December 22, 2015

What Does The Bluefox Say?

What does a blue fox say? Do blue foxes even exist? Is it a mythical or mystical creature? To answer these questions; I guess there could be a mythical or mystical blue fox in some fairy tale book. There is such thing as a blue fox, but it's not an animal. And apparently, some guy named Ylvis is trying to figure out what foxes say, but I don't think he's figured it out yet. 

Yes, there is such a thing as a blue fox, but it's a restaurant that is called BlueFox Indian Bar & Grill. Located in the new and trendy West End Shopping center, this quaint restaurant is serving some really delicious food and I think it's worth stopping by to check out. Sure, there's plenty of great restaurants in this area to try and Indian food might scare you, but don't be scared. Instead, keep and open mind and check this place out. 

This was our first experience with BlueFox, but certainly not our first go-round with Indian food so we had an idea of what to compare it against. I think the more trendy and modern decor inside is inline with the look of West End instead of going with more authentic decorations, etc. Staff were very friendly and helpful with the menu and answering any questions we had. But enough of the restaurant, lets get to that yummy food. 

While we ordered some adult beverages and looked over the menu, our server brought out "chips". Not the kid of chips we were expecting, but are a must have before any meal or as the owner would say (who we had the chance to meet), "They go great with some cold beer!" I would certainly agree with that statement and you should most definitely ask for them. These chips were some kind of crispy, puff, little diamond thing, simply made with some dough and spices then fried. Yummy!

 We placed our order, my wife went for a special - Fire Garlic Shrimp and I went for a recommended dish called Chicken Chettindau. While we waited for our dishes to arrive, yet another surprise arrived at our table, the Executive Chef and a scallop appetizer. My wife thought they were a little over done (maybe just a tad), but I thought they had good flavor and there wasn't anything left.

Our food arrived and both dishes looked delicious, presented nicely and I was ready to start trying what was in front of me. We'll start with my wife's dish. Five grilled prawns, marinated with olive oil, chopped garlic, cayenne pepper, lemon juice and mustard powder - served over a bed of bahar rice and lemon grass with a tomato reduction and grilled sweet potato. While this was on the spicy side for my wife, I thought the dish was very good. It wasn't under cooked or over cooked and the tomato reduction was delicious.

As for my Chicken Chettinadu, I thought this dish was also very good and with plenty of heat. Prepared with boneless chicken breasts that is slow cooked with onions, tomatoes, coriander, curry leaves, garlic, chile and served with coconut rice and traditional bread. Again, I thought the dish was really good with a lot of different flavors for your mouth to enjoy. Are either of these dishes going to make you go - Wa-pa-pa-pa-pa-pa-pow!, Hatee-hatee-hatee-ho! or Tchoff-tchoff-tchoffo-tchoffo-tchoff!? Maybe not, but the food is still delicious!

We finished our evening with a little vanilla ice cream dessert that was covered with a fresh pureed blue berry mixture that was actually a good pallet cleanser. If heat and all kinds of crazy seasonings and flavors aren't your thing, don't worry, they have a vast menu and not everything is made hot and spicy. So... venture out, see if you can find the secret of the fox, but if you end up deep in the woods, you've gone too far! Hey! even my little guy enjoyed his meal of oranges! ;)

5377 W 16th Street
Saint Louis Park, MN 55416

September 6, 2015

Finger Painting Of Burgers

There are all types of artistic expression or styles and the very first one humans learn is while they're in preschool - finger painting. At this stage, it's definitely, "in the eye of the beholder!" and of course you're going to tell your child how beautiful it is. However, when it comes to food and restaurants using art to describe their food, you better be able to bring work a da Vinci to the table, not something done by a 6 year old.

Some of you have tried to collect every shot glass or t-shirt from this next place for the Gnaw to visit and you guessed right, it's the Hard Rock Cafe. For several years, downtown Minneapolis had a Hard Rock Cafe and the couple of times I've gone, it's been a very unsatisfying experience. It eventually closed, but several years later, opened back up inside the Mall of America's Nickelodeon Universe. It's been opened for a year now, but my wife and I refused to go, knowing what our past experiences have been.

