Jan 292012

Cuisine: American, Healthy Eating
Restaurant Features: Beer & Wine, On-Site Parking
Locations: Edina and Roseville, MN
Roseville– 1910 West Highway 36  Roseville, MN 55113 651-636-0956
Edina- Galleria 3460 Galleria Edina, MN 55435 952-925-1001
Hours: Monday-Saturday 7am-10pm Sunday 7am-9pm

Links: Good Earth Website * Good Earth on Facebook

Atmosphere: The Roseville Good Earth is located along the frontage road along the northern side of Hwy 36, west of Fairview Ave.  The decor inside the restaurant is very mellow and casual.  There are many wooden tables throughout the dining room, with a few booths along a couple of the outer walls.

Menu: Breakfast foods include fresh juices & smoothies, Organic Oatmeal, Granola, Ten-grain Hotcakes, Buttermilk Pancakes, Brioche French Toast, Wild Mushroom Omelette, Veggie Omelette, Tomato Basil Omelette, Turkey Sausage Scramble, Grilled Salmon Hash, Good Earth Huevoa, Breakfast Quesadillas, Black Bean Roaster, Vegetarian Joe’s Eggs, Breakfast Wrap, Bacon & Eggs, and the Heartland Breakfast.

Small plates offered at Lunch and Dinner include Middle Eastern Medley (tebouleh, hummus, spiced feta, kalamata olives), Nachos, Edamame, Bangkok Chicken Satay, Vegetable Pot Stickers, Baked Artichoke Dip, Wild Mushroom and Gruyere Flatbread, Thai Chicken Pizza, and Pear and Fig Flatbread.

Soups and Salads at Good Earth include Vegetable Bean Soup, Tropical Spinach Salad (side or full), Cashew Chicken, Mediterranean Greek Salad, Curried Turkey Salad, and Chopped Salad.

Sandwiches offered include Cashew Chicken Salad, Cashew Chicken Melt, Almond Tuna Salad, Almond Tuna Melt, Grilled Shrimp Pita, Grilled Veggie Sandwich, Turkey Club, Rueben, Harvest Wrap, Thai Chicken Wrap, and Bean Burrito.  Burgers include Basic Burger, Bison Burger, Turkey Burger, Patty Melt, The Good Earth Burger, Vegetarian Planet Burger, and Turkey Porcupine Sliders.

Good Earth’s Entrees “From the Farm” include Grilled Chicken Quesadillas, Teriyaki Chicken, Thai Chicken Chiang Mai Noodles, Turkey Meatloaf, Coconut Curry Chicken, and Mandarin Beef.

The Entrees “From the Sea” include Wild Mahi Mahi, Wild Ahi Tuna, Keta Salmon, Atlantic Salmon,  Farm Raised Tilapia, Grilled Tuna with Ginger Noodles, Shrimp and Scallops with Creamy Corn Polenta.

Vegetable Dishes include Wok Seared Seasonal Vegetable, Winter Pear Risotto, Vegetarian Enchiladas, and Winter Gnocchi.

There is also a selection of Monthly Seasonal Specials including Apple and Sunchoke Salad with Pomegranate, Pan Roasted Rainbow Trout, Pomegranate Braised Rainbow Trout, Grilled Pomegranate Glazed Chicken, Vegetarian Chili, Grilled Shrimp and Zucchini, Coconut Panna Cotta, Pineapple Upside Down Cake, and Sorbetto.
Price guide: Breakfast $  Small Plates $5-10  Salads $6-13  Sandwiches $10-12  Entrees $11-16
Weekly Specials:

  • Sunday- Corn Meal Crusted Walleye $10.95
  • Monday- 10 wines, 10 bottles, 10 Bucks
  • Tuesday- Chicken Marsala $10.95
  • Wednesday-All Natural Steak Fajita $10.95
  • Thursday – Wok Seared Shrimp Curry $10.95

What we ordered: We started with the complimentary basket of Breads.  It contained a sampling of many different breads and homemade pita chips and was served with a side of hummus.

I asked our server what the spiciest thing on his menu was and without hesitating he said the Thai Chicken Chiang Mai Noodles. I was sold!  This dish had a nice amount of heat to it, the base of which was a coconut curry sauce.  It had several large pieces of white meat chicken and was tossed with red and green bell pepper, cucumbers, garlic and ginger and noodles that similar to vermicelli.  The cucumber helped to cool it down a little.  I liked this a lot.

