It’s hard not to love Steven Brown. Great chef, great guy, typically looks like a mess. (As a guy who professionally wears suits, ties, and high-def make-up, I’m jealous.) And after hearing so many of my friends raving about his new restaurant Tilia, I’ve been excited to check it out.
The verdict: The food is spot-on, the inside is so adorable I wish I could give it a big hug, and the price is incredible. My wife and two sons (5-year-old Seth and 3-year-old Sam) had a salad, three small plates, a side, a glass of wine, a 1/2 glass of beer, two kids meals, and a dessert for $50.
I loved the potted meat (shown lower right). On our visit it was an amazing duck rillette: salty without being overwhelming with grilled bread and a great spicy mustard. Only $5! The gravalax was nice—the kitchen takes fish roe and shallots and folds it into butter. Seth was inhaling that treat. $6 for this plate of prettiness. We did a spinach salad ($8) which was huge and satisfying with a soft boiled egg and a warm bacon dressing (with nice crunchy cubes of bacon).
And for dessert we ordered brussels sprouts ($5). They were carmelized with walnuts and ham, and they tasted like candy. Awesome.
In the spirit of Tilia being a neighborhood restaurant, the kids meals are wonderful. My boys loved the menus—little “cootie catchers.”
Sam got a cheeseburger, Seth got stir fried shrimp with rice and peas. Each meal was $3, came with a drink and a cookie, and was perfectly sized for little kids. They have $7 kids meals for bigger kids.
We showed up at 5:15 p.m., and had no problem getting a seat, but this place is small and I’ve heard there are longer waits during dinner times. So what? Grab a drink, or pop into Cafe Twenty-Eight next door for a Surly. Walk down to Sebastian Joes or some of the other shops in the neighborhood. Enjoy yourself.
We certainly did.
2726 West 43rd St., Mpls.