We finally gave in during a recent shopping visit and decided it was time to see if anything has changed. As I open the menu to look things over, I find myself on the burger menu. I start to read, "You know how phenomenal artists take something real and raw and make it legendary? Yeah, our burgers are like that!" I see burgers with the word legendary in the name and I start to wonder... Are they legendary? Are they actually better than past experiences?

My wife ordered a Hickory BBQ Bacon Cheeseburger while I went with their Original Legendary Burger. The place wasn't very full and my wife mentioned, "does it seem like it's taking a little long?" And it was like the runner could hear her, out came our burgers. Mine came with an onion ring, so I immediately went for the ring. After just one bite and only one bite, I decided to put it down. Well... the onion ring was cold (makes sense for the length of time it took) and I took a quick bit of my burger which was also cold. Instead of being medium (pink in color on the inside), mine was looking over cooked.

My wife on the other hand said that hers was cooked more inline with how we like our burgers prepared, but even after a few bites in, hers too had signs of being over cooked. I decided to inform our server of the situation, but that I would eat my burger as we didn't have time for a new one to be made. Our server was however, kind enough to right the wrong and had a manager comp my meal.

Clearly, using the word legendary or describing your food in a way to suggest that your food is like a fine piece of art work, is false! I would however describe the Hard Rock's food to that of a fine finger painting art piece. It amazes me that their restaurants are typically crammed full when the food is so mediocre. It must be that really cool drum stick on the wall from Tommy Lee or that very ridiculous purple costume that "the symbol" donned in Purple Rain! Whatever it is, I'll stick to the true da Vinci's around town that make my tummy happy.

Hard Rock Cafe
Mall of America - Nickelodeon Universe

July 20, 2015

If I Had A $1,000!

If I had $1,000 just laying around, I would probably buy myself something really nice, but it probably wouldn't be enough for a llama, emu or some crazy elephant bones. I could however buy all of the delicious Kraft Mac n' Cheese that I would want, but I'm also a Shells and Cheese guy, so that's out!

What I wouldn't buy for $1,000 is a burger with that price tag, but I would try a burger that was called that... Well, we're all in luck because a new brew house in the Northloop neighborhood called The Freehouse has a burger called, $1,000 Burger. My wife and I made plans with relatives to attend the Chesney/Aldean concert at Target Field and of course needed a place to grab some grub and brews before we went to party. I had looked over the menu a few times prior to deciding where to eat and after speaking to some neighbors, the decision was easy!

I like seeing more and more brewpubs popping up wanting to create their own brews and serve some delicious food. I love trying new flavorful craft brews and The Freehouse is definitely doing it right. I went for their pony samplers and tried the Kolsch, Brown, Stout, Witbier and Blueberry Blonde. Kolsch could easily compete with some of the best, the Brown and Stout were very smooth, the Wit was outstanding as was the Blueberry.

I suppose you want me to get to that $1,000 Burger??? Not quite yet, I have some other dishes to share first. Lets start with my wife's meal. She wasn't very hungry after we had a bit of a late lunch with some neighbors so she was looking for something a little on the lighter side. Their Chick Pea Wraps struck her fancy and by the sounds of it, on the lighter side. Made with crisp lettuce, sunflower seeds, cucumbers, avocado and roasted tomato, they arrived like large lettuce tacos. She described them as edible, but lacking flavor. After I took one bite, I would also agree with that statement. Maybe some "pre-wrapped sausages" would be a better idea? She also order a side of their "yesterday's soup special" which was a BLT themed creamy soup and that was very good and worth trying whenever it's available.

My in-laws on the other hand were indeed hungry and decided to go with the SoCal Shrimp Tacos made with crispy shrimp, cabbage, jalapeno and chili aioli. Out came 3 large tacos, looking oh so delicious and my sister in-law thoroughly enjoyed them. My brother in-law decided to take on the Le Cheeseburger made with ground chuck, lettuce, tomato, onion, egg bun and choice of cheese. Looked very juicy, delicious and even though it was good, he really wanted his wife's shrimp tacos.

Ok, the wait is over! If you have $15, you can try the $1,000 Burger, that's it, just $15! If I had $15, if I had $15... Yeah a Million sounds much better... Alright, alright, the thing that catches my attention with any food is the uniqueness and with the $1,000 Burger, it was 2 simple words - Duck and Fat or Foie Gras. Made with short rib, brisket & sirloin, duck fat, No 4 butter, house english muffin and white cheddar - this is a burger worth trying. Very juicy and full of flavor, but there are a couple things that I would do to make it even better. One of them (which I did) was added some fresh jalapenos to my burger to give a little spice. The other would be to add another dollop of wonderful duck fat. It's like biting into the worlds best tasting butter and it makes everything better!

I definitely will go back to The Freehouse and if you ever want to buy my love, it doesn't take money, it just takes delicious food, but it's also not for sale! Although, if I did have a million dollars, not only would I be rich, but I could go and find all kinds of other amazing foods to try and maybe, just maybe, I would buy "really expensive ketchups - the fanciest Dijon ketchups."

The Freehouse
701 N. Washington Ave., Ste 101
Minneapolis, MN 55401

July 7, 2015

Pimento Jamaican Kitchen Is Expanding

Pimento Jamaican Kitchen to Open on Eat Street Fall 2015

  Announces Partnership w/ Hunger Relief Organization; Refill MN 

Eat Street - Minneapolis, Minn - Pimento Jamaican Kitchen is more than a restaurant, Pimento is dedicated to changing lives with every plate served. Winners of the TV reality completion Food Court Wars on Food Network, Pimento is expanding to a second location and bringing authentic Jamaican street food to 26th and Nicollet in Minneapolis this fall.

Pimento recently partnered with the hunger relief organization Refill MN and is committed to reaching the goal of donating 100,000 meals to the 1 in 9 Minnesotans who are food insecure by 2017. Every meal served at Pimento’s new location will provide a meal for a hungry Minnesotan.  In the first two weeks of the partnership, Pimento Jamaican Kitchen and Refill MN donated over 2,500 meals to our neighbors in need.

Pimento recently launched a crowdfunding campaign on Kickstarter to raise the last 20% of funding. The sooner Pimento can open the doors of it's flagship location on Eat Street, the sooner they reach their 100,000 meal goal.

Pimento Jamaican Kitchen and Refill MN's food truck will be at the Basilica Block Party in downtown Minneapolis this weekend July 10th and 11th, serving Kingston-Style Jerk Chicken, Slow-Roasted Jerk Pork, Coconut Rice & Beans, Sweet Fried Plantains and choice of 4 signature sauces.  


In the fall of 2009, Yoni, a Jewish rapper from Minneapolis, moved in next door to Tomme, a Jamaican business executive. After years of backyard BBQs and a trip to Tomme’s hometown of Kingston, Pimento Jamaican Kitchen was born.  Pimento offers authentic Jamaican street food using family recipes, chef-inspired techniques and fresh local ingredients, all prepared from scratch. Gluten-free and vegan-friendly options available.

For more information about Pimento Jamaican Kitchen, visit

Check out Pimento's Kickstarter Page to learn more about the great work they're doing with Refill MN and their plans for their all new Eat Street Location.

Yoni Reinharz
Chief Creative Officer
Pimento Jamaican Kitchen

June 24, 2015

We're Jammin', Bacon Jammin'

A wise Jamaican man once said, "Ain't no rules, ain't no vow, we can do it anyhow..." and one of the newest additions to my favorites list and an outstanding place to get a burger is doing just that. Said place is Tamarack Tap Room in Woodbury and that wise man for anyone who isn't a fan (like I am), is Mr. Bob Marley.

With Marley on my mind, I'm thinking the Tap Room could create an insanely tasting Jamaican inspired burger that would knock the dreads right off your head. Until that happens, I'm going to get you to like jammin' too! The jammin' I'm talking about is their Bacon Jam Burger and it's a keeper. I order my red meat pink as any true carnivore would and it's prepped with; Creamy Brie Cheese, topped with Maple-Bourbon-Bacon Jam and served on a Brioche Bun. To make it even more interesting, I add a side of their Ghost Pepper Aioli and it makes this burger easily one of all-time favorites. Their burgers are juicy right down to the last bite and full of flavor! What I just described to is just ridiculous and you won't find it anywhere else!

