This is the second time I’ve had lunch at Bibiana. I needed to go downtown for a meeting. I had time for lunch. My first time there was such a pleasant experience that I decided to go again. Wow. Am I glad I did!
When I came in at 11:45, I was the first person there. At first I wasn’t even sure if they were open yet. But they were (lunch begins at 11:30). I was seated at a nice table by the window. My server was very friendly and helpful.
There were so many tempting items on the menu, I wasn’t sure what to pick. I decided to go with an antipasti and a pasta. For the starter, I asked about the buffalo milk ricotta with honey, black pepper, chives, and almonds. My server suggested instead ‘datteri’ which was roasted dates stuffed with cheese and served with pistachios and pancetta. A great recommendation; I loved it.
For the pasta, I had ‘marubini.’ They were ravioli filled with braised veal and topped with brown butter, pancetta, sage, and shaved parmesan.
My server offered dessert. I declined but ordered an espresso. He brought me a dessert menu anyway, “for the next time you come,” he said. I looked through it. There was a cheesecake with pistachio crust that sounded good. No carrot cake or apple pie, but there is a dessert that they call ‘Torta del Finanziere.’ I guess a finanziere is a small tea cake. Bibiana ’s is a hazelnut cake served with apple butter, roasted lemon salted caramel apple, and apple cider gelato. Sounds interesting, doesn’t it?
We have some very good Italian restaurants in Minnesota. But I haven’t found one like Bibiana yet. The creativity of the dishes, delicious flavors, and artistic presentation really make me wish we had something like it here.
I will go there for dinner sometime. Stay tuned.