The Best French Restaurant In Minneapolis?
The Prince of Pork, chef Thomas Boemer, is introducing a French menu at Corner Table Restaurant.
Photos by Jason DeRusha
When you think of Corner Table and chef Thomas Boemer, you probably think of pork, right? He's famous for the pork jowl at Corner Table, and certainly now revered for his fried chicken at Revival. While I love Revival, I think Corner Table is one of the real gems of the Twin Cities.
So French food! Thomas cooked with Alain Ducasse at Mix in Las Vegas, and he's always used French technique in his kitchens. The perfect sauté, the deglazing of pans, the bechamel sauces. It's a precision and a perfection that Corner Table has always applied to Midwestern ingredients, and many Southern dishes. So why not use French technique to cook French food?
That's what they're doing in a new menu that launched just this last week. The tasting menu is the way to go, a bargain for five courses at $65 (obviously you need the wine pairings—$40 for that).
An amouse bouche of a tartlet with escargot and leek fondue got my mouth ready for the magic that was about to happen.
The first course was a gorgeously delicate crepe with a huge amount of lobster newburg.
The second: a shockingly beautiful potato gnocchi topped with gruyere fondue, shaved truffles and house-cured ham. If this were just the gnocchi, I'd be in heaven, but the truffles and ham made it perfection.
Then duck a l'orange with braised radishes. The duck was impeccably cooked: rare meat, crispy skin. The orange sauce was light and not overly sweet or cloying. It's a revelation to a generation of diners who have never experienced this classic French dish.
The fourth course was beef Wellington with seared foie gras! Such a decadent indulgence—the lean Limousin beef balanced with the fatty foie. I can still taste this dish a week later.
Fifth course is dessert—but these dishes are truly phenomenal. Corner Table is without a doubt the best French restaurant in Minneapolis right now. Frankly, it's one of the best restaurants in the Midwest, period. Nick Rancone is one of the smartest wine people I've ever met—his pairings are inventive and interesting but perfectly compliment the food. Chef de cuisine Kyle Bultinck does a phenomenal job leading the tiny kitchen crew, my meals have been incredible when Thomas is there, and when Thomas is not there. Do yourself a favor, and get in there soon.
4537 Nicollet Ave. S., Minneapolis
open Mon.-Sat. for dinner