New Restaurant Review: Myriel in St. Paul

Everything about this tasting-menu and a la carte restaurant near St. Kate’s delights me—and it’s not just for special occasions

Don’t think of chef Karyn Tomlinson’s new restaurant near St. Kate’s as a special-occasion spot, since her $135 tasting menu may be the most expensive in the city.

OK, it sure can be a special occasion spot—and I look forward to trying the full 10-course experience. But avoiding Myriel because of the cost, or because you don’t want to have a two-plus-hour dinner, would be doing yourself a great disservice. The a la carte menu is fresh, seasonal, and executed to perfection, and the room is soft and delicate, just like the food.

The menu often changes, but when we went, we marveled at the chilled zucchini soup, with pine oil that tasted like it came right out of the garden, and the jet-black vinegar caramel with precisely seared duck medallions.

The riff on cassoulet using stewed black lentils was one of the more enchanting meals of the night, but not because of its delicacy; rather, the flavors were quite bold. The technique is mind-blowing. Coaxing all that flavor and getting the textures just right—there is real talent in this kitchen. And all this for $20!

 

 

Absolutely perfectly prepared lake trout on a pile of summer’s sweetest sweet corn with a hint of peppers—Tomlinson’s team nailed this dish, and I couldn’t believe I was paying only $22.

 

Even the bread and cultured butter is terrific. (I’d buy that butter if I could—just gorgeous flavor.) And I do wish they’d put their a la carte menu on the website, because wouldn’t this draw you in to come visit?

Very nice cocktails, as well. Everything about this restaurant delights me. We were smiling and happy the entire time. In my story on the best new restaurants of 2021, I noted that Myriel reminds me a lot of Jamie Malone’s Grand Cafe, one of my favorite restaurants in the state (RIP). The intentionality, the precise cooking, the delicacy of the room, and the warmth of the service—it’s all here.

Everything is affordably priced, and we can’t wait to go back. Myriel, 470 Cleveland Ave. S., St. Paul, 651-340-3568

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