We Forked the Fire

On Sunday, K and I stopped by Mission American Kitchen in Minneapolis to participate in the “Fork the Fire” fundraiser for Heidi’s and Blackbird Cafe. Our first date was at Heidi’s one year and one day before and we were planning to celebrate the anniversary of that date there, so we were super bummed when a horrible fire claimed the restaurant (and surrounding businesses). We never got the chance to enjoy Blackbird, but it was on our list.

What better way to show our support than to eat food prepared by some of the area’s best chefs? And eat we did. We had the opportunity to chat for a bit with Frank Thorpe, Heidi’s host with the most. Frank was one of the many memorable components of that first date and one of the elements that made Heidi’s such a unique restaurant. After the show of support the Twin Cities restaurant community put on, I have no doubt Heidi’s will be back and Frank will be schmoozing again in no time.

Back to the food — it was amazing. Where else could we possibly have sampled such deliciousness in one evening in one place? After a few words with Sameh Wadi (of Saffron Restaurant and Lounge and, oh yeah…he competed against Morimoto on IRON CHEF) we enjoyed Saffron’s lobster and preserved lemon and beet noodles. I’m not generally a big fan of beets, having grown up with them fresh out of the jar, but beet noodles? Yum. The little flatbread sandwiches from Broders‘ featured bite-sized salty cheese of some sort wrapped in freshly shaved Iowa prosciutto. I nearly camped out there and just ate those tiny sandwiches.

I’m glad I kept walking though because I might have otherwise missed the tiny foie gras mousse filled/apricot topped cream puffs from Lurcat. We split a fresh tasting fish taco and rich chocolate mousse dessert (not together) from Edina Grill. My newfound love of beets was solidified with the silky beet sauce under the salmon from Vincent.  The béarnaise sauce that topped the slice of beef filet from Murray’s was entirely too plate-lickable (it was a swanky event so I refrained). Incidentally, John Van House, executive chef, is a great, down-to-Earth guy and assured K he maintains creative control over the Murray’s steak sandwich to be served at the new Target Field. If I hadn’t been buzzed on béarnaise (and the grapefruity Viognier mix I was drinking) I would have asked the chef about featuring some grass-fed, pasture-raised beef on Murray’s menu!

The tender pot roast sandwich from Mission, the pork tenderloin with mushroom sauce from Pierre’s Bistro and the Bailey’s chocolate cake from Jax Cafe were also delicious and quickly inhaled. There were other things we ate as well, but now I’m in a happy food haze and I can’t remember what they were. Everything was fantastic though. We Forked the Fire at the same time Andrew Zimmern was there and I’m happy to report no offal or eyeballs were consumed. To my knowledge anyway.

But the best part? The Twin Cities coming together to support beloved local businesses. That and a record 65 degrees in March will get you a monumental Minnesota Sunday.

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