Would we go back:
112 N. 3rd Street
• sweet & sour crab salad $9.00
• sea scallops w/ oyster mushrooms $12.00
• pan-fried gnocchi w/ parmesan reggiano $8.00
• banana cream tart $9.00
Wow. I think that is about all I can say is wow, wow, wow! But of course I will try to elaborate a bit. To be honest, this is our second time here. We made reservations for this evening a month and half out and the first time we could get a time before 11:00 pm on a Saturday was this day. A couple of weeks ago we were coming home from a meeting and we had not eaten yet, it was 9:30pm so I said we should stop in at 112 and see if we can get in, it was 9:30 pm on a Wednesday night after all. If we could we would eat then and cancel our upcoming reservation. When we arrived, they said it would be a 45 minute wait, but there was a seat at the bar, we could have until a table was available. 45 minute wait on a WEDNESDAY at any time is unbelievable, but at 9:30 pm honestly. There is no way it was that good. We actually got a table in about 20 minutes and found out that indeed it was that good.
The first night I had the gnocchi and the cauliflower fritters, we also shared the shrimp appetizer. Steve had the foie gras meatballs. Everything was amazing. I have never understood the fascination with gnocchi. I had heard people talk about how good they could be, so light and feathery. Well after the gnocchi at 112 I finally understood, they just dissolved in your mouth, they were amazing. The cauliflower fritters were amazing as well. Steve's dish was so amazing that he refused to have a bite of the popcorn that comes with the check, because he did not want the flavors to leave his mouth yet. In 12+ years of dining with Steve I have never seen him so gaga over food before. We agreed as we left that we are keeping the Saturday reservation.
I again ordered the gnocchi in part because I wanted to see if it was just a fluke the first time, it wasn't. The sea scallops were heavenly, the crab salad perfect. The dessert was very well done, but probably did not quite live up the level of the food. When I go back, I will probably just go for another small dish and skip dessert, although I was plenty full with the amount I had sans dessert as it was.
If you have not been yet, go. You may have to eat earlier or later than you normally would, but it is totally worth the sacrifice for the most amazing food in the city.
• lamb scottadito w/ goats milk yogurt $12.00
• nori encrusted sirloin w/ ponzu $25.00
• tres leches cake $7.00
What can you say about 112 Eatery that hasn’t been said already? Nothing. Nada. Everything you have heard is true: It is that good. Renee’s birthday was back in February, and she normally picks a restaurant to go to. This year, my business travel and her philanthropic travel laid waste to plans of going to a restaurant near her birthday. After much goading, she wanted to go to W.A. Frost until she heard that Russell Klein left. Four months later, she finally agreed on 112 Eatery. Of course, getting a table on a Saturday night is a three to four week affair, and we finally got a reservation at 8:30 p.m. three weeks out. In the meantime, we cheated and went one weeknight at 9:00 p.m., when a no-show or two saved us from a further 45 minute wait or a meal at the bar. I’m sure we’re not alone in the pursuit of a table at the hottest restaurant Minneapolis has seen in the dozen years we’ve been going out to eat regularly.
112 Eatery is foodie heaven. Everything is made with the best ingredients to the highest standards. Everything I had was excellent and the prices were reasonable. 112’s sirloin steak compares favorably to any other sirloin served downtown, and is probably a few dollars cheaper. The lamb scottadito is an innovative yet simple lamb preparation that is fantastic. Renee’s gnocchi was outstanding (both times) and it’s a steal at its current price. It is comparable to the best gnocchi I’ve had in New York , although 112 pan fries their gnocchi. The tres leches cake is fantastic, but be warned that desserts are big enough to share, but good enough not to be missed. On our weekday visit, the tagliatelle with foie gras meatballs was among the best entrees I’ve had in years.
112 Eatery has become an instant institution in downtown Minneapolis, and I hope it will be for years to come.
June 30, 2007