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Restaurant Alma MPLS


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#1 kuan

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Posted 19 April 2008 - 11:42 PM

Has anyone been to Alma in the Twincities? One would figure that they could at least change out the silverware between courses instead of setting it on the table. huh.gif
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#2 ulterior epicure

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Posted 20 April 2008 - 12:05 AM

QUOTE(kuan @ Apr 19 2008, 11:42 PM) View Post
Has anyone been to Alma in the Twincities? One would figure that they could at least change out the silverware between courses instead of setting it on the table. huh.gif

Yes, actually, I'm writing a post on my blog soon. I too was a little surprised by the casualness of the restaurant. I think the best way to describe Restaurant Alma is: an incredibly good neighborhood restaurant.
“Watermelon - it’s a good fruit. You eat, you drink, you wash your face.” – Italian tenor Enrico Caruso (1873-1921)

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#3 mongo_jones

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Posted 20 April 2008 - 03:13 PM

they're not charging like a neighbourhood restaurant.

QUOTE
starters / salads

Yellowfin Ahi Tuna Tartar
preserved lemon, chili oil, gold beets 12.

Escarole, Radish & Snap Pea Salad
soy vinaigrette, grated horseradish, pine nuts 10.

Parmesan Flan
roasted baby artichoke, olive puree, maple syrup 10.

Rabbit Confit & Arugula Salad
whole milk ricotta, asparagus, hazelnut-tarragon dressing 11.

middle course / grains & pastas

Masa Corn & Black Bean Griddle Cakes
king crab, green chili, garlic, lemon 14.

Buckwheat Crepe
smoked portobellos, leeks, spicy mustard, capers 13.

Saffron Spaghettini Pasta
carmelized fennel, pecorino, breadcrumbs 13.

Braised Lamb In Pastry
pimenton, tomato preserve, feta 14.

entree / meats & fish

Pan Roasted Farm Chicken
grilled asparagus, breaded smoked cheese, lemon-rosemary sauce 24.

Roasted Pork Shoulder & Chorizo
tomato & clam broth, white beans, parsley, kale 25.

Gently Cooked Arctic Char
potatoes two ways, frisee, red wine jus, truffle hollandaise 27.

Sauteed Wild Alaskan Halibut
red kimchi puree, marinated shiitake, glazed carrots 28.


it is an interesting menu. kuan, what did you think of the cooking?

my annoying opinions: whisky, food and occasional cultural commentary

 

current restaurant review: st. john (london)

 

current whisky review: balvenie 14, 2002, "peat week"

 

current recipe: mixed vegetable torkari

 

 

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#4 SLBunge

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Posted 20 April 2008 - 03:31 PM

I really like the food at Alma. I'd rather eat at Alma than 112 Eatery and, unless you are eating a sandwich at 112, think they are comparable in price.

They definitely try to carry off the "casual service" ideal with waitstaff in jeans and it isn't clear to me why. Honestly, I don't remember whether they changed out the silverware between courses but it doesn't surprise me. I will say that, though dressed casually, their waitstaff is knowledgeable about the food on the menu and also knowledgeable about their wine list.

Also note that the pricing shown in mongo's post is ala carte. They also have meal pricing where you pick one thing from each category. Can't remember the meal pricing and can't seem to find it on the web.
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#5 SLBunge

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Posted 20 April 2008 - 03:36 PM

By the way, regarding the food, I find the most interesting food to be their grains/pasta course. I've had the masa and bean cake (although with different accompaniments than shown in the list above) and the buckwheat crepe and both were very good.

I've also had the confit salad although it was duck rather than rabbit and was quite pleased.
Suffocating under a pile of cheese curds.

#6 kuan

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Posted 21 April 2008 - 08:44 PM

QUOTE(mongo_jones @ Apr 20 2008, 10:13 AM) View Post
it is an interesting menu. kuan, what did you think of the cooking?


It takes little to impress me, but my little is a lot to some. For example, a perfectly roasted chicken is a sign of sound technique and I suppose good kitchen sense.

The chicken was very good.
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#7 SLBunge

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Posted 31 December 2008 - 12:45 AM

Had a great dinner at Alma last night.

Mine: soy marinated hamachi tartare with jalepeno to open; ricotta gnocchi with prawns in the middle; and striped bass with clams, borlotti beans, and sauteed escarole to finish.
Her's: endive with pears and brie fondue; orzo "risotto" with squash and horseradish; mahi-mahi with caramelized brussels sprouts

Dessert was an olive oil and pear cake with honey caramel and buttermilk ice cream.

It was a fairly slow night and the service was timed perfectly. I still haven't had a bad meal here.

By the way, the three course tasting where you pick one thing from each of the three categories is $45.
Suffocating under a pile of cheese curds.

