16 August 2007

Another visit to Barbette

The very first restaurant that I reviewed on Krik’s Picks was Barbette in south Minneapolis near Lake Calhoun. A year later, my wife and I came back to Barbette under very much the same circumstances. I took a day off. Linda went for a walk; I went for a bike ride. We read the paper and had coffee. Then we went to the Museum of Russian Art.

Since I’ve already written about the concept behind Barbette, I won’t repeat myself now. (Click here to read my review from August 2006.)

On this visit, we each started with a glass of wine. Linda ordered a Bordeaux blanc – Chateau Le Tuileries, Andre Brunel, Domaine Becassone. It was fantastic – a little buttery like a chardonnay but still relatively light and refreshing. I had a Malbec El Portillo from Argentina. I enjoyed it very much.

We both had specials for our lunches.

Linda had the daily scramble – sausage and Portobello mushrooms scrambled with eggs. The flavors were very complimentary. The sausage was not too spicy, and the mushrooms provided an earthy balance.

I had the daily luncheon special – pan-fried lamb served with a salad of mixed greens, goat cheese, 'sunburst squash' (also called pattypan) and beets. The lamb was outstanding. It was seared with a crusty exterior and a rare, tender interior. Linda said it was too rare for her, but I gave her a bite of an end piece, and she agreed it was wonderful. The salad also was good. It didn’t compete with the lamb and the goat cheese provided a pungent compliment to the meat. I don’t particularly like beets, so I didn’t eat the tender cubes of red beets in the salad.

The portions are not particularly large. For my lunch, it may have been about a third of a pound of lean lamb cut into four slices. Linda’s scramble was probably two eggs. But we left feeling very comfortable with our appetites satisfied. And the prices were reasonable - $12 for my lamb, $8.50 for Linda’s scramble.

I love having a reliable place like Barbette that we can return to with the confidence that we will get a good meal.

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