The giant, gleaming copper pizza oven in the center of the room lets you know that this is no ordinary Eagan restaurant. James Beard Award-winning chef Ann Kim designed the menu here for the brand new Omni Viking Lakes Hotel in the shadow of the NFL team’s practice facility, and the pizzas are as good as you’d expect.
It’s the same dough Kim uses at Pizzeria Lola and Young Joni. No, there’s no ZaZa with kimchi on it, but there’s a perfect sausage and pepperoni, and a fun salami pizza with a zippy giardianera as well.
This restaurant has to serve a lot of different missions, as it is right on the campus of the Minnesota Vikings and the hotel is hoping to be a place where fans will gather not only during Training Camp at the nearby stadium, but also on game days. You’d be well served to order the 5 Spice chicken wings, with a molasses-like sticky sauce and a legit hot mustard sauce.
There’s a cheeseburger too, and it’s a solid one with juicy smashburger patties, cheddar cheese and shredded iceburg lettuce.
The oven works magic with castelvetrano olives, topped with rosemary and chili, and gives a great char to the roasted carrots served with a burrata-like cheese, Stracciatella.
Often people who are skilled with dough are also talented pasta-makers. If you can master the science of flour, water and salt in dough, you probably can do it with noodles. Ann Kim gets to flex that muscle for the first time in a restaurant. There are flashes of similarities to Young Joni, including a ridiculously good wood-fired mushroom dish.
Everything here is nicely executed, if not muted in ambition and flavor profile. No kimchee pizza here. There are some very tender, slightly gingery short ribs, and a decadent sweet potato gratin that tasted much more robust on our second visit than the first. Even so, the beauty of the room and the quality of the execution alone make Kyndred Hearth one of the better options in the south metro.
2611 Nordic Way, Eagan, omnihotels.com