Thursday, October 22, 2015

Broder's Pasta Bar

It was nice to see this restaurant looks the same as it did several years ago.  A large u-shaped bar for seating along with small tables around the perimeter.  The colander light fixtures and sconces are still there.  The restaurant fills very shortly after opening time of 5 pm and stays crowded with a line of people waiting in the hallway by the entrance.  The noise level is quite high.  Get there early to get a parking space in the small lot.

Jeff, our waiter, was a familiar face who has been there for many years.  He is very knowledgeable and was happy to recommend dishes for us to try.
We started with olive ripiene - Sicilian green olives stuffed with fennel sausage, breaded and fried.  The consensus was that it was interesting and good, but maybe we wouldn’t order it again. 

Next was the conserve del collo de agnello - lamb neck rillettes which were pureed to a spreadable concentrate, served with pickled apricot, onions micro green and toasted garlic.

It came in a small jar with great bread.  Most of our group wasn’t fond of it.  Others really liked the roasted lamb flavor.

Mozzarella de bufala had a different twist with the mozzarella served over butternut squash puree, with oyster mushrooms, apples and balsamic.  There was not a lot of flavor  - a little bland.

Torta de formaggio was a savory gorgonzola cheescake served with fresh persimmon, spiced walnuts and apple balsamic that was served with toast for spreading.  This was the flavorful winner for the antipasti.

Pastas we sampled were very different and all delicious.

Fettuccine con cinghiale e fichi - Fresh spinach pasta with boar and fig ragu which incorporated

kale, tomatoes, mascarpone and pine nuts.  This was mild flavored.  We had an equal number of those who loved it and those who felt it was okay.

Guadrucci con pollo - Fresh pasta with fresh field greens, roasted chicken breast with prosciutto, sliced almonds and asparagus had a nice savory finish with balsamic and mascarpone.  This has been a top seller at the restaurant since it opened, and we were all
in agreement that it was very good. 

Fettuccine con maiale all’arrabbiata - fresh pasta with braised pork belly, tomatoes, garlic, chilies and arugula was our favorite.  This version of the dish had a nice spicy (but not too hot) sauce that we all loved.

The seasonal desert was Pumpkin Cheesecake which was nicely spiced and served with bourbon caramel, mascarpone and walnut brittle.

The tiramisu was well done and served with mascarpone,

Bestia nera is a flourless chocolate cake with whipped cream and berries.

We liked all the deserts with the pumpkin cheesecake the winner.
Overall, the food was very well done and presented.    All the pasta is freshly made, along with the sauces.  There is a nice wine list of Italian wines and also some desert wines.

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Cov Restaurant Wayzata, MN

Eight of us made the trek out to Wayzata on the evening of July 28 with the idea of sitting on the patio watching the small waves from Lake Minnetonka lap at the shore as we enjoyed a leisurely dinner.  Well, we at least hoped to be near one of the floor-to-ceiling folding glass doors...

Cov, a very popular location, does not accept "traditional" reservations.  What that means to the traditional diner is that if you are not willing to spend a hefty minimum amount, you can cool your heels and wait.  And so we did, for 45 minutes before being seated at a high-top table in the bar with a view of other diners who scored the patio.  The sound level is overwhelming.  It was so loud we were unable to have a conversation at our table.  And about the food...

As you know from previous entries, we usually order through the menu, creating a tasting menu so that we can sample a number of offerings from each category.  On this particular evening the noise level was too high to even discuss choices so we opted to either share with the individual sitting next to us or go it alone. 

Some of our selections:  Watermelon and Feta Salad was served with mint and basil, cool and refreshing (and plenty for two); the Blue Cheese Wedge arrived with marinated tomatoes and red onion.  We ordered one each of three flatbreads:  Caprese, traditionally served with fresh mozzarella and basil, but with the surprise addition of heirloom tomatoes; Harvest with grilled vegetables including wild mushrooms; and Smoked Chicken with Nueske's bacon and more marinated tomatoes.  The Walleye Fish and Chips were crispy and perfectly cooked.  Nothing was so memorable, though, that you would say you wanted to return for that specific item.  We skipped dessert but did order wine by the glass along with a bottle of Vino Verde which is the perfect light white wine for summer.

Would we go again?  According to others this was a unique experience and as a rule Cov is much more welcoming than it was on this night.  Cov is not inexpensive though, and there are many really good restaurants offering great food that are much closer to Minneapolis/St. Paul than Wayzata.