One of my companions had the Good Earth Burger.  The burger was made with fresh ground bison served on whole wheat bun, then topped with caramelized onions, avocado, portobella mushrooms, tomato, sunflower sprouts and Gruyere cheese.  It was a big, hearty burger.  It comes with a sweet red pepper aioli and side greens salad.

Another companion had the Turkey Burger on whole wheat bun, also served with field greens.

One companion had the Wok Seared Vegetables with the Tropical Spinach Side Salad.  The vegetables were a mix of  yellow squash, pea pods, bell pepper, carrots, broccoli, bok choy, cauliflower, mushrooms, water chestnuts, celery, with roasted almonds.  It was served with brown jasmine  and wheatberry rice.

The Tropical Spinach Side Salad consisted of a bed of baby spinach topped with chopped mango, red bell pepper, jicama and candied pecans.  It was served with a tahini poppyseed dressing.

Another companion ordered the Shrimp and Scallops with Creamy Corn Polenta.  This dish was sauteed with zucchini, yellow squash, and tomato in a tarragon wine sauce.

For dessert a few of us shared the Carrot Cake.  It was a large piece; fresh, moist and delicious.  The cream cheese frosting was sprinkled with toasted oats which contrasted in texture with the creaminess of the frosting.

One of my companions ordered the Blood Orange Sorbet.  It looked good and I heard no complaints ;)
Blood Orange Sorbet at Good Earth ~ Roseville, MN

Blood Orange Sorbet at Good Earth ~ Roseville, MN

Service: We had very good service at Good Earth.  It was a busy night and our party of five took our time enjoying our meals and each others’ company.   Our server was very attentive and had good suggestions from the menu.  The Good Earth is great about dietary needs and chef will often discuss options with guests.
Overall Impression: The Good Earth is a restaurant that makes a conscious effort to work directly with the farms who produce the meats and vegetables they use in their dishes. Everything is organic and locally sourced whenever possible.
Good Earth on Urbanspoon

Jun 162011

Cuisine: American, Fish & Seafood
Restaurant Features: Bar, Banquet, Hotel, Locally Sourced,
Location: Downtown Minneapolis, MN
Address: 615 Second Ave South  Minneapolis, MN 55402 (612) 288-8888
Hours: Monday – Saturday  3pm-1am   Sunday   3pm-12am

Links: The Six15 Room Website * The Six15 Room on Facebook

Atmosphere: Located in the newly remodeled Grand Hotel in Minneapolis, The Six15 Room is the newest, swankiest and most contemporary cocktail lounge in the heart of Downtown.  Located just inside the Grand Hotel entrance, The Six15 Room is not just for guests of the hotel, it is also the ideal place for anyone looking to try fun and delicious artisenal drinks and foods.

The entire space of The Six15 Room is divided into smaller little areas, including a VIP area that has comfy purple velvet-covered sofas, fluffy pillows, and an entire wall filled with a variety of mounted metallic deer trophies.

One very fun feature of the VIP room is the 50″ Flatscreen TV fully equipped with a XBOX 360.

The far end of the trophy wall has a real wild boar’s head as the center piece. I wouldn’t have wanted to run into him in the forest, this bad boy has a big ol’ snout and some big curvy teeth. The Six15 Room is taking suggestions for naming the Wild Boar, if you would like to enter, simply submit your idea with the bartender!

Here is another seating area in the lounge; complete with sofas, tables, and more big TVs.

Menu: Some of the creative signature cocktails offered by Master Mixologist Troy have fun names such as Don’t Be Coy, Turn the World On, A-lo Down Low, Caught in her Web, Rose Creek, Bite the Bulleit, Six15, and Orangegasm.  There are also a number of classic cocktails such as the Aviation, Dark & Stormy, Clover Club, Negroni, Last Word, Moscow Mule, Daiguiri, Manhattan, Margarita, Martini, Sidecar, Sazerac, and Whiskey Sour.  There are also a number of local beers on tap as well as a large selection of domestic bottles.  Big selection of wines as well.

All of the menu items offered in The Six15 Room have ingredients that are locally sourced.  Options include Calamari Fries, Turkey Burgers, Grilled Sausage, Beef Skewers, Smoked Trout, Walleye Tator Tots, Grilled Shellfish, Mixed Greens Salad, and Cheese Plate.

You can also get a Tasting Portion of the Grand Entrees, including Fish Tacos, Braised Duroc Pork Shank, Creek Stone New York Strip, and Scottish Salmon.

