From The Minneapolis Star-Tribune:
Go figure. The most impressive chain restaurant to land in the Twin Cities in — well, I can’t remember when — is located inside a bookstore.
Last fall, when Barnes & Noble announced plans to include Barnes & Noble Kitchen as a part of the relocation and reinvention of the company’s 25-year-old Galleria location, my knee-jerk response was “color me skeptical.” Anyone who encountered the dreary, prepackaged fare at the store’s somnolent, Starbucks-fueled cafe probably had the same reaction.
Color me corrected.
The bookseller is following the example of other retailers — including Anthropologie, Urban Outfitters and Restoration Hardware — that have recently discovered that good food served in an attractive setting can act as a powerful customer magnet. It’s hardly rocket science. Department stores have been doing the same thing for generations.
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A book club could easily convene over the shareable dishes, which echo Feeley’s straightforward approach to modernizing classics while using first-rate ingredients.
Kudos to the chunky, brimming-with-cilantro guacamole with crisp, salty tortilla chips (crank up the heat by adding a smoky tomatillo salsa), and the tahini-laced hummus, spread across sturdy house-baked lavash.
But top honors belong to the generous hunk of imported Italian burrata — mozzarella’s upper-tax-bracket sibling — that’s presented with toasted bread, a lively basil pistou and roasted tomatoes, the oven slowly but surely intensifying their flavor. Don’t miss it.
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Although it doesn’t quite feel that way, the restaurant is located in the basement (or “Valet Level” in Galleria-speak, which surely ranks as an all-time favorite Edina-based euphemism). The saving grace is a bank of windows, which contribute much-needed sunlight but unfortunately also offer a view that’s primarily parked cars. Remember, it’s a shopping mall, not an arboretum.
Link to the rest at Minneapolis Star-Tribune and thanks to WHM for the tip.