This was my second go-round with Tamarack (Check out Locavore Hear Me Roar for my first visit) and this time I was able to bring my wife with me. It was time for her to try the food that I'm thoroughly enjoying and bragging about. When we're at a place for burgers, she usually ordering something else on the menu for me to try so we have two new meals to sample. This time, she went with one of their new salad options which was recommended by our server. That new addition was their Heirloom Tomato Salad made with fresh Mozzarella, Basil, Mixed Greens, Red Onion, Pancetta, Balsamic, Extra Virgin Olive Oil and finally, sea salt. She absolutely enjoyed it and recommends it herself. I'll stick to being a carnivore and recommending the meats!

Before we could even enjoy these delicious meals, we started off with an order of their Buffalo Wings and some cold adult beverages. With over 70 brews to choose from on tap and cold, there's something for everyone. For me, it's my new favorite Hefe brew, Weihenstephaner. Such an awesome tasting Hefe and you can enjoy one after the other. As for those wings we ordered... Head over to the Flying Buffalo's? to see how they fared against the competition, but I'll say this, they're doing things right and they have a great dry rub on them to start things off.

The Tamarack Tap Room is easily becoming one of my go-to places to grab a delicious burger and cold brew (especially that Hefe). I wonder if they'll ever do something as crazy as a Jamaican themed burger, but if they do, I'm guessing I'll be the first person to try it!

Tamarack Tap Room
8418 Tamarack Village
Woodbury, MN 55125

April 29, 2015

E-I-E-I-OOOO So Yummy!

If Old MacDonald had a restaurant with all of his mooers, oinkers, baaers, cluckers with some swimmers and growing plants on a prairie, you could find it right here in Minnesota. It's not in the middle of nowhere or a small farm town, however it can be found in a vibrant city and in a neighborhood known for a wide variety of cuisine. Uptown is the neighborhood and Libertine is the place to be.

My wife and I were celebrating our wedding anniversary and while we thoroughly enjoy going to some of our favorite spots for special occasions, we're always looking to spread our wings and check out a new place as well. Libertine was on our list to check out and it was the perfect evening to do so. The establishment itself is very trendy and cool looking on the inside and after you sit down, you're greeted by a very enthusiastic server.

You're sitting and you know you want a cold beverage, Libertine has quite the elaborate drink creations, all of them sound superb and my wife went with a Sailor Friend -vodka, blueberry vanilla cardamom. I went the easy way out and with my ultimate favorite drink, Crown and Diet. While you enjoy your adult beverages or non-adults and are a first timer, it's time for a crash course on the menu.

Their amazing chef selects cuts that are typically only known to the butcher world, secrets if you will. Libertine decided it was time to stop with the secrets and let others taste some of the best cuts of meat you'll ever have. I was looking at the menu all day and very much indecisive about what I was going to get and while the server taught us all about Old MacDonald's cherished animals, my mouth started to water. After our five minute animal education class, we were ready to make our selections.

We started with with plants and went with a Avocado Salad. Half an avocado sliced thinly and topped with citrus, blue crab, olive oil and hot peppers. My wife knows me very well and I'm not a big fan of avocado's, but blue crabs and hot peppers on the other hand, well.... I suppose. I would have ordered 10 more! What an absolutely amazing dish and a must get.

My wife decided that her cut of moo moo which originated from the upper leg, back and rear end area. Described to us like only our server could, my wife was all over it - full of flavor, plenty of marbling and the steak version of a slow cooked roast. The Point Steak with herb-marrow butter was very delicious, full of flavor and our server was spot on. Yes, you should try it, but it's the next dish that will have going back for more.

I'm certainly known for my love for Juicy's and a good burger and on Libertine's menu, you'll find their version, but from a baa baa and that immediately grabbed my attention. Lamb and Brie Lucy! Oh, I'll be going back for this bad boy, but I decided to check something else out that my server persuaded me to try and still lamb. The Saddle Chop! After my server told me it was like the t-bones of the steak world and cooked to perfection, as lamb should be, he had me! One bite in and I wanted to order another and another and another. It was hands down the best cut and prepared lamb dish I have had and I have enjoyed plenty of outstanding lamb around the Twin Cities. My wife loved her steak, but kept eyeing up my lamb after just one bite as well.

