Popped by the Birchwood on Wednesday to grab some spicy chicken and vegetable soup for gerg, who needed a little TLC. His fever and sinus cavities were not being nice to him. I also grabbed some mango, cherry, cranberry crisp from their dessert case. Both were daily specials, not menu standards. The crisp looked like it had more vitamin c stashed in it than an orange grove, and it was fresh and tart, not blasted with sugar. Definitely the most healthful food in our neighborhood.
So we passed some time in front of ye ol' television to satiate gerg's cold; we wanted to catch the final episode of Top Chef. Not thrilled that Ilan won. Seems to me, he spent more time lifting recipes and concepts from Casa Mono than developing anything original. Ilan's dessert looked tastey though: tangelo and vanilla bean soup with exotic fruit and fried bay leaf is something I'd like to have melt in my mouth. Now, as far as originality is concerned, Marcel had it all wrapped up. Who cares if he's not friendly...it's a competition! But the dude was a mess in terms of kitchen management. He forgot the kampachi! Seriously, dude. SERIOUSLY. His dessert whetted my whistle...caviar and blini with Kona Coffee and hawaiian chocolate mousse is welcome at my table anytime! Can you whistle at a dessert? Throw come hither looks at it?
Flying Knives. On any other day, we might have passed this by...but we noticed one of the 5 contestants was Minneapolis's own Lam Ha, Ichiban's Executive Teppanyaki Chef! YAY! Local teppanyaki chef makes good! He didn't place, but it was wikked cool to see him participate.
Since it had been such a foodie night, I started telling gerg about Dara Moskowitz's awesome piece in City Pages this week about fine dining in the Twin Cities. I was so impressed with the angles she gave us and the history. IIII liked it too. As I was talking about it, gerg stopped me and grabbed the laptop, so he could read the piece for himself. We talked about it as he read, and we concur that independent restaurants need our support more than the "institutionally subsidized" varietal or those brought forth by restaurant development groups. We are dining at D'Amico Cucina for Valentine's Day, and considered cancelling after reading Dara's piece, but then I recalled that we did try WA Frost and 112 first; both were booked.