We arrived about 45 minutes prior to our reservation for dinner. This gave us time to check out a few of the Walker exhibits. The Walker is a contemporary art museum and we definitely had a lot of discussion about what constitutes art in a few of the exhibits. We both are more into the art at the MIA across town. However, it’s good for us to get out of our comfort zone every so often.
After being confused, awed, and amused, we ventured to the new restaurant for dinner. The restaurant was well-appointed and had interesting lighting and decorations throughout. A nice atmosphere and not too loud, but rather an energetic vibe. The wait staff dressed in gingham shirts – seems to be a theme as our recent trip to Red Rabbit also has a similar “uniform” for the wait staff. Our server was very nice and spent quite a bit of time explaining the menu to us. It’s not a large menu, but it was nice to have a few things explained and get her opinion on favorites. The menu is grain/vegetable forward, so if you are looking for this type of food – definitely some choices for you.
We started with a glass of Malbec which was a tasty, full-bodied red at a reasonable price. We both ordered the Celery Root Tart which was served with sour milk, crispy chip, and dried apple skin. This was definitely the highlight of the meal for me. It was warm, creamy goodness wrapped in a crisp shell. The dried apple skin was a great add to the dish. We discussed if it was tacky to lick the dish. Agreed it probably was. So good and definitely a must have if you go!
For our entrees, Heather went with the NY Strip which was dry aged and served with carrot, black truffle, and cabbage. The preparation recommended was a bit on the rare side. Not being one to question the chef’s opinion, Heather went with the reco. It arrived and was almost borderline too rare. I had a bite of the meat and we were a bit disappointed in the lack of flavor. Perhaps it was missing a bit of salt? The rest of her dish was fine, though a bit of a disappointment after the awesome start with the tart!
My entree was the Capon with a chestnut pain perdu, artichoke, and jus. The chicken was really good! Very tender and full of flavor. The chestnut pain perdu had a bread pudding texture. My entree was good and I would definitely recommend it if you are there and it’s on the menu. I ordered a side of Potato with harissa and olio verde. The potatoes were a very creamy mashed potato and the harissa added a little kick.
Next up was dessert. It was a birthday celebration after all, so dessert was a no-brainer. We ended up getting the same thing – the Budino which was a butterscotch, chocolate, pretzel layered dessert that was served with a scoop of malted vanilla ice cream. I think Heather enjoyed it slightly more than I did, but it was still a great way to end our meal and time together.
I think we both would agree that Esker Grove was fine and a nice option if you are going to the Walker. We might be interested in trying their brunch sometime.
Happy Eating! (And happy birthday to Heather!!)