Finally. I finally made the journey. After hearing about this haute-ly anticipated restaurant for months, then having to drool through reviews galore of their perfectly classic Midwestern cuisine, the wait was finally over.
Heading into the comfy, cozy location (snuggled between the neon glow of Sex World and the great, historic bricks of the Warehouse District), Haute Dish is immediately welcoming. A half-upscale, half-homey interior combines tall arched ceilings and ornate pillars with casual, lush red dining booths and simple chandeliers.
Guests are immediately welcomed by a long bar, boasting some of the best cocktails and most creative concoctions. The bartenders are incredibly knowledgeable with an almost “Cheers”-like friendly demeanor. Truly, I can only hope to visit this saloon enough to be known by name.
The Minnesota Mule, a specialty, combines organic vodka, with a great dose of lime juice and finishes it off with Ginger beer. Simple enough, but the combination of flavors and carbonation tickle the tongue as it goes down the pipe, far too fast. The Hemingway is another favorite, crisp with fresh grapefruit juice and sweetened with a bit of Luxardo Maraschino liqueur.
While one could easily spend the night enjoying the broad array of bevs, the truly mind-blowing masterpieces lie in the often-untried offerings of Haute’s main menu.
With a first, middle and last organization, the menu unfolds much like a great novel, introducing new characters and flavors, providing a dramatic climax and ending with pure satisfaction. (Hmm, that’s probably what she said.) The homemade charcuterie and med plate are perfect apps for parties. The Char-Cuts will get your tastebuds off to a brilliant start, with a variety of interesting yet sophisticated combinations. I’ve yet to try but have heard the “Steak & Eggs” (aka: steak tartare) is second to none.
Moving right along to the middle dish, the mac and cheese is not to be missed. Healthy chunks of king crab sing in a delightful tallegio and truffle sauce topped with crunchy bread crumbs, marrying the kid in you with your (in my case, somewhat) more refined palate.
The Haute Dish Monte Cristo plays on the classic but dives into new territory introducing foie with sweet, savory maple syrup.
Finally, the Happily-Ever-After portion, the last dish and on occasion, truly the Hautest. Here you’ll find Tater Tot HauteDish, a new creation of the Minnesota classic that ditches the white, flowery casserole dish and replaces it with tasty “tots” (potato croquets) piled next to tender, braised short ribs. It’s truly something to behold.
The simply titled but not simply flavored steak and potatoes included a perfectly cooked ribeye, with a gremolata bursting with flavor and incredible texture.
While it’s possible (though completely food coma inducing) to order from each menu portion, don’t feel pressured. The dishes are solid and stand on their own. Not to mention the portion sizes for the pricetag are enough to encourage multiple visits — so don’t feel the need to taste it all at once, that is, if you can resist the urge.
Oh, and one must save room for dessert, if at all possible. Personally, ordering dessert after my meal seemed like dining suicide due to the lack of space left after nearly three full courses. Still, I managed to squeeze it in. I know, I’m so brave.
I’m not sure exactly what’s in it, that’s not being mentioned on the menu, (addictive crack, perhaps) but there is something about Haute Dish’s carrot cake that is de.lish.us. A friend ordered the cheesecake — served with black truffle and figs — and from the sounds coming from that side of the booth, it’s safe to say it was more than satisfying.
The entire experience was definitely worth the wait. Both the “hautemosphere” and the haute dishes were everything I hoped for and more. In sum, the Haute lived up to the hype. Things are definitely cooking for these talented folks, but might I suggest it’d be a good time to open a second restaurant, perhaps with a sushi fusion? You could even call it “Casser Roll.”
Haute Dish is located at 119 Washington Ave. N. in Minneapolis. For directions, reservations and complete menus, check their website.
Sara Boyd is a web producer and columnist at WCCO.COM.