Anna’s Foodie Reviews

May 1, 2008

Vincent – A Restaurant

Filed under: 3 Stars,General Chatter — by annarichmond @ 11:57 am

Saturday night, before seeing Earth, Wind, and Fire rock the Pacer Center Benefit at the Minneapolis Convention Center, Tom and I dined a Vincent – A Restaurant, on Nicollett Mall in Minneapolis. Opened in 2001 by Chef /Owner Vincent Francoual, this French restaurant is very lovely. We had eaten lunch there a couple of times, but this was our first dinner. We were very pleased to see a tasting menu offered, and ordered it with the wine pairings.

While enjoying our pre-dinner cocktails, Champagne for me and a gin and tonic for Tom, our server brought us a wonderful, small espresso cup of curried carrot soup. It was very tasty, with a little sweetness to it. I wish it had been a bigger portion, but it did the job of an amuse bouche, to tempt your tastebuds, just as it should.

I finished the Curry Soup before we took the picture!

Our first course was an Endive and Arugula Salad, Oranges, Serrano Ham, Marcona Almonds, Manchego Cheese, and Honey Vinaigrette. This plate had many tastes, but they all worked really well together. I loved the almonds and the cheese, taming the bitterness of the endive and arugula. The wine paired with this was a Coteaux d’ Aix en Provence, commanderie de la Bargemare 2006. Alone, I found this light pink wine, very faint in taste as well as color, but all the flavors from the salad really brought this wine to life.

This salad had many flavors that blended well together

The second course was a choice between Pan Seared Scallops, Leeks, Fingerling Potatoes, and Orange Sauce, and Pan Seared ABC Farm Foie Gras, Whipped Yukon Gold Mashed, Diced Butternut Squash, and Balsamic Vinegar. I chose the first option, which was one perfectly seared scallop topped with an orange slice in an orange sauce with the sauteed leeks and potaotes. The leeks added a nice sweetness to this dish. It was paired with a Hugel et Fils, “Gentil” Alsace 2005, a Riesling, Pinot Blanc,and Gewurtatraminer blend.

A Perfectly Seared Scallop in Orange Sauce

Tom, of course, had the seared foie gras. He loved the foie gras and thought the potatoes were good, but that the butternut squash was under cooked and that the dish would have been better with a sweet fruit of some kind. He ordered a Sauternes, from Chateau Myrat, 2003, to go with it. A very good choice.

Pan Seared ABC Farm Foie Gras

Next came Roasted Arctic Char, Black Lentil Ragout, Braised artichoke Hearts, in a Shallot and White Wine Reduction, with Mixed Micro Herbs. This was nicely paired with Chateau Haut-Pasquet Bordeaux 2006, a Sauvignon Blanc, Semillion blend.

Roasted Arctic Char

Pan Seared Beef Tenderlion, Oyster Mushrooms, Salted Pork, Oven Dried Grape Tomatoes, with Chickpea Fries, in Green Peppercorn Tarragon Sauce was our fourth course. I found this whole dish a little too salty. I liked the chickpea fries, better than polenta fries, which would have been an obvious choice. The big bold Ladesa Vineyards, Napa Valley, 2005 Cabernet Sauvignon was really wonderful.

Seared Beef Tenderloin

A decadent Louis XV Chocolate Cake, paired with a Pineau des Charentes Chateau, an organic sweet dessert wine with a cognac flavor, was a great ending to the meal.

Louis XV Chocolate Cake

The restaurant was quite busy, there was even a large table of prom goers dining across the room. We were seated upstairs, which was a little more quiet, and very good for people watching along Nicollet Mall. Our server was very busy, but very good and really took the time to explain the dishes and the wines. We will visit again.

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