Restaurant Alma: The February Dinner

February is a big month in our family. My husband G. Grod and usually pick a date somewhere in the middle to celebrate his birthday, my birthday and Valentine’s Day. This year we went to neighborhood gem Restaurant Alma.

Alma has been doing what more and more restaurants finally came around to doing, which is focus on local, sustainable, seasonal foods. It has a small but flexible menu that changes seasonally. You can do a $45 prix fixe for three courses (salad, first and second), or order a la carte.

I started with the bitter greens; G. Grod had the prosciutto. Next I had the beet and farro risotto. For entrees, I chose the arctic char, which was perfectly cooked, and in a lovely winter preparation with potatoes and hollandaise. G. got the duck two ways, both of which were scruptious. For dessert, he had the milk chocolate roulade and I chose the oatmeal stout gingerbread cake.

Each dish was beautifully plated, with an amount of food that left us full but not stuffed. The service was friendly, attentive and helpful. The dishes themselves were a marvelous mix of complementary taste and texture. Alma is a splurge for us, so we don’t go often. But we’ve gone periodically through the years since it opened, and we’ve had lovely meals every time. I appreciate its proximity, food focus, quality AND consistency.

4 Responses to “Restaurant Alma: The February Dinner”

  1. Jennifer Says:

    Alma is, without a doubt, my favorite Twin Cities restaurant—for all the reasons you cite. The local, seasonal menu never fails to please. The wine list is reasonably priced, with some interesting bottles. I love the flexibility of a create-your-own prix fixe meal. Plus, Chef Alex Roberts is a doll.

  2. Hermie's Mom Says:

    A good friend and I went to Restaurant Alma several years ago for the first time. We had a wonderful experience and, to this day, it holds our record for the most caffeinated cup of coffee we’ve ever had.

  3. girldetective Says:

    Alma is my favorite fancy restaurant, even though others I’ve tried, like La Belle Vie and Porter & Frye (where neither Josh Habiger, who did our fabulous meal there, or Steven Brown still are) might be technically better. Alma combines the warmth of a neighborhood place with ethical, superbly executed food. Alex Roberts is a treasure, both for Alma and for Brasa, his less-expensive restaurant that still uses ethical ingredients prepared well. It’s one of the very few restaurants my 5yo and 3yo will eat at! I read recently that New York restaurants of chefs like Colicchio and Boulud are coming up with less-pricey offspring to weather the economic downturn. How cool that Roberts and other Twin Cities chefs like Lucia Watson have been doing this already? This is a good town for foodies.

  4. girldetective Says:

    Isn’t it odd how many high end restaurants have “meh” coffee to finish? I think dessert, coffee and the check experience are like the denouement and ending to a book–if they go well, they enhance everything that went before.