Desserts include Mini  Ice Cream Sandwiches, Ginger Creme Brulee with Almond Cookies, and Chocolate Lava Cake with Espresso Creme Anglaise.


Guests staying at the Grand Hotel also have the option of ordering off a larger menu for In-Room Service.  Breakfast selections include the International Grand Traveler, Continental Breakfast, Eggs Benedict, Eggs Florentine, Belgian Waffle, French Toast, Beef Hash, Three Egg Omelet, Spa Egg White Omelet, Chef’s Favorite (bacon, eggs and pancakes), Berries & Granola, and Fruit Plate.

Dishes offered all day include Spinach & Artichoke Dip, Pork Pot Stickers, Chicken Wings, Chicken Tenders, Cheese Plate, Calamari Fries, and Poached Tiger Shrimp.

Soups offered are Cream of Wild Rich and White Chicken Chili.  Salads include the Grand Hotel Salad, Caesar, Greek and Grilled Salmon.

Individual Pizzas are also available.  Build-Your-Own, Three Cheese, Margherita, Thai Chicken and The White Pizza (alfredo sauce, caramelized onions, spinach, goat cheese and dried cherries).

Pasta Selections offered are the Spaghetti Carbonara, Mediterranean Primavera, and Noodles & Sauce.

Sandwiches include Grilled Angus Burger, Trio of Mini Turkey Burgers, Grand Club, Walleye Fish Tacos, The Duet, MLP (mushrooms, lettuce, and roasted peppers), Grilled Chicken Breast, Beef Stroganoff, and Fried Egg Sandwich.

Grand Entree Selections offered after 5pm include Eat Street Noodle Stir-Fry, Chicken Marsala, Duroc Braised Pork Shank, Creek Stone New York Strip Steak, Steamed Salmon, Walleye, and Mediterranean Primavera.

Price guide: Small Plates $9-18  Grand Entrees $15-35

What we ordered: I had a chance to meet with Executive Chef Kris Koch, the master behind the menu. Born and raised in Minnesota, Koch has deep roots in the area and well-established relationships with a number of local farmers, and sources ingredients locally whenever possible.  Many of the items he has created have a fun twist on traditional local favorites.

One of the first items we tried was the Smoked Trout from Rushing Waters.  This pretty-plated dish also included toasted bagel chips with lemon-herbed cream cheese, Koch’s spin on the traditional cream cheese and lox.  This was so good! There is just something about cream cheese and smoked fish that speaks to me and then when you add in the buttery crunch of the bagel, you have the perfect combo of textures.

Smoked Trout with Bagel Chips at The Six15 Room at Grand Hotel ~ Minneapolis, MN

Smoked Trout with Bagel Chips at The Six15 Room at Grand Hotel ~ Minneapolis, MN

Mmm, take a closer look at that deliciously smoked trout. Slightly salty and smokey, the trout had a nice, light and flaky texture without any fishiness.  It was served with lettuce and pickled red cabbage.

We also tried the Calamari Fries. You may have noticed that i order calamari at many restaurants. The calamari fries at The Six15 Room rank up there with the best.  These calamari strips were double-dipped in tempura batter and then fried just perfectly.  The batter was crispy yet the calamari was tender and delicious.  Thin slices of slightly pickled peppers were arranged on top, adding a slight bite and interesting contrast.  A lemony mayonnaise was served for dipping, a light and fresh compliment to the calamari.

Another item we tried with the first wave of goodies was the Grilled Sausage Platter.  It came with two varieties of sausage, one that was Maple flavored, the other with bits of bacon ground in.  Both sausages were excellent but one of my favorite parts of the dish was the apricot mustard. Yes, you read that right.  Pureed apricot with stone-ground mustard blended in.  A delicious combo of sweet from the fruit and spicy and slightly piquant flavor of the mustard.  The dish also came with several slices of buttered, grilled whole wheat toast.

One of the first cocktails we tried was the Don’t Be Coy.  It may come as no surprise to you that I am a Margarita Girl, so this drink was perfect for me.  Made with Herradura Tequila, raspberry syrup, Licor 43 and fresh lime, this was a wonderful blend of tart, sweet and agave.  Loved!

Another drink we tried was the Whiskey Sour.  Normally I wouldn’t think I would enjoy anything made with whiskey but I immediately changed my mind when I tried the Whiskey Sour at The Six15 Room.  This drink was fabulous! Made with Jim Beam Black bourbon, lemonade, and a touch of egg white.  The egg white gave it just a tiny hint of froth, which I thought was a great touch.  The next time I drink whiskey I hope it tastes as good as this!

