannah's salmon with polenta and K-Behr's mahi-mahi over a vegetable medley also wowed.
By the time we reached dessert, I was a bit overwhelmed by how great everything had been thus far but bravely soldiered on in the name of sweet teeth everywhere. I went with the flourless chocolate torte, an exercise in decadence with a Hennessy blackberry reduction and homemade crème fraîche on the side. I loved it, despite the fact that it was so sinfully rich I couldn't finish it. Hannah and Kyle went with a classic vanilla bean cheesecake with an orange-mascarpone glaze that, as expected, was also lovely.
All things said and done, I couldn't recommend Union highly enough! I can't wait to go back in the summer...their cocktail list looked lengthy and delightful and the roof, opened up, promises a gorgeous experience!