BEST SALAD Minneapolis 2008 - The Craftsman Restaurant
4300 E. Lake St.
Minneapolis, MN 55406
The sparse and straight-line interior of the Craftsman is a tribute to the Arts and Crafts design movement of the early 20th century. It would be fitting, then, to begin with a word or two from English artist and writer William Morris, the man whose work and writings seeded the movement. The words we've selected to share here were spoken about art, but our topic here is salad, so we will adjust Morris's words a smidgen—forgive us. "If you cannot learn to love real salad," the man famously said (sort of), "at least learn to hate sham salad and reject it." Craftsman chef Mike Phillips can help you learn to spot a sham, for such a salad is everything the Craftsman's beet and chèvre terrine is not. Perhaps that is too abstract. Forgive us again. The terrine is alternating layers of beet and chèvre pressed together in a beautiful cube. The beet dyes everything it touches, of course, so what you have are layers of alternating shades of red. The terrine is served at room temperature with micro arugula and homemade cornmeal crackers. Each of these things complements the other as if it were not Phillips's idea to plate them together but an idea passed from some band of bejeweled forest mystics centuries ago. Friends, we implore you, learn to love real salad.