The hotly anticipated Cathedral Hill restaurant by Alan Bergo, also known as the Forager Chef, is now open. The nouveau take on a classic steakhouse will be heavily influenced by Bergo's passionate avocation as a forager of mushrooms and other wild food. He boldly states:
"I know more about indigenous mushrooms and plants of our area than any other chef in the Midwest."
He shared some photos with us (he is also a photographer and blogger) to give us a visual idea of what we can expect from the new restaurant.
"Our relish tray is a perfect example of how we twist this old retro concept and make it actually interesting. It functions as our amuse bouche and is usually comprised of five to six different components: a spicy cheese, a flavored butter, homemade preserves and pickles. The rolls we serve before the meal are Parker House rolls, which I chose since they are a good example of Americana cuisine, and the favorite bun of James Beard."
"The sumac gravlax represents how we transform old dishes by using indigenous ingredients. Sumac is a natural preservative and adds a nice citrusy zip to the salmon. It's also important since it grows everywhere in the Midwest, which is pretty much the only area in the U.S. it can be harvested.
I like it because most people think of it as a Mideastern ingredient, but they may not know that it can be found everywhere around here. The lox is also served with lotus chips, another fun ingredient. Most people think of them as something they would see in Asian cuisine, but they actually grow in ponds and wet areas all around the Midwest."
"The steak is a Kansas City strip loin. It's pretty much our flagship steak and a rare find since most people don't have a bandsaw in house to cut their own steaks."
The restaurant has an open kitchen for "transparency and interaction," and the menu will be anchored by dry-aged, grass-fed beef and sustainably sourced seafood. Craft cocktails, a well-curated wine list, lots of heirloom pork fat, house-made charcuterie, classic French pastry, turtle soup, and plays on classics like lobster bisque and trout amandine will also make appearances.
The Salt Cellar 173 Western Ave., St. Paul 651-219-4013
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