DeRushaEats: Wisconi Balls, Gather, And Who's At Pittsburgh Blue?
Three micro-blogs for the price of one today:
I reviewed Prairie Ale House in Eden Prairie several months ago, and stopped back on a recent Saturday night to see how they're doing. The food there is great. I had to laugh at the absurdly obscene presentation of the Wisconi Balls. (It's kind of a Scotch egg, except the egg is wrapped in a bratwurst. So Wisconi.)
But the kitchen has a lighter touch, too. How pretty is this egg platter? One pickled, one deviled, and one breaded and fried ($7).
You can also get some of the best cocktails in the Twin Cities at a crazy bargain price of just $7. Tell the bartender/mixologist your favorite spirit (gin, whiskey, vodka) and what kind of drink you usually order, and he'll make you something that will blow your mind.
I checked out Gather for lunch the other day and had some really good dishes (I especially liked the ricotta gnochhi—simply boiled with lemon zest and parsley—it's insanely tender), but right now, it's not like the food is so memorable it's worth a special trip for me. Lunch at the Walker is a bit of a pain—what with parking, walking up to the 2nd floor—and it's not cheap. If you're at the museum, go for it. The food is tasty.
I ran into Tim McKee at Pittsburgh Blue in Maple Grove this week. Seriously, that's a sentence I never thought I'd type. McKee, of course, is working for Parasole, trying to make the food more delicious at all of their restaurants.
One thing I can say about Parasole: They know service. When we arrived, the hostess looked a tiny bit confused while trying to check us into a table on the patio. She looked for about five seconds, truly. Three people swooped in to help her. Bam.
While we were eating, a guy at a table next to us was looking at his Parsole Frequent Dining Club card. A manager walked over and asked him what was up. "I think I screwed up," said the guy. "I spent $800 on dinner at Manny's and didn't get it on the card. I wish I had the receipt."
The manager said, "Don't worry about it," took the card, and added the points for $800. That's service. That cost the restaurant about $50, but think of what it gained. Impressive.
My steak was overcooked (I asked for medium rare and got medium well), but they took that away, quickly refired a new one, and fixed the problem. Just awesome service all-around.