After eating and drinking all of the above, a second wave of food and cocktails were brought out to us.  I was especially excited to try the Fish Tacos, a favorite food of mine. These may have been the first fish tacos I’ve had made with locally-caught walleye.  Served on double white corn tortillas, each of the two tacos had a nice size fillet of pan-seared walleye topped with pickled cabbage and cilantro.  Excellent and very filling!

Fish Tacos at The Six15 Room ~ Minneapolis, MN

Fish Tacos at The Six15 Room ~ Minneapolis, MN

We also tried the Scottish Salmon, served with brussel sprouts, jasmine rice and a sweet-yet-savory carrot ginger puree.  This salmon was very good, perfectly (under)cooked so that it retained the right amount of moisture and light flavor of the fish.  It was lightly seasoned with just salt and pepper but was dressed up by the accompanied ginger-carrot puree.

The last food item we tried was the Walleye Tator Tots.  How perfectly Minnesota is this dish? The walleye was finely blended with mashed yukon gold potatoes, spiced up and then formed into shapes about the same size as a marshmallow.  Lightly breaded then fried, these were wonderful little treats that anyone would like.  Served with a citrus tartar sauce.

The second wave of cocktails included the Moscow Mule, made with Absolut Vodka, house-made ginger syrup, fresh lime juice and soda.  Light and refreshing!

We also tried the Rose Creek cocktail, made with pear brandy.  I can’t recall having pear brandy before this, but I was pleasantly surprised to smell the sweet smell of pear about 6 inches before I brought the glass to my mouth.  It tasted just as good as it smelled! made with Clear Creek Pear Brandy, fresh lemon juice, real grenadine and Angostura (a secret blend of herbs).

Overall Impression: I was very excited to try the new Six15 Room once it opened and after trying it,  I am just as excited to return.  Executive Chef Kris Koch has a real knack for creating dishes that are not only creative and delicious, they are made from fresh, locally-sourced ingredients.  Everything that is offered on the menu is appealing to both locals and those who are in town and would like to try a true taste of Minnesota.  The Grand Opening of both The Six15 Room and The Grand Hotel is taking place tonight, June 16, 2011.
Six15 Room on Urbanspoon

Feb 202011

Cuisine: American, Fine-Dining
Restaurant Features: Bar, Farm-Direct, Locally Sourced, Market, Tasting Menu
Location: St Paul, MN (Lowertown)
Address: 289 East 5th Street St Paul, MN 55101 651-699-3536
Hours: Tuesday-Sunday 5:00pm  last seatingat 9:30pm
Links: Heartland Restaurant Website * Heartland on Facebook * Google Map
Atmosphere: Heartland is now located in Lowertown St Paul, in a large warehouse-style building overlooking the St Paul Farmer’s Market.  The space is divided into two levels, the upper level has two dining spaces, the lower level is the home of the Farm Direct Market where you can buy local and regionally sourced produce and meats.

The dining space is a wide and open, with extra tall ceilings.  Most tables are spaced far enough apart that you never feel crowded even on a busy night (which it always is at Heartland).

Menu: The theme of Heartland is that it is Midwestern Cuisine, with all items being locally sourced.  For this reason, the menu is always changing.

Here is an example of the menu: (actual menu from February 11, 2011)

Fauna Tasting Menu: 1st course Bison Liver with Caramelized Onions, 2nd Wild Boar Roast over Barley,  3rd Spiced Duck Egg Pot-de-Creme

Flora Tasting Menu: 1st Frisee with Walnut Croutons, 2nd Golden Potato Gnocchi with Wild Mushrooms, 3rd Chocolate Peca Tart with Honey Cherry Ice Cream

Small Plate options include Squash-Root Vegetable Cream Soup, Braised Bison in Broth, Chick Pea Salad, Cress with Caramelized Pearl Onions, Pork Cracklings with Fingerling Potatoes, Pork Rillettes with Blue Cornbread, Duck Breast Prosciutto, Wild Boar Liver Terrine with Nuts and Fruits, and Smoked Roast Bison.

Large Plates include Walleye with Mashed Sunchokes, Chicken Breast with Potato Puree and Crimini Mushrooms, Pheasant Breast with Weinkraut, Cassoulet with Kielbasa, Bison and Duck Leg, Lamb Chops with Fingerling Potatoes and Apple Cider Kraut, and Bison Ribeye with Turnips.

