Monday, October 1, 2007

Reetsy Reviews: Spoonriver

Perhaps the one restaurant in Minneapolis that comes to the tip of my tongue most often when talking about local foods served up with care, it's Spoonriver. The name always brings "Moon River" to the tip of my tongue as well, which means I'm usually humming that tune after speaking of the restaurant.

Spoonriver in Minneapolis will satisfy most palettes craving local/sustainable ingredients. I definitely glance over my shoulder when I dine at Spoonriver...trying to spot other organic/sustainable community folks.

Spoonriver is: Ambitious. Local. Chic. Ebullient.

Each time I've opened the menu, I've been thrilled to see all the locally produced and organic options offered at Spoonriver. It is the sister restaurant of Cafe Brenda, which is also locally known for its organic and vegetarian eats.

Some local products featured at Spoonriver include:
Wild Acres Duck
Minnesota Pasture Raised Smoked Ham
Minnesota Farm Raised Lamb
Minnesota Grass Fed Beef

Some items that I've truly enjoyed:

-Greens with Fig Vinaigrette sprinkled Toasted Pumpkin Seeds. A deliciously sweet, but not sickening, fig vinaigrette that makes greens taste like CANDY!

-Soup of the Day: Butternut squash: Creamy, squashy madness. Simply divine.

-Caspian Hummus and Roasted Red Pepper and Walnut Spreads served with vegetables (carrots, celery, radish), olives with Foccacia. All the spreads are packed with flavor. I especially appreciated the radish dipped in roasted red pepper. Truly different.

-A Risotto made with golden beets, squash, and Parmesan. Again, the creaminess factor was to die for. The butternut squash is lightly sautéed which leaves it with a slightly firmer bite than a typical butternut squash dish. Fantastic.

Perhaps something to keep in mind regarding local and sustainable foods is that menu items change regularly to match what is available from producers. For instance, gerg wanted to order the Minnesota Grass Fed Beef. With none available, Spoonriver offered a pork chop that evening instead. Ask your server about items not listed on the menu. There may be some secret treats awaiting you!

Call ahead for evenings and weekends. Spoonriver can often be crowded depending on show times at the Guthrie.

Spoonriver
750 S. 2nd St.
Chicago Ave. S.
Minneapolis, MN 55401
612 436 2236

12 comments:

Alexis said...

HOLY MOLE, they finally changed the menu! I was so sick of potato pea curry or mock duck every time one of my friends wanted to try out Spoonriver. I'd been ordering one of the same two dishes each the six times I've eaten there since they opened.

Alexis said...

I came back to apologize for reading all the posts on your lovely new blog and then just bitching about my past experiences at Spoonriver.

Sorry! I'm crabby today.

David Foureyes said...

Cafe Brenda suffers (or at least suffered the 6 times we went in 2 years) from the same 'itis that seems to plague Spoonriver from Alexis' POV. We stopped going only because we had tried everything on the menu at one point and got bored.

And you can't mention Spoonriver without mentioning their brunch. Without a doubt the best meal we've shared there, though dinner was good if underspiced. Terrific belini's as well.

I hope you'll soon give review of one of the other local sustainable originators in Scott Pampuch's Corner Table. And Alex Robert's Alma (or Brasa) can't be far behind.

Alexis said...

Craftsman, Lucia's, Signature Cafe, Heartland, Birchwood Cafe, Intelligent Nutrients... whee, this is fun.

Alexis said...

Damn, I can't believe I forgot Sapor.

One of your sidebar links points to this site:



It looks a bit outdated, but there's a decent list there.

Davd Foureyes said...

Strib Taste section features local eats today:

http://www.startribune.com/438/story/1461729.html

reetsyburger said...

alexis - thanks for reading! A limited menu doesn't seem to stop the Guthrie crowds from flooding in at Spoonriver. It will be interesting to see how far Spoonriver goes with local foods...I secretly hope they're all about kraut and pickled beets this winter.

David Foureyes - thanks for the Strib article, and for the Spoonriver brunch mention. I know we've discussed their brunch, but I've never indulged.

David, Alexis - There are certainly plenty of options in the Twin Cities. I'll hit them and review them as I can, and please continue to share!

David Foureyes said...

jP, b'witched, Common Roots, Comos, LBV, Cucina, Brenda, Broders, and maybe Red Stag if it opens.

Anonymous said...

Went for brunch: it was terrible. As if the cook didn't know how to cook. The omelet of the day was slimy and mushy on the inside and rubber on the outside. The french toast was cooked on one side, and seemingly not on the other. I felt ripped off, I paid $2.75 for a cup of coffee and expected to get some good food on the side, nice atmosphere, uber-trendy staff, and way too expensive food that simply doesn't taste that good.

Reetsyburger said...

anonymous -
Thanks for reading and sharing your thoughts about the brunch at Spoonriver. I still haven't made it there for brunch. I wonder why davidfoureyes had a different experience?

Misusedinnocence said...

I found it absolutely disgusting.

mahesh said...

Great photos! Thanks for posting.
Restaurant Equipment