Best Restaurant (Minneapolis) - 2012
The Bachelor Farmer
Who knew you could get so worked up over something as simple as toast? Of course the toast that has the North Loop neighborhood abuzz goes far beyond the slice of buttered white that comes alongside over-easy eggs. The sourdough bread is made in-house and arrives at your table in a charming silver caddy, fanned out before you like a selection of gorgeous, edible canvases. Add your preferred amount of sweet and salty house-cured salmon, a smear of mustard, and a see-through layer of pickled cucumber and you have the perfect late-night snack. The talented team at the Bachelor Farmer, assembled by brothers and co-owners Eric and Andrew Dayton, is bringing the simple sophistication of clean flavors and complex textures — like sour and chewy dried cherries, creamy and earthy duck liver pâté, and ripe, salty pistachios — and making them a huge part of this re-imagined smorgasbord experience. Chef Paul Berglund has also managed to breathe new life into the cuisine that many Minnesotans were first introduced to by their Scandinavian grandmothers. Cured salmon, softly spiced meatballs made with milk-soaked breadcrumbs and begging to be dunked in tart lingonberry sauce, briny pickled herring, venison, and even roasted beets are prepared in a way that makes you feel as though you're appreciating them for the first time. It will require patience and planning to snag a table, but sometimes throwing caution to the wind pays off. Even if it doesn't, you couldn't ask for a better place to bide your time than at the adjoining Marvel Bar.