Went to Barrio the other night, and it was fabulous. The corn soup was silky, full of fresh kernels of perfect summer corn, enriched by blue cheese and made elaborate and complex with herb oil—it was wonderful. The guacamole was the best I’ve had in my life, just lush and satiny, and the tortilla chips are sturdy, crisp, house-made creations dusted with cumin, chili, and sea-salt. I’d rather have them that most French fries, which is saying something. I’ll have a full review in November based on multiple visits and putting them through the full critical rigamarole, but if you’re the kind of person given to rushing to the hot new thing, rush on over. Shockingly, for a place where most everything is priced from $3.50 to $7, (the menu is mostly small plates, not unlike Solera) they take reservations. The cocktails were amazing too. All hail Johnny Michaels! Like I said, I’ll have more—and more reasoned critical evaluation—soon, but my gut-level first impression was that I’ve only seen a very few restaurants open this strongly: 112, Alma, and La Belle Vie. And I feel very hopeful about it all.
And now because this entry seems kind of short, I’ll close with this: You can buy a bumper sticker on cafepress.com that reads: “I’d rather be eating pheasant.” How weird is that? Also one that reads: “Have you eaten your grouse today?” So, if you’re itching to get bird-hunting season under way, via the bumper of your car, now you know.
925 Nicollet Mall