Fika blends tradition with finesse

Beautifully crafted Scandinavian food that wows

If you're in the market for a fabulous light lunch, Fika serves wonderful examples of the viscous pureed soups that are so popular in Sweden. The options change daily, but our favorite was the luxurious cold beet soup with dill, cucumber, and creme fraiche that was absolute divinity. Rounding out the menu are a few salads, and some small plates that can be ordered as sides to your sandwich or mixed and matched to make your own tabletop buffet. If it's not already sold out for the day, be sure to order the side of smoked pork belly. The ingenious mingling of texture and flavor in this dish makes it a real standout. As you drag your fork through the middle of the plate, you get a small bit of creaminess from the poached egg yolk, a hit of bitterness from the wilted spinach, crunch from the smoked almonds and bits of crushed rye croutons, and decadent richness from the crispy pork belly.

There were two dramatic gasps that arose from our table as we enjoyed this lovely, complex dish. One, from my dining companion, who gasped excitedly when she spotted "an actual guy wearing an actual ABBA T-shirt," and one gasp from me as I exclaimed, "These croutons are just so ... buttery!" That's also a strongly held Scandinavian tradition: butter. Well, butter and cream, and nowhere is that more evident than on the juniper-spiced meatball plate, which comes with tart lingonberries, quick-pickled cucumbers, a creamy mustard sauce, and the dreamiest potato puree. "Michael's mashed potatoes are the hardest thing about working here," one server confesses. "If I let myself go on those, I'd get so, so fat. They're amazingly good."

A must-try at Fika: Braised pork belly
emily utne for city pages
A must-try at Fika: Braised pork belly

Location Info

Map

Fika

2600 Park Ave.
Minneapolis, MN 55407

Category: Restaurant > Scandinavian

Region: Powderhorn

Details

Menu items $3.50-$7.50

As we're talking to her, there's a lull in the action and Fitzgerald comes out on the floor to bus tables. He's youthful, boyish even, but there's no mistaking the maturity of his talent. Seeing him ditch his usual post at the head of the kitchen to clear soup bowls and dirty silverware makes me think of the old theater adage, "There are no small parts, only small actors." In the restaurant business, too, there really are no small parts. But there are small potatoes, and the itty-bitty fingerlings Fitzgerald prepares with smoked salmon roe are very, very necessary.

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