The Sample Room's wild mushroom ragout on polenta: 100 Favorite Dishes, No. 58

A rich, complex, earthy treat
A rich, complex, earthy treat
Mo Perry

Everyone keeps saying spring is around the corner, but it's hard to believe when ice is still encrusting the sidewalks and your skin seems to have taken on a permanent, dry translucence. Still, you know from experience that this is the time of year when you have to stop measuring your portion sizes by the metric ton--soon enough that down parka will be tucked away into the closet and your months of indulgence will be flaunted for the world to see. That makes the Sample Room's wild mushroom ragout on polenta just about the perfect March dish.

The Sample Room's wild mushroom ragout on polenta: 100 Favorite Dishes, No. 58

It's undeniably rich, with its three different cheeses, and it has a depth and complexity that is perfectly suited to counteract the chill outside. But true to the Sample Room's philosophy, the portion is petite, meant for savoring each bite, not inhaling mindlessly.

The polenta makes a lush, perfectly seared bed for the creamy ragout--simultaneously dense and light, with a pleasing toothsomeness. The mushrooms, nestled in a cloud of olive oil, white wine, goat cheese, Parmesan, and Camembert, exude an aroma of garlic, herbs and truffle dust. The toasted pumpkin seeds are a nice garnish, lending a a touch of crunchiness to the otherwise supple dish. Pair with a soup, salad, or another small meat or fish plate for a meal that's perfectly suited to a month with one foot in winter and the other in spring.

THE SAMPLE ROOM 2124 Marshall St. NE, Minneapolis 612.789.0333 Sample Room website

Hungry for more? The dishes in our countdown thus far are linked below:

No. 59: On's Thai Kitchen's Nam Thok
No. 60: Flamingo Restaurant's vegetarian combo
No. 61: Sea Change's brioche pain perdu

No. 62: Haute Dish's "steak and eggs"
No. 63: Tremblay's Sweet Shop's salt water taffy
No. 64: Bars Bakery's Turtle Bar
No. 65: Pizzeria Lola's Lady Zaza Pizza
No. 66: In Season's fried oysters
No. 67: Cave Vin's steak frites
No. 68: Everest on Grand's cabbage and potatoes
No. 70: Surly's Coffee Bender
No. 71: Quang's bun tom xao
No. 72: Maple bacon doughnut at YoYo Donuts
No. 73: Cupcake's mini cupcakes
No. 74: Willy D's ribs
No. 75: Salsa a la Salsa's fried chocolate truffles
No. 76: Anodyne's Artichoke Melt
No. 77: Origami's steamed duck
No. 78: B.T. McElrath's Salty Dog bar
No. 79: Mozza Mia's house-made limoncello
No. 80: Salty Tart Bakery's pastry cream-filled brioche
No. 81: Little Szechuan's bamboo tips with chili sauce
No. 82: Oceanaire's Jumbo Lump Crab Cake
No. 83: Aperitif's Nonni's Meatballs
No. 84: Christos's Saganaki
No. 85: Sesame seed bagel at Seven Stars Coffee House
No. 86: Lemon ricotta pancake at Hell's Kitchen
No. 87: Blackbird gourmet banh mi
No. 88: Tank Goodness cookies
No. 89: Gal Bee at Sole Cafe
No. 90: Porter & Frye's El Pelon
No. 91: Coffee News' fish and chips
No. 92: Bread & Chocolate's Fabulous Fudge Bar
No. 93: People's Organic panna cotta
No. 94: Sea Salt Eatery crawdad po' boy
No. 95: Fuji Ya's Tofu Don
No. 96: Ike's Food and Cocktails The Weekender Bloody Mary
No. 97: Punch's Toto pizza
No. 98: Stockholm Pie Company's peanut butter fudge cream pie
No. 99: Dogwood Coffee Co.'s macchiato
No. 100: Al's Breakfast buttermilk pancakes

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