Review: Brewer's Table

photo by tj turner

Surly’s gone big with its brewery, and what’s happening at Brewer’s Table keeps pushing boundaries—in this case, by exploring the possibilities of “finer dining” (Surly’s term) that nods in the direction of a high-end restaurant albeit with crucial deficiencies. While the minty, Spanish-influenced  rabbit and cool, summery littleneck clams are nice intros, a $25 guinea hen entrée is presented like a signature dish but tastes dismayingly ordinary. Or take the cauliflower with Thai vinaigrette—it’s fine, with an interesting peanut note, but hardly superior to the Middle Eastern take on the same veg served downstairs for $4 less. And while I love Surly’s beer, it’s not wrong to say this menu wouldn’t pair better, for many palates, with wine or a cocktail. Surly has admirably pushed its concept, but found its limits—there’s more value and distinction in the humbler digs on the first floor. •

Quinton Skinner is a writer and editor based in the Twin Cities. A former senior editor of Minnesota Monthly, he held the same post at Twin Cities METRO and 
has written for major national and local publications. He is the co-founder of Logosphere Storysmiths and author of several novels, including his latest, Odd One Out.