04 July 2017

Enjoying a belated Fathers Day lunch at Coalition in Edina

For Fathers Day, in June, my daughter's present to me was to have lunch together. (Sweet.) I got to pick the location. I wanted to be careful not to pick too expensive, in case she insisted on picking up the check. I didn't purposely pick a theme, but my choices all were along 50th Street in South Minneapolis. Two of the choices were reliable favorites:  St. Genevieve at 50th & Bryant and Terzo at 50th & Penn. The third choice was a new restaurant at 50th & France - Coalition. Tovah picked Coalition. It exceeded expectations.

The South Minneapolis/Edina location is the second Coalition location. The original is located in Excelsior. We seldom go out that direction. I don't think I've ever eaten there. And now I don't have any reason to, since the new location is so good.

The decor at Coalition is sleek and modern with chrome, brick, and high ceilings. My daughter arrived early and got us a high-top table next to the window facing onto 50th Street. That was very nice for our July 3 lunch date. Farther back in the restaurant are tables and booths. They looked very comfortable, but perhaps a little bit dark, maybe a better mood for dinner. Overall the restaurant wasn't particularly crowded. We received a friendly greeting at the door, and our table was close to the entry. I did see one group of 3 come in, also seated at a high-top. But when their fourth person arrived, they moved to one of the tables in the restaurant.

Tovah had scanned the menu online. At lunch, it features several small plates, vegetables, and salads. The entree section of the menu is mostly burgers and sandwiches. There were several items on the small plates and vegetables that looked good, so we decided to order 3 of them to get a variety to sample. We also decided to split a sandwich.

Here's what we had:

  • Burrata (listed as a starter, or small plate) - two generous globes of soft, milky burrata cheese served with a generous scoop of fig jam, some greens, thin slices of American prosciutto, and four pieces of lightly toasted ciabatta bread. 
The burrata platter was my favorite
  • Brussels sprouts - lightly sauteed and served with grilled grapes and hazelnuts. We both thought they had a sweetness that couldn't be explained simply by the grilled grapes. Turns out they are drizzled lightly with some honey.
  • Cauliflower - Our server commented that this is one of their most popular items on the menu. The florets are lightly fried (I think in sesame oil) with a sweet pepper barbecue dressing and green onions. 
  • We also split a chicken sandwich on focaccia with brie cheese and arugula. 
The vegetables were excellent. I can see why the cauliflower is so popular. My personal favorite from this lunch was the burrata platter. The cheese was excellent. It was beautifully presented. The fig jam was good. The ciabatta was good. I'm not a big prosciutto fan, but Tovah liked it. 
Lunch at Coalition, ample servings at a reasonable price

It turns out that those 3 items would have been ample for our lunch. We didn't need the sandwich. The sandwich was good, but not memorable. It was nice that they split the sandwich and plated it separately for us. And I just realized as I'm writing this post - we were given a choice of salad on the side with the sandwich. I asked for slaw. But the salad we were served was more of a tossed salad with a light vinaigrette and tomatoes. It was fine. But my daughter doesn't like tomatoes, and I noticed she left hers on the plate. 

Coalition is open for breakfast as well as dinner. We looked at the menus for both. I seldom go out for breakfast, so I don't anticipate sampling that menu. On the dinner menu, the starters, vegetables, and salads look pretty much the same as the lunch menu. The main difference seems to be that the sandwiches are replaced with full entrees. 

I did bring the leftover Brussels sprouts and cauliflower home. My wife and I had them with a meal at home. She really liked them and said she'd like to try the restaurant. So I'm sure that we'll make a return visit, probably for dinner (maybe after a movie at the Edina Theater). 

Also, I did pick up the check for lunch. My daughter objected. But really, the joy was in having time alone with her, and not having her pay for our lunch.