Side Plates that are offered include Roasted beets, Sunchokes, Sweet & Sour Cabbage, and Red Potatoes with Smoked Chili Pepper Aioli. $8

Cheese and Pastry plates include the midwestern Artisan Cheese Sampler with Fruit Chutney and Crackers, Spiced Duck Egg Pot De Creme with Cumin Cookie, Pear-Pumpkinseed Tart with Hazelnut, and the Chocolate Pecan Tart with Chestnut Honey-Cherry Ice Cream.

Price guide: Cheese & Pastry Plates $10-14 Small Plates $10-16  Large Plates $ 24-34  Tasting Menu $30/40

What we ordered: We started with cocktails and wine.  I ordered a bottle of Green & Red, a lovely red zin which I drank almost completely to myself.  I was celebrating my birthday!

One of my companions ordered the Norwegian Ginger, a very fresh and spicy drink made with real ginger root.  It was strong and delicious!

Another companion ordered a Dirty Martini, a classic.

Shortly after we ordered one of the wait staff came around with a basket of rolls, offering a choice of either Semolina Buckwheat or Sourdough.  I tried the wheat, which was crusty on the outside, soft and slightly warm inside.

Before the starter course we were brought these complimentary small plates with a potato crisps, hummus and chopped root vegetables with a sprig of cilantro.  Very good, I could have eaten many of these ;)

There were many appetizing choices on the menu this night but I decided to go with the Fauna Tasting Menu (3 courses for $40), which one of my companions also ordered. The first course was bison liver in sweet & sour chicken consomme broth with caramelized onions, and Mangalitsa pork bacon.  When I ordered the tasting menu I didn’t realize it included liver, which I had not been a fan of in the past.  One bite of this creation by Lenny Russo and I quickly changed my mind! The texture of the liver was very tender and it lacked the irony flavor that you find with beef liver.  The caramelized onions gave it a sweetness and the bacon gave it a smokey crunch.  It is true, bacon makes everything better! My companion who also ordered this declared it the best liver and onions ever made.

The main course was the Roasted Wild Boar.  The meat was tender and lean, three slices served over cooked barley in a blackberry walnut glace de viande.  The sauce was a rich but sweet, boiled down from the meat stock, blackberries and walnuts,with a hint of sherry.  This was good but wasn’t very exciting.

The dessert course was a black-pepper spiced duck egg pot de ceme with a cumin cookie and passion fruit puree.  This rich, velvety custard made from duck egg had a smooth, creamy texture reminding me more of a pudding than a custard.  It had a hint of vanilla and the black pepper it was spiced with, topped with crunchy glazed pecans.  I enjoyed it very much! The cumin cookie was a little strange, but I did like the passion fruit curd, a sweet mix of beaten egg yolks, fruit and sugar.  The server brought out complimentary flutes of sweet champagne with our dessert in celebration of my birthday.  That was a very nice touch!

For the main course one of my companions ordered the Bison Ribeye which came with a winter squash fondant, turnips and foie gras butter.  This steak was lean and delicious, slightly more tendinous than beef ribeye but rich in flavor, especially with the foie gras butter melting over the top.

Another companion ordered the Walleye with mashed sunchokes, mushrooms and a crayfish cream sauce.  This was one of the highlights of our meal at Heartland that evening.  The walleye had been flown in that same day from Lake of the Woods so it was fresh as can be.  The mushrooms were delicious and extremely flavorful from the herbs and wine they were sauteed in, the mashed sunchokes were also a nice change of pace from the usual potato.  The dish was accompanied by a crayfish cream sauce.

Service:  We had made reservations for pur Friday night visit a few weeks ahead of time, as it is very difficult to get in without a reservation on the weekend.  It was late enough at night that we were able to park on the street without paying.  The hostess was pleasant upon our arrival and brought us right to our table after offering to check our coats.  When ordering drinks we were given the option of premium bottled water, or choose from a select list of cocktails and beverages.  Our server was attentive and helpful with ordering, and food was appropriately paced for each course.  The complimentary champagne was a great touch.

Overall Impression: I had been wanting to try Heartland for a few years now and I am glad I finally did.  I love that everything is locally sourced; Chef Lenny Russo truly does a beautiful job of highlighting foods that are native to our region and presenting them in a unique way.

Heartland Restaurant and Farm Direct Market on Urbanspoon