I got caught in a hailstorm on the way to lunch at Icehouse, the new live music restaurant by the team behind Be’wiched Deli. There was something poetic about having to pull over so my car could get slammed by ice chunks, en route to a building that used to be home to an ice manufacturer. (Or perhaps it was orchestrated by chef/owner Matt Bickford as revenge, for me writing about the delays in getting Icehouse open.)
Either way, Icehouse was worth the wait, for its magnificent design, food, and service. At least when lunch is concerned—you’ll have to wait for the magazine to come out for a full review from Rachel.
No reason to wait any longer to get over there for lunch though. Its counter service deli is similar to Be’wiched. Gourmet sandwiches with every element made in-house—they cure the meats, they bake the breads.
I know there have been mixed reviews on the pork belly banh mi, but I loved it. Pork belly, broken-up meatballs, and pate served on a croissant (shown above). So rich, creamy, meaty, and delicious ($10).
On the flip-side of the flavor spectrum, we also loved the Cured Salmon & Avocado sandwich—bright, crisp, acidy—just a lovely sandwich ($9.50).
Looking for something more basic? You can’t go wrong with the Ham & Taleggio sandwich ($8.50). Nothing fancy, just a perfect ham and cheese.
The greek salad is unlike any greek salad in town—it’s really beautiful. Falafel on tahini, artichoke, feta cubes, and a gorgeous pile of maché lettuce leaves ($8.50).
The service was great, with Matt visiting the lunch tables, and Corinne Sherbert DeCamp (moving from back of the house to front of the house) asking my six-year-old if he needed a less crunchy bread for his ham sandwich.
The exposed Douglas fir and rusty raw look to the place is transporting and made me feel like I couldn’t possibly be in the Twin Cities. Our restaurant scene has really stepped up with exciting design—places like Bar La Grassa, Heidi’s, Butcher & the Boar—it’s quite fun.
It’s been about a year since we all started talking about Icehouse, and even if you have to brave inclement weather to go, it’s worth it.
2528 Nicollet Ave., Mpls.