Everyone’s got Twins madness today—even me! Twin Cities Live, channel 5 KSTP, asked me to come on today and talk about the greatest food within walking distance of the new Target Field. My picks:
(Update: Now permanently closed)
If you’ve never been to Sapor, the Warehouse District restaurant helmed by chef Tanya Siebenaler, you’re missing out. It’s the restaurant of which, when chefs and restaurant critics get together, everyone says: Why don’t more people know about Sapor? Its wonderful fusion cooking is spicy, fresh, and inventive. I love this place. For the show, Tanya is bringing in:
* Smoked Salmon-Avocado-Grapefruit-Arugula Salad with Pepper-Mascarpone Dressing
* Navajo Fry Bread with Black Beans, Grilled Lamb and Roasted Tomato-Mint Salsa
“Back to Basics”
The most New York City-like pizza Minnesota has, Black Sheep owes its thin, crisp, but still substantial crust to its 800 degree anthracite-coal fueled oven, and it owes everything else wonderful about it to chef and owner Jordan Smith, a reknowned local chef who has opened some twenty-odd local restaurants in his day, including the Mission American Kitchen downtown. Jordan’s fine cooking background comes through in his wonderful salads of the day and in the restraint he shows in only allowing a few (fantastic) toppings on his pizza. If that’s not enough reason for you to check out this place, perhaps you need to ponder this thought: Coal-fired pizza is a particularly all-American creation, just like baseball. And you should always pair like with like.
The new Kieran’s is as much fun as any Irish bar lover could cram into the enormous Bellanotte space—which is a lot of fun! I’m not sure if they’ll be bringing a perfectly poured pint of Guinness, though that’s why most people go there. I’ve spoken with owner Kieran Foillard for hours about the lengths they go to to keep the pub-lines clean at all the sister-pubs (The Local, The Cooper, The Liffey, and Kieran’s, so far) and the extra effort has inspired fanatical devotion in the many Kieran fans. If you’ve never had a Guinness at a Kieran’s pub, you’re the last person in the Twin Cities, so hop to! What to pair it with? On the show we’ll be talking about two of the best dishes they’ve got:
*Pecan crusted halibut
*Irish sausage and champ (Irish mashed-potato cake made with scallions)
Last, but not least, did you know that O’Donovan’s, across from the Target Center and the night-club First Avenue, has revamped its food menu so that it more closely parallels the great menus at sister restaurants Jake O’Connor’s and Lola’s Lakehouse? True. They’re bringing a few treats to the studio, including:
*Chicken curry on chips—because how awesomely UK is that?
* Corned beef and cabbage—which I strongly suspect is the best in the Twin Cities.
So that’s it! In this critic’s opinion, there has never been a better time to be a foodie with a Homer Hankie.