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Piccolo: head to head

Posted by Jeanne on September 5, 2010

Long time, no talk… I’ve just returned from Minneapolis where we were catering some wedding events for friends of friends.  We did appetizers for a post-groom’s-dinner after party on Friday evening, and a gift-opening brunch this morning.  I’ll post more about their events soon – I feel like things went really well and the bride and groom were very happy.

So.  Piccolo.  I know we are total Bourdain fanboy geeks but after seeing his profile of the restaurant on the No Reservations Heartland episode, we had to go there.  Curt called 5 times to see if they had openings on Thursday, Friday, and then we got in for dinner on Saturday night.

It was PHENOMENAL.  We had such a hard time picking dishes, and picking favorites was even harder.  I decided to go through and pick a favorite out of each course – and please don’t think that this meant any of the dishes were in any way bad.  Everything was delicious, but some were better than others.

I apologize for my lack of ability to remember the sauces.  Or the one dessert.

The restaurant is really, really tiny.  I think there were probably a dozen tables total?  Everything is served in small portions – each plate is 3 to 5 bites of food.  The menu on Saturday had 13 options plus 3 desserts.  It was kind of great because we got to try quite a few things but choosing which ones to try was nearly impossible.

First course:

“Smoked” razor clams, artichoke and pumpkin giardinia, spicy peppers, lemon basil oil

Tempura fig, goat cheese, aniseed cookie/cracker

Winner:  Razor clams – the fig was excellent but I wanted it to be a dessert and not a savory course.

Second course:

Scrambled eggs, pickled pig’s feet, truffle butter, and Parmesean

Mortadella agnolotti, pistachios, lardo, and Dijon mustard

Winner:  Scrambled eggs. I NEVER thought I would absolutely love something with pickled pig’s feet.  And I would like to bathe in these.

Third course:

Pork belly, proscuitto, brussels sprouts, roast chesnuts, unremembered sauce

Pressed duck thigh, proscuitto, pickled Bing cherries, unremembered sauce

Winner:  Draw. I cannot possibly choose.  I started with the duck and when it came time to trade dishes,  I was actually sad to give it up and try the pork.

Fourth course:

Squid stuffed with Portuguese chourico sausage, shoshito peppers, unremembered sauce

Butter-poached cod, celeraic, unremembered sauce

Winner:  Squid.  The peppers were AWESOME, and the stuffed squid was really fantastically prepared.  The cod was also fantastically prepared but it suffered from being… too cod-like.  Poor cod.

Dessert course:

Chocolate cider cake, figs

Molasses…thing, brown sugar topping

Winner:  Ok, this is pathetic. I don’t even remember what this dish was.  But it was a squishy panna-cotta-esque thing topped with chunks of brown sugar and it was really, really good. The cider didn’t really shine through in the chocolate dessert, although it was awfully good.

I’m happy to be back home but hot damn, I would love some more scrambled eggs with pickled pig’s feet.  So.  Go to Piccolo if you can get in.

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