Edit ModuleShow Tags

Can Stewart Woodman Soar Again At Lela?

He had huge success at Heidi's and Heidi's 2.0—will diners now flock to the suburban restaurant to experience Stewart's food?


Published:

Let me start with this: I love Stewart Woodman. I love his food, I like him as a person, I was a huge fan of the original Heidi's in South Minneapolis and the second Heidi's which opened in LynLake after the first one burned down. 

The second Heidi's burned down in a figurative sense, when Stewart and Heidi divorced. Since then he's bounced around working for the Crave team, a Rochester hotel, and now Lela. Lela is next to the Sheraton in Bloomington, which used to be the Sofitel, but Lela is not a hotel restaurant. Well, at least it doesn't want to be perceived as one.

Last month I tasted my way through the new items that Stewart has added to the hotel menu, and I can tell you that every single thing I ate was a show-stopper.


Photos by Jason DeRusha

The tuna tacos are served on thinly sliced fried Plantains, shaped into a taco shell, filled with tuna, scallions and then macadamia nuts. Simple, complex, elegant, delicious. ($14 on the dinner menu)

We had a foie gras with watercress salad that was incredibly luscious and flavorful. The blue crab cake ($15) is served on warm succotash with red goddess dressing, crispy pancetta, and corn shoots. So much flavor and texture happening in this beauty.

Stewart was famous for his lamb shank, and you can have a flashback with the braised lamb chitarra pasta ($17). The lamb tastes just like I remembered and loved from the first Heidi's, on a beautiful bed of freshly-made chitarra (like spaghetti), served with fresno peppers and snow peas. Perfect.

You can eat at Lela with traditional steaks (between $28-$36—very affordable), or with sandwiches like a turkey panini or a hanger steak hoagie, so you can bring your non-adventurous family or friends here. But if you're a diner, if you love cooking from an incredible chef, you need to get to Bloomington and Lela and give it a shot.

Lela has a series of wine dinners, September 21 focuses on Domaine Serene and is $80 for four courses, plus wine. They're also doing a series of Chef's Counter Omakase dinnersChef Woodman cooks a 7-course menu with wine pairings for just $65!! Reserve tickets to the September 22nd dinner here.

Lela Restaurant
5601 W. 78th St.
Bloomington
952-656-5980

Edit ModuleShow Tags

Related Articles

Fancy Fresh: 3 Things to Eat This Week

A morel tasting menu, a trendy foie gras egg creation, a worthy cinnamon roll—for your long-weekend staycation

Fried Avocado Tacos with Shredded Vegetables and Crema Recipe

Never thought of frying avocados? Once you try it, you might want to eat them all the time.

The Minnesota Connection to the Mondavi Wine Family

MNMO food critic Jason DeRusha sits down with Carlo Mondavi to talk wine and the (Italian by way of Minnesota) family legacy
Edit ModuleShow Tags

About This Blog

TC Taste answers your restaurant and dining questions, dishes on latest discoveries, reflects on breaking news, and generally brings the plate to the page with a skilled crew of experts: Learn more about the TC Taste bloggers.

Have a food-related question? Email rhutton@mnmo.com

Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

More »Recent TC Taste Posts

Fancy Fresh: 3 Things to Eat This Week

A morel tasting menu, a trendy foie gras egg creation, a worthy cinnamon roll—for your long-weekend staycation

Fried Avocado Tacos with Shredded Vegetables and Crema Recipe

Never thought of frying avocados? Once you try it, you might want to eat them all the time.

The Minnesota Connection to the Mondavi Wine Family

MNMO food critic Jason DeRusha sits down with Carlo Mondavi to talk wine and the (Italian by way of Minnesota) family legacy

Santa Maria–Style Tri-Tip Recipe

Step up your grilling repertoire with Mexican-inspired seasonings on juicy tri-tip

Crazy Good: 3 Things to Eat This Week

Is that ice cream made with foie gras? Shh...just eat it...

Byte Minneapolis Doesn't Bite

Part "geek bar," part "cafe"—Byte is a Warehouse District counter service spot paying $15 minimum wage, vacation time, and benefits
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Chinese-Spiced Pork Recipe

Let your slow cooker simmer up savory pork dinner while you enjoy your day

A Little Package of Joy Just For You

Driscoll's berries are the key to happiness.

Baja Style Fish Tacos Recipe

Gear up for Cinco de Mayo with light and crispy fish tacos dressed with fresh green salsa and a lime-infused coleslaw

A Stillwater Favorite for Good Reason

LoLo Stillwater's incredible cocktails and fantastic food have this restaurant expanding to Hudson and the MSP Airport

Force blooming spring at Sandcastle, Hola Arepa, and Solo Vino

It's spring, gosh darn it, and we're going to eat like it's sunny at Sandcastle, Hola Arepa, and Solo Vino

Hasselback Potatoes with Watercress and Watercress Sauce Recipe

Crunchy outside yet tender within, the popular potato and salad come together in one beautiful dish
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Jimmie's Old Southern Smokehouse Is Already A Hit

Dave Anderson knows BBQ. Can he hit the perfect smoke ring in a restaurant that isn't yet "Famous"?

Three Events Worth Every Penny

With the cost of events so high, food critic Joy Summers asks: What's worth the price of admission?

Grilled Ham, Onion and Cheddar Sandwiches Recipe

Ramp up the easy and ever-popular toasty sandwich with just a few extra touches
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags