03 January 2011

A plug for Pairings, Minnetonka

Regular readers of Krik’s Picks probably picked up on the fact that my daughter and her family moved to Minnesota during 2010. Yea!!

My son-in-law is in the restaurant business. I’ve written about him previously and mentioned a couple of his past restaurants when they lived in Chicago – foodlife and BenjYehuda. For my first post in 2011, I decided to give a plug to his new restaurant.

When they moved here, he got a job as kitchen manager and sous chef at Pairings in Minnetonka. The concept behind Pairings it to combine a wine market with a food market. When you walk in, the wine shop is to the right. The restaurant is to the left. You can pick up a bottle of wine and bring it into the restaurant. They’ll open it for you with no corkage fee.

We’ve had dinner at Pairings several times. We even took Tovah and Peter there before they moved here. The food is very good, and there’s a lot of variety in the offerings. They have everything from pizzas to salads to pastas to entrées. You can eat in or take out. Pairings_1024

The photo is from a visit in October, after Peter has been working there for about a month. We were there again in December. My son picked Pairings for his birthday dinner. He picked a night when Peter wasn’t working, so he actually got to sit with us and enjoy the fare.

Like I said, all of the food is good. But there are a few standouts. I think the pizzas are particularly noteworthy. The duck confit pizza is particularly good. We usually get one of those. For my son’s birthday, we also got a mushroom pizza that was very good. They also have a ‘pizza bar’ (for lack of a better description). You can pick your own favorites from a selection of 16 toppings.

The pastas are very good, and they have a selection of nearly a dozen sandwiches, including wraps and paninis. In addition, each night they offer a few entrées. Some of the entrées change seasonally. I’ve had a braised lamb shank that was very good, and my daughter had the salmon which she liked.

Pairings does have a few breakfast items on the menu, and they have a Sunday brunch menu. I’m a breakfast fan, but they don’t open until 10 a.m. so I’ve never had breakfast there. That might be ok for Sunday brunch. But 10 a.m. doesn’t usually work for breakfast on a work day for me.

So I recommend Pairings for a nice variety of offerings, excellently prepared, and if you’re so inclined, you can enjoy them with a nice bottle of wine from the next door wine shop.

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