Your main meal will not come with a side, instead they have plenty of shareables to choose from and went with Baby Potatoes with olive oil, crème fraiche and chives. Here a potato, there a potato, all potatoes are the same! Libertine uses a wide variety of the potato family, they arrive to your table cooked perfectly and are of course, tasty. If you're not an adventurous eater like my wife and I are, then this is must get, but there is plenty on the menu worth considering.

If the founders of Libertine truly had a friendship Old MacDonald, I sure am thankful they decided to team up. A return to Libertine is a guarantee and everyone should consider paying them a visit. If eating animals aren't your thing, no worries, they have a Not Animal section, but I think I'll stick with the runners, swimmers and flyers!

3001 Hennepin Ave.
Uptown - Minneapolis

April 20, 2015

Locavore Hear Me Roar

I used to sit quietly, usually agreed politely and forgot that I had a choice. I decided one day to rock the boat, make a mess and stopped making bad choices with my restaurant decisions. Restaurant chains are being out performed by local owners and my newest favorite lo-cal, Tamarack Tap Room in Woodbury is serving some delicious food.

I was invited to pay the newest edition to Woodbury a visit by the Tap Room's ownership and a friend of mine, Anton, who happens to be an employee of theirs. How could I say no!? I packed up my little guy (can't wait to show him what good food is) and we were on our way to daddy and Easton date night (mommy was on vacation with relatives). I had already been reviewing the menu trying to figure out what I would order and I had a list going. What I ended up ordering tells me one thing, my return is inevitable.

I decided, no, my belly decided that my first meal at the Tamarack Tap Room was going to be a burger known as, the Locavore. Made with local Struass Free range grass fed beef, duck bacon, cheddar, fried egg, pretzel bun. Anyone who knows my appetite knows the one thing that caught my attention with this burger - DUCK BACON! I ordered my burger pink as any good "Locavore" should and my side was their signature house cut fries and like the eye of a tiger, I was digging into this thing. The fries were perfect and the burger itself - PHE-NOM-EN-AL! I've had plenty of pretzel buns that always seem to be far too dry, but their pretzel bun was perfect - little snap to the outside, warm and moist on the inside. As for the Duck Bacon, really, do I have to say anything else? It's Duck Bacon!

I had to of course add a little fire to my burger and of course had something delicious to help wash this outstanding burger down. I asked for a sample of their house made Ghost Pepper Aioli which was amazing and asked my server (who by the way was one of the most considerate servers ever - more on that later) to ask the bartender and my pal Anton for anything German and cold. He brought me a Hefeweizen and 2 small samples that were all cold and oh so delicious.

I just mentioned how considerate my server was and boy was she ever. Traveling with a little one and being a male has its challenges, particularly when it comes to changing said little one. Not enough businesses place a changing table in the men's room which is very frustrating. My server decided to speak with management about allowing me to use the ladies room changing table (once it was of course vacated). They were more than accommodating and respectful of the situation as were other patrons. I thanked the staff and the manager and he was taken back from my experience and is looking into adding a changing table to the men's room now.

You're definitely going to hear me roar again when I visit again and again and again so I can try the other items that were on my list. Suppose you want to hear about that list? Here ya go; Umami Burger - Porcini mushroom crusted burger, seared foie gras, truffle brie, port wine reduction. Short Rib Burger - Surly bender braised short rib, horseradish cheddar, bourbon bbq sauce, brioche bun. Sausage Board - Cilantro duck, jalapeno elk, local cheese, nuts, pickled veg, pear mustardo and ciabatta. Short Rib Mac n' Cheese - Four cheese mac, short ribs, wild mushrooms, rigatoni, ciabatta. Brown butter Lobster Roll - Maine Lobster, brown butter lemon aioli, house made slaw, chips. and I also want to take on their burger challenge, The Big 24 - 24oz triple decker, 6 slices of pecan smoked bacon, 3 slices of American cheese, 3 slices of swiss, lettuce, tomatoes, red onion & pickle, brioche bun, house sauce - Finish this beast in 10 minutes & get a free draft (or t-shirt) of your choice.