#8 mongo_jones

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Posted 17 July 2010 - 04:55 AM

a very, very good dinner at alma tonight, one that underlined everything that was underwhelming about our recent meal at la belle vie. more later.

my annoying opinions: whisky, food and occasional cultural commentary

 

current restaurant review: st. john (london)

 

current whisky review: balvenie 14, 2002, "peat week"

 

current recipe: mixed vegetable torkari

 

 

facts are meaningless. you could use facts to prove anything that's even remotely true!
~homer simpson


 


#9 SLBunge

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Posted 18 July 2010 - 01:42 PM

a very, very good dinner at alma tonight, one that underlined everything that was underwhelming about our recent meal at la belle vie. more later.

Good to hear. We haven't been there in a while and should probably get over there before the summer is done.
Suffocating under a pile of cheese curds.

#10 SLBunge

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Posted 17 August 2010 - 05:13 PM

We ended up at Alma last Thursday prior to an excellent dance performance at the Southern that was part of the Fringe Festival.

The food was excellent. We each had the three-course meal with the "main" being trout in crab sauce with a slice of fried green tomato. As good as their mains tend to be, I think they really shine with their salad and grains courses.

The salad of chickpeas and squid with farro and rosemary was fantastic.

I think the very best thing we had was the bucatini with fennel garlic sauce and bottarga. The very deeply flavored cream sauce worked very well with the pasta.

Peach cobbler with house-made vanilla ice cream was very good.

Great service with no stuffiness. And they did well with our time limitations.
Suffocating under a pile of cheese curds.

#11 mongo_jones

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Posted 17 August 2010 - 06:30 PM

The salad of chickpeas and squid with farro and rosemary was fantastic.


this was mrs. jones' favourite at our dinner.

I think the very best thing we had was the bucatini with fennel garlic sauce and bottarga. The very deeply flavored cream sauce worked very well with the pasta.


and this may have been mine.

my annoying opinions: whisky, food and occasional cultural commentary

 

current restaurant review: st. john (london)

 

current whisky review: balvenie 14, 2002, "peat week"

 

current recipe: mixed vegetable torkari

 

 

facts are meaningless. you could use facts to prove anything that's even remotely true!
~homer simpson


 


#12 mongo_jones

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Posted 05 March 2011 - 07:24 PM

another very good dinner here last night. not as good as first couple of meals there (i see i didn't report on our dinner in october) but quite good indeed.

my annoying opinions: whisky, food and occasional cultural commentary

 

current restaurant review: st. john (london)

 

current whisky review: balvenie 14, 2002, "peat week"

 

current recipe: mixed vegetable torkari

 

 

facts are meaningless. you could use facts to prove anything that's even remotely true!
~homer simpson


 


#13 SLBunge

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Posted 16 August 2012 - 02:10 PM

We had a very good but not great meal here last night.

The highlight for me was the marlin tartare with jalepeno. Also a very good soft polenta with poached eggs and hen of the woods mushrooms.

Chickpeas with squid was as good as ever.

The mains were underwhelming. Swordfish was well cooked but the ginger carrots lacked flavor. And the smoked chicken main was over-complicated.

Peach pie with blueberry sauce and lemon basil sherbet was excellent.

Relaxed but efficient service. Still my favorite restaurant in the twin cities.
Suffocating under a pile of cheese curds.

#14 mongo_jones

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Posted 07 October 2012 - 05:08 AM

dinner here tonight after 1.5 years. probably the least of our meals here but i'd still give it a b+. i think you'd have to be very unlucky to get a bad meal here.

i started with the rabbit terrine. solid, and the sweet soy reduction was great with it. the tempura figs i could have taken or left. on to paccheri pasta with sweet sausage. very nice indeed, though not at all exciting; but who needs exciting? finally, sage roasted duck over white beans and mushrooms and farro. the duck was perfectly cooked but everything else was just blah; the dish needed something to bring it all together--more acid/fruit maybe? it felt like two different dishes brought together at plating. fig tart to end, which was perhaps my favourite part of the meal.

mrs. jones had the marinated lobster (she liked it but pronounced the crispy rice bits superfluous); followed by the clam and squid "fideos" which she loved; then the beef shortrib which she declared competent; and the apple streusel which she also loved.

i think the food here deserves slightly better service. i like that it's relaxed but tonight it was a little too casual. of course, we arrived way past minneapolis dinner time (9 pm).

my annoying opinions: whisky, food and occasional cultural commentary

 

current restaurant review: st. john (london)

 

current whisky review: balvenie 14, 2002, "peat week"

 

current recipe: mixed vegetable torkari

 

 

facts are meaningless. you could use facts to prove anything that's even remotely true!
~homer simpson


 


#15 mongo_jones

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Posted 18 January 2014 - 06:37 PM

a write-up of a recent'ish meal at alma.


my annoying opinions: whisky, food and occasional cultural commentary

 

current restaurant review: st. john (london)

 

current whisky review: balvenie 14, 2002, "peat week"

 

current recipe: mixed vegetable torkari

 

 

facts are meaningless. you could use facts to prove anything that's even remotely true!
~homer simpson