We had been looking forward to this week for quite awhile. Back in January we were able to get tickets for Snow Patrol‘s North America tour, and I had just recently found out that Ed Sheeran was touring with and opening for them. Being able to catch great British bands is pretty rare here in the Midwest, so we were looking forward to the opportunity to see these musicians live.
And the concert certainly did not disappoint. Ed Sheeran is still a relative new comer to America’s music scene (his album doesn’t even release until next month), but he is a fantastic performer and a very talented musician. A lot of the comments around us transformed from “Who is this guy? I’ve never heard of him,” to “This is great! I love this guy!”
And Snow Patrol was a treat to see live. Apparently the lead singer, Gary Lightbody, is having issues with his voice and throat and he wasn’t able to sing a number of the songs planned for their set, but they really made up for it by playing more of the songs from their older albums, which I thoroughly enjoyed. Hopefully his voice will recover as the tour progresses, it would be sad if they had to cancel any of the future shows.
Plus, an evening in Minneapolis is always going to mean a good meal out, and as my cousin Mike recently joined the team of chefs at HauteDish we were looking forward to reconnecting with him over a good meal. I had some fun making these silly HauteDish pig cookies for him to share with the staff. Mike actually had the evening off work, so he and his girlfriend Jen were able to sit down and join us for the meal, rather than preparing it. We had such a good time talking “shop” with them, about restaurants, food preparations, cookbooks, great meals, etc. And we really had our socks blown off by the incredible food that found its way to our table. We had enjoyed a meal here last year with Trav and Emily, but the exceptionally skilled staff is really starting to show off (in a good way!).
Mike ordered off the menu for us, plus the kitchen sent out a few extra dishes for us to try and enjoy. The starter salad was a take on a classic wedge salad, but was super fresh and crisp, with the best bleu cheese and french dressings ever. He also requested the Char-Cuts plate, but the chef definitely went overboard and sent out the most impressive 2 foot long board of charcuterie we have ever seen. There were even a few items on the board that Mike hadn’t seen yet. We all devoured it, exclaiming over different bites as we went. HauteDish definitely deserves its title as the best place in Minneapolis for charcuterie.
The kitchen then sent out a few warm appetizers, Green Noodles (pictured above) and Peas and Toast. The homemade noodles married beautifully with the ricotta salata spheres, which burst open with the pressure of your fork, oozing the milkiness through the noodles, similar to a poached egg. And never have mashed peas on a piece of toast tasted like what they prepare at HauteDish. Granted, I can swear to you that I have never thought mashed peas on anything would be considered “good,” but these fresh, super sweet green peas were excellent with asparagus, pecorino cheese and foam, and house-smoked sturgeon on a slice of toasted brioche bread.
Mike had also ordered us two entrees to share, knowing the size of these dished would be impossible to tackle on one’s own. And wow-za! These two plates nearly took up the width of the table! Mike and Jen shared the Rabbit and Carrots (and made sure we tried a few bites as well!) and Justin and I shared the Colorado Lamb Three Ways. Mike had been telling us this was the best lamb he had ever had, and after taking a bite, we were quick to agree. The meat on the chops was like the finest filet mignon we’ve had, except the fact that it wasn’t beef! The care and attention that is going into all of the components of these dishes is really remarkable. We had to pass on dessert for two reasons, yes, we had a concert to go to, but also because our stomachs might have exploded. HauteDish doesn’t promise you an easy, light meal. But a dinner that is uber rich, spectacularly delicious, and pushing the boundaries of what “classic Midwestern fare” is? Absolutely.