Spoon & Stable
Food & Wine put Spoon & Stable on its list of 40 Most Important Restaurants of the Past 40 Years list. They describe the modern American food that James Beard Award-winning Chef Gavin Kaysen serves as “emotional, fun, and precise.” Eater declared it an “essential American restaurant” in 2017. After reading about its praises, I decided to book reservations for us to dine, taste, and see for ourselves.
Travel Tip: I started making our reservations after we arrived in Minneapolis. If I had to do it over again, I would have made them when we first decided to be in Minneapolis in July. The most reasonable reservation available for us by the time I looked was for 8:45 p.m. on a Wednesday night.
After walking in the door, being seated at our table, and having a look around, I felt as if we were at an elegant house party in a massive open concept house with a super attentive and caring host. We were engaged in conversation about why we had chosen to come in for dinner and thanked for being there by a gentleman who seemed like he might be a manager. Our server was equally as welcoming. She helped us feel settled in by guiding us through our dinner and drink choices with genuine warmth.
My French 75 (roku gin, green tea, apricot, lemon, bubbles) was the most well balanced I’ve ever had. It was dynamic and smooth. Neither the lemon, nor the gin dominated. Perhaps the inclusion of green tea and apricot helped them play particularly well with the bubbles.
Chris had the Gin and Tonic (london dry gin, watermelon, lime, verbena, herbs & roots). He felt that it tasted distinct and unexpected in a delightful way.
Gazpacho you say...
I can count on one hand the amount of times I’ve eaten gazpacho. Ordering the Cucumber Gazpacho (Greek yogurt, green tomato, jalapeño, spruce tips, and grapes) is part of our commitment to try new things and expand our palates. I want to describe the gazpacho as rich, light, and complex. Those words don’t seem to be right together and yet my senses felt all that and more. There was an occasional crisp crunch of fresh cucumber that added to the fun. We’re both so glad we tried this different-to-us introduction a try.
Prior to our entrees arriving, we ordered drinks to accompany our meals. At first, I thought I wanted a white to go with mine, or maybe bubbles. Our server asked if I was open to red. I was, so she brought over Canalicchio di Sopra Rosso di Montalcino 2017 Sangiovese Tuscany and a champagne for me to try. She felt either would go quite well with my meal. I went with the Sangiovese. It tasted nice on its own, but when the meal arrived, the interplay between the two was perfect.
Chris took his simple kind of man route and ordered a glass of Weekend Vibes IPA.
dinner is served
Chris dined on the Tri-Tip Wagyu Steak (braised kale, potato and black truffle pavé, pickled mushrooms, garlic scapes) served medium rare by the chef’s recommendation. I took a bite of Chris’s steak. It tasted like butter and by that I mean delicious. I stole a bite of his potato and black truffle pavé as well and I’m glad I did. It tasted light and lovely. Tasting all of the food at the table is the perk I get for doing our dining out reviews and Instagram descriptions.
Note: Chris tends to order his steaks Medium Well. We’re working on expanding our tastes by being open to suggestions and trying new things. While excellent as it was, if Tri-Tip Wagyu Steak is on the menu when we dine at Spoon & Stable again, Chris will probably order Medium.
I dined on Orecchiette Verde (fennel sausage, kale, cherry tomato, focaccia, and parmigiano). For me its flavors teeter-tottered between a summer garden and cozy comfort. I believe the cherry tomatoes topping the pasta were peeled, they looked translucent enough to be. That extra level of care felt throughout the food and service definitely teeters it all toward comfort and who says comfort has to be for winter?
Fun Fact: The orecchiette pasta is made green by the inclusion of tomato stems.
The sweetest part
For dessert we enjoyed Honey and Cream Cake (rosé strawberries, beeswax ice cream). A few little honey meringue cookies were served along with it and they were a scrumptious addition to an already divine dessert. The cream was poured on top at the table. We felt our dessert was the perfect portion, though we found room to enjoy a couple of the petite delights served after: hazelnut macaron, vanilla shortbread, chocolate, and biscotti.
Good to Know: There is an automatic hospitality charge of 21%. It is not a tip and does not go to the individual server. Hospitality charges help restaurants provide fair wages to all employees. If you wish to leave a tip in addition to the hospitality charge, you can. However, it is not expected and this is communicated on the menu and in the check holder. The hospitality we experienced went above and beyond expectations.
Everything tasted both wholesome and innovative, delicious and unpredictable. Kindness and accommodation were present in every level of our experience. One nice touch that I’ve yet to mention is that on the menu, they let you know if ordering an item gluten free or dairy free is an option. Given the elevated experience we enjoyed we felt the pricing was more than reasonable. We give Spoon & Stable a solid Double-Thumbs-Up Yum and Fun!