I wonder if Katy Perry would ever pay this place a visit???? One thing is for certain... I will indeed be back to tackle my list and enjoy some more delicious food. Now that I have your mouth watering, what do you plan on trying?

Tamarack Tap Room
8418 Tamarack Village 
Woodbury, MN 55125

March 25, 2015

LeDoux's Ranch?

Decided to spend a little time shopping at the Mall of America with the family, our little guy was on spring break from his child care provider for the week. We parked the car at "the old bean patch" and started our day of shopping for the little guy. As dinner time neared, it was time to figure out what mommy and daddy were going to have for din din.

My Gnaw followers know us to not be fans of anything chain related, but unfortunately, that's all that can be found at the MOA. We contemplated eating at; Crave, Hard Rock Cafe, Cadillac Ranch and Buffalo Wild Wings. Crave is more disappointing than it is delicious, we've both have never had good luck at Hard Rock so it was down to two. We should have went with Buffalo Wild Wings, because you're going to need a case of daddy's 90 proof to enjoy the food at Cadillac Ranch. 

Off to the Ranch we go and thinking of what we would consider ordering. We arrived, were sat quickly and ordered some drinks. My wife was honing in on a burger while my attention was focused on their Philly. Remember that case of 90 proof? This is where you'll want to start sipping from the bottle...

My wife's burger, the BBQ Burger actually looked very good as it arrived to the table and I definitely wanted to take a bite. My wife cut it in half and the disappointment started. The only way to enjoy read meat is for it to be pink, well done red meat is just terrible and the dryness makes it inedible. The burger itself had absolutely no flavor and I'm still trying to figure out why cooks/chefs haven't figured it out yet, salt and pepper goes a long way! 

My Philly on the other hand was a complete disappointment without even touching it. The bun was falling apart, it looked as if the cook started his very first day as a cook and the meat, again, looked dry as a dessert with absolutely no flavor. As I took my first bite, I told my wife, "We should have went to Buffalo Wild Wings!" At least there, they have an awesome Jammin' Jalapeno sauce that I love! After my wife took her first bite, she put it down and washed it down with her drink quickly! See how this did against the competition by visiting > On The Streets Of Philasota! 

There may be a bar in this "barn", but I doubt the place stays as packed as Chris LeDoux's Cadillac Ranch even if there is genuine 59' Coupe Deville above the entrance. Yeah, I'm not sure it's actually a 59 or if it's even a Coupe Deville, but I might be close! 

3rd Floor Near Macy's

March 16, 2015

Can You Dig It?

I had some free time on my hands between playing a little "puck" (that's hockey) and attending a very important meeting and needed a little lunch. I was made aware of a new place in town that is apparently serving up delicious burgers and pizza's and a burger and ice cold brew sounded perfect for the spring like weather we had on this particular day.

Digby's, located on the south side of Rosedale Mall just so happens to be the newest restaurant for me to visit and I sure am glad I did. A burger really did sound like a logical choice with such the great weather we were experiencing, so why not try a new guy in town. Like Digby's even says, "It's natures perfect food!" and I would have to agree. They serve them pink or no pink and the only way to eat red meat is for it to be mooing a little bit. I added some pepper jack cheese to my natures perfect food and waited for it to arrive. 

While I waited for my burger, the bartender said a magical word when I asked her about their wings, Whisky. Well..... I can't say no to an order of wings that are made with Whiskey, plus it was happy hours (yes, happy hours) so I ordered them and as I normally would, extra crispy. My wings arrived first and after one bite, I was in chicken wing heaven. These things were perfect and their Whiskey Glaze had the perfect sweet, tangy and full of flavor. These are a must get when you stop by yourself and you can see how their ranking in the wing challenge by visiting > Flying Buffalo?.

