Cuisine: Asian Fusion
Restaurant Features: Bar, Sunday Brunch
Atmosphere: 20.21 can be accessed directly from the parking ramp below the Walker Art Center. Located on the 2nd floor, 20.21 has a very contemporary feel, inspired by the 20th and 21st Century Art of the Walker. The space is quite long, but angles into a wide V-shape with open-window views of the City. Opposite the windows is the open kitchen (as seen in this photo) where the Chef and culinary experts work their magic. There is also a long bar on the same side as the kitchen, close to the entrance (not visible from this photo). Tables were the only seating option throughout the restaurant and were placed very close together, making privacy hard to come by.
Menu: All Menus and prices are subject to change! The tasting menus posted online are slightly different than what was offered on my visit. There are suggested optional wine-pairings to go with most dishes/menus.
View Lunch Menu
View Dinner Menu
View Tasting Menu
Sunday Brunch Menu
Price guide: Tasting Menus $ 66-81/person
What We Ordered: It was highly suggested that our party of seven collectively decide on one of the four Tasting Menu options, as it is much easier for the chefs to prepare one dish in quantity. After looking over each of the gourmet options, our group decided to go with the 20.21 Menu.
Each dish was presented to the table and then each individuals was served their portion. It all happened so fast that I was not able to take photos of the first dish at all, which was the Tandoori Salmon with Marinated Cucumbers, Mint Raita and Scallions. Wow! I loved the combination of the salmon with the Thai cucumbers, the textures worked well together.
The next thing that was served was the Pan-Toasted Pork Pot Stickers. Pictured here is my individual serving. It was fried to a nice crispy texture and then served with Scallions and Sizzling Chili Oil and then topped with Tangy Black Vinegar Dipping Sauce.
Next was the Chicken & Pine Nuts in Lettuce Cups. The chicken was Stir-Fried with Orange, Thai Basil, Chili and Rice Noodles. The chicken was slightly spicy yet with a touch of sweetness from the orange. I love the concept of a lettuce wrap because the lettuce stays so crisp (there is nothing I hate more than soggy lettuce). These were very good.
Then we had the Tempura Fried Shrimp garnished with a Bell Pepper and Cabbage Salad and served with a Pickled Ginger Vinaigrette and Black Beans. Another hit! I enjoy shrimp tempura but to serve it with a spicy sauce and the pepper/cabbage salad, they caught my attention!
The main course included this thinly-sliced beef called Steak “Au Poivre” served in a Shallot Sauce and then served atop rice. The beef was extremely tender and had nice flavor. I had never had beef served over rice before, but the tenderness and texture of the beef paired with the rice was not too different than sashimi.
Our next feature of the main course was the Pan Roasted Organic Chicken. It was served atop Vegetables, Budding Chives and with a Black Bean-Thai Basil Sauce. The chicken was incredibly tender and moist and served with the skin. The flavor on this one seemed a little salty and didn’t do it for me as much as the other dishes had, although it was very good.
The last dish of our main course was hands-down my favorite. It is the Green Thai Seafood Curry with Scallops, Prawns, Lobster, Shiitake Mushroom, with Thai Basil and Ginger. I am always a big fan of a good green curry and this was one of the best yet! I loved the spicy-sweet creaminess of the coconut/curry sauce and the tender pieces of lobster and scallops could almost melt in my mouth.
The dessert on the 20.21 Tasting Menu included the Chocolate Cube with Spoon and Cherry- The cube structure was made of dark chocolate and filled with Dark Chocolate Cream, German Chocolate Cake Crumbles and Sour Cherry Sauce. It was extremely rich as you would imagine, but the filling was very creamy and had the texture of mousse. If you are familiar with the Walker Sculpture Garden, you will recognize this dessert as a miniature of the Spoonbridge and Cherry sculpture.
In addition to the dessert above, we were also served two trays of these gourmet cookies. Everything I tried was very good!
Service: I thought the service was top-notch. Our server, was knowledgable about the menu and helped us make our selection without being too pushy. Besides our server there were several others who were constantly bringing us each new dish and removing dishes from previous course, etc.
Overall Impression: I thought that 20.21 was pretty cool. The food was outstanding and I highly suggest ordering off one of the Tasting Menus so that you can try several of the signature dishes. The prices were on the high-end, but worth every penny for everything you get to try. My only complaint about 20.21 was the bathrooms. Each stall was completely closed-in from floor to ceiling with a boring white plastic, including the door, and made me feel like I was in an upscale-porta-potty :(