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OFF THE KIDS MENU: Heyday in Minneapolis

“Dad, can I have the beef?” 

“Sammy, you had the beef last time. You don’t even like steak.”

“I don’t care about the steak, I want the sweetbreads!”

This is apparently the new normal conversation I’m going to have with my 6-year-old, thanks to Heyday in Minneapolis. Soon, you’ll be reading all the real reviewers write-ups of this month-old restaurant, and I’ll be shocked if the critics aren’t losing their minds praising the place. It’s excellent.  Warm, comfortable surroundings, well-trained, very polished service team (headed by Loren Zinter), and perfectly imagined and executed food (thanks to chef Jim Christiansen)!

SethSammy

We’ve been twice with our sons, and we’ve eaten our way through the entire menu. The serving sizes are bigger than what you expect with fine-dining, and slightly smaller than you’d expect from a typical Minnesota restaurant. For me, it’s perfect. We can share- and everyone gets a couple tastes. And the prices are reasonable.

WHAT TO ORDER:
Lamb tartare ($12)
Sweet Beetroot and Hazelnut salad ($8)
Smoked Brook Trout ($14)
Crispy Lamb Belly ($12)
Roasted Chicken Thigh ($11)
Roasted Squab ($18)
Beef Filet ($22)
All the desserts

Start with the lamb tartare. It’s a shocking bright red in color because of a rich chili flavor on top; the crispy artichokes give an awesome texture.

Lamb Tartare

Then get the beetroot salad: and look closely at the beet. It’s covered with a gelatin, that looks like beet but isn’t. It’s preserved raspberry with beet coloring, so it looks similar to the beet. The two flavors match perfectly with the goat cheese.

The beef with sunchokes, morels(Sammy doesn’t like mushrooms but now loves morels), sweetbreads, and perfectly cooked steak is the most expensive thing at $22. It’s one of the best steak dishes I’ve ever had in the Twin Cities.

Beef Filet

There’s lots of fish for good reason: Chef Jim Christiansen is brilliant at it. The kids loved the smoked trout and the roasted monkfish. The fish dishes sound simple, but the sauces and accompaniments are complex and delicious.

Smoked TroutRoasted Monkfish

The squab is a real achievement: perfectly cooked so the squab has a crispy skin and moist inside. Then it’s placed on a bed of beet tapioca and smoked marrow. We told our kids the beet tapioca was like bubble tea – and they loved it! Holy moly.

Roasted Squab

DESSERT

Diane Yang has helped Jim craft a really cool dessert list. We had the Rogue River Blue cheese – a savory cheese course with shallot jam and little onion rings on it. It’s beautiful, and delicious ($5) – I would think about ordering it as a starter.

Rogue River Blue

The vanilla creme fraiche ice cream ($6) is a real achievement: the ice cream is rich and creamy, the frozen licorice is black and ashy in appearance, and adds a subtle anise flavor to the ice cream, and the whole dish is brightened up with rhubarb granita. Just lovely.

Vanilla Creme Fraiche Ice Cream

DRINKS

Bartender Britt Tracy is doing a great job with really approachable $9 cocktails. I like the Beetnick quite a bit, a tequila, Cynar, beet shrub combination. The Garter Belt is another great one. And last night they made my kids a kiddie cocktail that put the ones I make at home to shame!

My children love this place, my wife and I love this place, it sets a new standard for casual/high-end dining. By that I mean: a casual vibe, an affordable price, with quality that you’d expect at a high-end restaurant.
Heyday – dinner only, opens at 5pm
2700 Lyndale Avenue South
Minneapolis, MN 55408
http://heydayeats.com

Help Plan My Meals In Las Vegas

I’m not much of a gambler. So my wife and I are headed to Las Vegas to shop, to sun, and to stuff our faces. The food scene in Vegas has come a long way since the days of the $2.99 buffet. Just about every major chef in the world has an outpost in Vegas.

So we need your help. My wife has curated an insanely large list of possible restaurants. We have four lunches and three dinners to enjoy. Share your thoughts in the comments, and I’ll review the whole thing when I get back.

LUNCHES:
Lotus of Siam – Thai, strip mall
Milo’s at Cosmo – 3 course lunch $22.14
Bouchon – Venetian brunch
Border Grill – Top Chef Masters chefs
Rick Bayless’ Mundo

DINNERS:
Carnevino– steak
Joel Robuchon
Twist – creative tasting menus
Guy Savoy
Sage
e by Jose andres
Jaleo

SNACK:
Secret pizza place at cosmopolitan- 3rd fl by bathrooms

DESSERT:
Sweets Raku – like chickalicious

COCKTAILS
Downtown Cocktail Room
Press at Four Seasons
Velveteen Rabbit
Chandelier Bar at Cosmo
Laundry Room – cocktails, need to text 702-445-6400

FROM TWITTER:
Ali:

Mon Ami Gambi – one of the shockingly few with outdoor seating and view of Bellagio. Food good, too.

OTHER OPTIONS:
Hugo’s Cellar – downtown
La Cave – Wynn
Peppermill- breakfast, kitschy Vegas
Spring Mountain
China Poblano – Cosmo, Chinese Mexican
Viva las Arepas- mid priced
Rose.Rabbit.Lie – Cosmo, club, resto, show
Wing Lei – Wynn
Julian Serrano
DOCG – Cosmo Italian
L’Atelier Joel Robuchon
Hash House a Go Go
Charlie Palmer’s Cut of the Week – $48pp 3 course plus unlimited wine
Le Cirque
RM seafood