My burger arrived and I noticed little chunks of meat falling off with melted cheese trying its best to hold on to it for dear life. My mouth started to water knowing that this thing was going to be juicy. I told the soon to be G.M., Charley that it reminded me of a burger found at a place like Smash Burger or 5 Guys, but with one BIG difference, Digby's burger is full of tremendous flavor while the others are bland. Cooked exactly as described, perfectly pink and every single bite was as good as the previous. Lots of great pepper jack cheese to enjoy and I could have ate another. 

I washed all of my outstanding food down an ice cold brew and spent some time with the G.M. talking about how delicious the food was and that he has nothing to change. Keep it as it is and you'll be successful! I suppose there is one thing that I would change... Make their S&P shakers a moving gadget, especially if it's going to be two porkers in a particular position! I laughed out loud a little bit when the bar tender set them down next to me....

So, can you dig it? Is Digby's going to be one of your next spots to try when you're looking for a great burger or some wings to enjoy? Maybe it will be one of their pizzas, something I would like to try when I return with my wife and child. Whatever your appetite might be, Digby's will have something for you that is worth eating and enjoying.

Rosedale Mall - Roseville

February 15, 2015

Here Comes A Blister In The Sun

It has been a long cold lonely winter and I 'm about to ramble on about a "blister in the sun". That sun, is a place called Sole Mio (translated to My Sun), located in Woodbury and the blister, so to speak, is thankfully not the food.

Me and my little darling decided to spend our Valentine's Day trying a new place in town instead of going to one of our favorites. Not only can this be a gamble on such a special night, but we waited too long to make reservations as well. Our bad, but it was still a restaurant on our list of places to try (Gnaw Stops) and we were looking forward to seeing if the newest Italian Restaurant in town could bring it.

After arriving and checking in, we headed to the bar to grab a couple of beverages while we waited for our table. An ice cold Peroni and Dirty Martini was heading our way and this is where the "blister in the sun" began. It wasn't the largest bar, but on a busy night like V-Day, one tender just wasn't going to cut it. The tender, who looked more like she fit in at a VFW, couldn't keep up with the ten people at the bar and the tickets coming in from servers. She had no idea how to work the bar and it took far too long to even acknowledge guests. The G.M. stepped in to help with tickets while the tender helped bar guests, cleaned glassware and started to gross us out.

First, a new box of martini glassware was brought behind the bar, but after opening a fresh box of glasses, they were immediately used without being washed. Thankfully, the martini my wife ordered was in a glass not from said box. Here's where things become worse. Secondly, the tender decided to lean over and move the floor mats around to stop tripping over them. Without washing her hands first, she started to make drinks and touching garnishments. She then wiped her hands with the same towel that she was wiping the bar down with and continued making drinks. FYI, that's not washing your hands.

It was our time to be sat and it was time to enjoy some delicious food. We started off with an app, giant shrimp rolled in prosciutto and these things were delicious and I could had some more. My wife decided to order the Pesto Salmon Linguini while I went with the Crab Ravioli. Moment of truth... Was it delicious?

The Pesto Salmon that my wife ordered looked absolutely delicious and I definitely wanted to try it. Atlantic salmon sauteed with asparagus and artichokes in a creamy pesto fresco sauce. Not a fan of asparagus and artichokes, but the rest of the dish was edible. However, the salmon was a little fishy tasting. I've typically thought that salmon was a little fishy tasting, but I've also had some salmon that was down right amazing as well.
My Crab Ravioli on the other hand was outstanding! While I would have enjoyed a couple extra ravioli's (I have a big appetite), it was definitely worth getting. Ravioli stuffed with crab and cheese with red, green and yellow peppers in a Grand Marnier parmesan cream sauce. This helped make the night that much better with my sweetie after starting off so rough.
We ended the evening with an order of  Tiramisu that was also very delicious. It seemed like years since we were out and you've let me go on, but this was unfortunately not the one. For the money, I would rather spend it at places like Giuseppe's in Rosemount, Trattoria Da Vinci's in St. Paul or my all-time favorite place with the best spaghetti sauce anywhere, I Nonni in Mendota. All of these are far better than Sole Mio, but you can certainly test the food yourself, there's plenty of dishes on the menu to choose from.

In closing, I would like to thank the Beatles and the Violent Femmes for this inspirational fusion of music! :)

Sole Mio Ristorante
Woodbury, MN