Chestnut Stuffed Quail
Piccolo, Minneapolis’s newest notable restaurant is big on all things small: “After 20 years cooking, I got sick of all the food waste and limitations that come with serving huge proteins,” explains chef and owner Doug Flicker, best known as the top toque behind long-lost and lamented Auriga but also a key cook at the great-but-late restaurants D’Amico Cucina and Azur. “Because of the size, you can’t really serve a New York strip steak at less than 14 ounces,” says Flicker. “Then you have to balance the plate with eight ounces of potato purée and four ounces of something else. But when it gets set in front of you, after four bites, your brain turns off and you stop being able to taste it, while simultaneously the Minnesotan in you kicks in and you have to eat it all.” Piccolo presents another option, with intensely flavored four-or-six bite courses designed to dazzle with cooking skill and flavor intensity—not volume. In Flicker’s hands, less turns out to be more, especially in such dishes as the chestnut and veal forcemeat-stuffed quail with Spanish chorizo and sherry sauce (pictured).