Thursday, July 26, 2007

Heartland Contemporary Midwestern Restaurant; St Paul, MN

Lenny Russo and Mega Hoehn’ Heartland: A Contemporary Midwestern Restaurant was such a food critic success that Russo was stolen away from his executive chef work at his own restaurant to the Guthrie Theatre in downtown Minneapolis. Now that Russo is back home in St. Paul’s Macalester-Groveland neighborhood, Heartland patrons couldn’t be happier. Everything Russo touches turns to gold, and regulars at the Heartland want their eating quarters to be golden for some time to come.

Heartland, located at 1806 St. Clair Ave., uses only indigenous ingredients from the American and Canadian Midwest. The restaurant includes a pastry kitchen where breads and pastries are made daily. Heartland prepares two fixed priced menus per night, one “flora” and one “fauna.” If the fixed priced menus don’t suit your tastes for the evening, choose from an a la carte menu that ranges from $6 yellow wax beans with walnut vinegar butter to $36 Minnesota elk chop with glazed organic fennel. The dining room has an even 50 seats, with d├ęcor dedicated to the early Twentieth Century Arts & Crafts movement. A highly elegant wine and beer bar is located adjacent to the restaurant, a good place for non-reservation holders to enjoy some of Heartland’s superlative aura.

Monday, July 2, 2007

Bombay Bistro; Minneapolis, MN

The search for exceptional Indian food in the Twin Cities can end with a visit to Bombay Bistro on Marquette Ave. and Eighth St. in downtown Minneapolis. Voted best Twin Cities Indian restaurant in 2007 by City Pages, Bombay Bistro presents an exhaustive menu that includes beef, chicken, vegetarian and seafood Indian dishes. Quickly becoming Britain’s national dish, the chicken tikka masala is always a safe choice for Indian food newbies. Once treasured as a fine-dining experience, masala is becoming Americanized in a fast-food fashion; something for the masses to pick up over their lunch hour for a quick bite. That said, if you’re going for lunch, expect to be able to get the chicken tikka masala or some other popular Indian delicacy on Bombay Bistro’s bountiful buffet line. Get white or lemon rice, spiced potatoes and green beans or the most flavored meatballs and sauce you can imagine on a single plate and don’t be shy to try a second. Being accustomed to burgers and fries will make Bombay Bistro’s flavors and spices take your taste buds on a trip to Valleyfair. Or better yet, try getting Jimmy John’s subs for lunch on Monday and then visiting the Bombay Bistro lunch buffet on Tuesday and be prepared to be knocked out. And if you’re a lowly Target intern, never fear, Bombay Bistro’s lunch buffet is reasonably priced at $9.50.