Saturday, December 28, 2013

Bachelor Farmer!

I know a good restaurant when I taste one!
by Charlie Leck

I’ve been waiting for a long time to have dinner at the Bachelor Farmer in Minneapolis – I mean a long, long time. It shows what kind of pull I’ve got! It’s been so difficult to get a reservation at a reasonable dinner time. I don’t dig dining at five in the afternoon or at ten at night.

Well, for Christmas, our daughter, from New York City, made reservations a month or so ago for us and provided us with a generous gift card to the restaurant. Conveniently, she and her boyfriend were in town and could join us.

The Bachelor Farmer was everything I had hoped it would be. Spectacular would be a bit strong word to use. Unique would not be. One doesn’t find a lot of true Scandinavian restaurants in the U.S.. This is one of them! That fact makes the menu very unusual.

I immediately told our waiter that we were first timers and would probably need some assistance. He immediately suggested we order one appetizer plate for the entire table and two “toast” orders. Then we could each order our own entré selection. We followed his suggestions to the letter and began with a shared bib lettuce salad that was delightfully fresh and dressed to perfection with goat’s milk cheese, cider vinegar and walnuts. I found it delicious – in a tantalizing way. The flavors were mysterious and they teased the palate and made me want more. That made it a perfect set-up for the toasts, which are second level appetizers served with crisp slices of delicate and tasty toast. We had a duck paté that we could dress ourselves with pickled rhubarb and a grain mustard. The second toast order was beef tarter served with oyster mushrooms, cashew milk, horseradish and capers. Both were absolutely yummy!

I ordered a couple bottles of a delicate and wonderful Riesling from Alsace to go with dinner. My entré was a Grilled duck breast and confit with maple glazed cipollini onions, pickled rainbow chard stems and braised sunchoke. The flavors were amazing and I loved every delicate bite. My wife had the fish choice, which was a generous portion of hake that was topped with a very delicate cream sauce and wonderful little tidbits on the side.

Let me put it this way. I couldn’t eat this way often – perhaps a couple of times a year – yet I know I will start aching to try some of these precious and tantalizing flavors again very soon. I don’t think I’ve ever had such a delicately flavorful dinner.

From me, the Bachelor Farmer easily gets as many stars as it desires; and I cannot recommend the restaurant any more highly than I do. It is tops in the Twin Cities as far as I’m concerned. Just don’t come thinking it’s a steak house or something ordinary. It is not. It is dimly lit and terribly unique. And, you should try well in advance for reservations.

Is at 50 North Second Avenue (in what’s known as the warehouse district of Minneapolis). There’s a large parking lot behind the restaurant that charges five bucks to park.


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