In the animal kingdom, a rookery is a sort of informal colony, a place where gregarious animals -- usually birds -- come together to nest and breed. It aptly describes the nature of the seemingly chaotic open kitchen at the Rookery restaurant in Robbinsdale, which is like an intellectual salon for food nerds, a place for them to come together and breed new ideas. The chalkboard menus here list each item starkly: marrow, sunchoke, garden, hamachi. There’s no telling what form any of those ingredients will take or with what other components underneath or on top of them: a tiny square of medium-rare lamb, perfectly seasoned and served with golden layered potato pave and a pungent chimichurri; the brandade perfected with a chunky and creamy salt cod inside a crispy fritter; tangy hearts of palm in a bowl of delicate shrimp bisque; a lollipop of liver mousse inside a chocolate-fruit coating that was like a bite of decadent meat cheesecake; sinfully salty French fries saddled up alongside a dollop of creme fraiche and Osetra caviar; leeks made three ways and served with teardrops of leek oil encapsulated in isomalt, which won’t melt in water, but dissolves as soon as it hits your tongue; and finally, speaking of tongue, the tender beef tongue slider, with discs of crispy radish. There is so much to take in, so much detail and ephemera and visual brilliance, it practically leaves you breathless, which is absolutely the goal here. PHOTOS BY ALMA GUZMAN
Check out our review of Travail and the Rookery!
Travail and The Rookery
4124 W. Broadway Ave., Robbinsdale