February 15, 2016

Barley and Vine On My Breath

I woke up with delicious food on my breath from a new place in town, Barley + Vine. So I guess you could say I had beer and wine on my breath! I also had some steak, fish, lobster bisque, brussels sprouts, scallops and ice cream on my breath as well. Don't worry, I brushed my teeth before I left the house!

Alright, I need to pull myself together, stop singing Love and Theft and get down to the nitty gritty and tell you all about our recent visit to Barley + Vine. Ownership is young, inspired to serve only the best food to enjoy and using unique flavors and ingredients with their plates. This combination makes for a great recipe and I'm already a fan of some of their other establishments. In case you're wondering, those would be, Woolley's  Steakhouse (best steak in the T.C. area), Cien Taco (some of the best Mexican you'll find) and Tamarack Tap Room (Some of the very best burgers, sandwiches, salads, wings and beer selection you'll find in the T.C. area).

I really loved the ambiance, decor and atmosphere of Barley + Vine which recently took over the space once occupied by Copper River Fish and Chops in Lakeville. Such a cool space and the food from Chef Smith wraps everything up nicely. Okey, I'll get to the food...

My wife and I decided to stop here for dinner on Valentine's Day and have a family dinner (good tradition to start as a family). We pondered ordering off the evening's V-Day special menu vs. traditional menu items and it was hard to pass on the selections off the special menu so we went for it. What do you think?

We both went for the lobster bisque, chose both main courses (gotta sample both of them!) and a bottle of sparkling to wash it all down. But first, we started with some cooked brussels sprouts with pecorino, bacon and caramelized onions. Wife insisted, while I'm not a fan, to compare them to ones that I did actually enjoy at Cedar + Stone inside the Marriott Hotel - MOA. Only one ingredient missing to make Barley + Vine's just as delicious - Brown. Sugar! That's just me, but if you like sprouts no matter how they're prepared, I'm guessing these will hit the spot for you. 

We of course had to have some adult beverages to start our evening with the sprouts we ordered. My wife went with a glass of house riesling while I of course went with a cold brew. Plenty of great craft beer choices and I selected an outstanding Belgian Triple Malt by a brewery out of Quebec, CA - Unibroue. Awesome! That's all I need to say about that... 

As we enjoyed our beginnings, quickly arriving at our table was our Lobster Bisque and Scallop. A butter basted scallop atop a tarragon creme and fried leek - Very good! I really enjoyed the flavor combo the chef created. I would have loved to have some chunks of lobster with my bisque (like we get at Dixie's On Grand), but that's ok because it was still delicious and nothing was left in either of our bowls! Our little buddy even enjoyed the soup and scallop. Yes, he is spoiled if you're wondering!
Before you we could finish our first courses, our main courses were hitting our tables. It looked like we were ordering everything on the menu, but things were just coming out a tad too quickly (no biggy really). My wife went for the Sea Bass, which was actually a surprise to me when it wasn't salmon (one of her favorites) and after a couple of bites, wasn't having it. I however was digging it. Needless to say we switched plates (we'll get to the steak soon enough). The fish was cooked perfectly, very flaky and the blood orange gastrique and spiced tuile was awesome. What I would change about this dish (if it went on the menu since this was a special selection for the evening) would be the addition of a whipped carrot concoction.
On to the red meat... I actually thought the Au Poive Ribeye had a very unique, different, but tasty flavor to it. I thought the bearnaise and cheddar hashcake that accompanied their ribeye was very tasty as well.I asked for it to come out medium, but was a little more on the well done side. Not going to keep me from going back for some of the other plates on the menu that caught our eye. Of course like the fish, I would change it a little bit and what I would change with this dish, would be the addition of maybe a whipped mash - garlic or sweet in nature. Even though we switched plates, my wife still wasn't doing jumping jacks.
Sure, we've had better meals, but Barley + Vine has only been open for 3 weeks and none of the negatives (if you even want to call them that), are deal breakers. Instead, I think as they look at their dishes, consider reviews from people like myself who understand the culinary arts, they'll perfect everything. Minor alterations (like I provided), won't even cross peoples' minds nor will it be needed! 

 No, this isn't the most amazing meal my wife and I have shared with each other. Yes, this is a place you should be checking out! My wife and I are looking forward to another visit. I wonder if Love and Theft would be willing to bring us next time???? :)

17516 Dodd Blvd.
Lakeville, MN 55024

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