112 Eatery, Minneapolis

by foodhoe on October 14, 2009

112 north 3rd street, minneapolis, minnesota 55401 | 612.343.7696 | website

When we were planning the trip out to Minnesota, I made sure to schedule in one nice dinner for Mr. K and I while we were in town.  I wanted something good, but not fancy so I made reservations at 112 Eatery which has a convivial atmosphere and excellent friendly service.  It was walking distance to our hotel and we enjoyed exploring the artsy warehouse district.

We were seated by the window, and our very efficient server brought bowls of sweet spiced nuts and olives to nibble while we looked over the menu.  There were many intriguing dishes borrowing flavors from europe (stringozzi with lamb sugo and dishes containing foie gras, gougiere, gnocchi, or chorizo) and asia (veal tongue with soba noodles, duck pate banh mi, nori encrusted sirloin with ponzu, chinese fried eggs).  With so many delicious choices, I was glad to see that many of the entrees were available as either a half or full order.

And I must comment that the pours were quite generous.  Because it began to get dark, I decided to play around with using high ISO settings on the camera, which made the pictures look like I used a stylized filter, but it’s just me not knowing how to work with the advanced settings…

The executive chef, Isaac Becker admits that he is obsessed with the side dishes and making a meal out of a few small things is encouraged so each item needs to stand out on its own.  I like this concept very much, and we ordered a series of small plates that we shared.  Our server recommended the Duck and Radicchio Salad ($8), which was served split into two plates.  It was a boldly flavored salad topped with a hard cooked egg sprinkled with crunchy breadcrumbs.  Underneath, the vegetables were lightly tossed with a miso based dressing which was delicious combined with the rich and savory duck.

Lamb Scottadito with goats milk yogurt ($12) was our favorite dish of the evening, the chops were pounded out into palm size lollipops that we dipped into the deliciously tart and delectable pesto infused sauce. Scottadito means scorched fingers, although I think I scorched my tongue with my first enthusiastic bite!

The well seasoned meat was crispy and caramelized on the outside and bursting with juicy flavor that was even better when dragged through the rich pesto yogurt.

The Mussels with Guajillo Sauce ($10) was a large bowl filled with a fantastically spicy broth that was a little too salty, but I slurped spoonful after spoonful of the deliciously flavorful soup.  It was spicy, smoky and the best mussels I have ever eaten.

Half-order of Tagliatelle with foie gras meatballs ($11), was a perfect size to share, and was again served split so that we didn’t have to fight over the rich fluffy meatballs.

For me I was most drawn to the handmade noodles, which were ethereal and thin as paper with a marvelous springy and chewy texture.  They were coated with a light but rich sauce and fluffy tendrils of shaved cheese and fresh herbs.  The meatballs are made from a mixture of ground chicken with foie gras that are poached which gives them a luscious silky texture which goes perfectly with the delicate pasta.

By this time we decided to go with a side dish of Country style pork ribs with salsa piccante ($5) rather than the entree.  I really enjoyed the bold flavors of the thick piece of meat which was coated with a deliciously spicy piquant salsa that made my lips burn.  This dish was also a bit oversalted, but had an intensely seared crust that crunched when you bit into it.

The Chocolate pot de crème ($7) was large, very thick and very rich.  It was lovely alternating bites of this with the caramel ice cream.

The scoops of Salted Caramel Izzy’s Ice Cream ($4) seemed too salty after the rather salty meal!  But a bite of this, a bite of the chocolate creme, a sip of the characteristically weak Minnesotan coffee was a fine way to end a delicious meal.  Note, our server said that he wouldn’t charge us for the coffee if we didn’t like it.

It’s no wonder that everything was so delicious, Chef Issac Becker was a finalist for the James Beard Best Chef Midwest award in 2008 and 09.  It is said that he finds joy in making the simple dish spectacular… and that is what makes the menu at 112 eatery so good.  And did I mention that the prices are extremely reasonable?  This fine feast including cocktails was under $100.  I just wish they’d offer juicy lucys or walleye…

112 Eatery on Urbanspoon

{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

The Single Guy October 14, 2009 at 10:16 am

Oooh, this place looks like a great find! The handmade noodles sounds amazing, and I can believe they serve ribs as a side dish! Ha! Too funny!
.-= The Single Guy´s last blog ..The Frosting Never Stops Here =-.

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The Single Guy October 14, 2009 at 10:17 am

Oh, I mean I CAN’T believe they serve ribs as a side dish. Trigger happy this morning. 😛
.-= The Single Guy´s last blog ..The Frosting Never Stops Here =-.

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Rosa October 14, 2009 at 10:27 am

What a wonderful meal! Everything looks perfect!

Cheers,

Rosa

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Cookie October 14, 2009 at 11:52 am

Those lamb chops look so perfectly cooked! I’ve never thought of pairing lamb with pesto but it sounds like a great combo I’ll have to try.

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Gastronomer October 14, 2009 at 12:09 pm

Damn fine eating, Foodhoe! Foie meat balls and handmade noodles sound so, so good. And I’m surprised that the best mussels of your food hoeing career were consumed in a land locked state 😉
.-= Gastronomer´s last blog ..Momofuku Milk Bar – New York City =-.

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hungry dog October 14, 2009 at 2:02 pm

Wow, wish this place was in SF! i would make a beeline for it. Sounds incredible–every dish, really, but the tagliatelle with fois gras meatballs…kill me now.

Poor Minesotans and their weak coffee! They need Peets!
.-= hungry dog´s last blog ..Dark times, drastic measures: Goodbye, Gourmet =-.

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grace October 14, 2009 at 2:07 pm

that tagliatelle looks ridiculously tasty! i’m not even that much of a pasta-eater, but i simply can’t look away. oh wait, is that caramel ice cream? 🙂
.-= grace´s last blog ..a flibbertijibbet! a will-o’-the-wisp! a clown! =-.

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Patrick October 14, 2009 at 3:43 pm

Everything looks so delicious! I’m also a big fan of small plates dining and I’ll frequently order a bunch of apps instead of entrees.

On the subject of oversalting, I feel that in general, San Francisco restaurants seem to take a lighter hand towards cooking. I think that extends out to everything from cooking styles and complexity of dishes to salting.
.-= Patrick´s last blog ..I’m really digging 708 Cycling’s Alley Cat Road… =-.

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rowena October 15, 2009 at 5:56 am

Hmmm…duck pate banh mi…sounds like I got my work cut out for me, but now I need to find a recipe for the banh mi bun itself!

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Carolyn Jung October 15, 2009 at 9:43 pm

You know my pasta weakness. And that one with the chicken-foie gras meatballs looks incredible. I wish I could just dip my fork into the computer to grab one. Sigh. If only technology was so advanced.
.-= Carolyn Jung´s last blog ..A Honey of A Time =-.

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foodhoe October 16, 2009 at 11:54 am

single guy, the food was great and the menu had so many interesting side dishes. That $5 pork chop was a steal!
rosa, it was a great way to end the trip
cookie, not only was it great, but pesto in yogurt was amazing
gastronomer, landlocked? hard to say, they have what, 10K lakes? but that guajillo sauce would be good with anything!
hungry dog, we have many similar places, just not for the price!
grace, that pasta was some of the best ever
patrick, thanks for visiting! I love sharing small plates too. The oversalting was so unusual, I love salty, so it’s got to be really salty for me to notice
rowena, oh you! well I’m looking forward to seeing kitchen pyrotechnics soon.
carolyn, yes that would be something! Very willy wonka, I wish it could be so…

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