If you’re in MN, you have to hit up Sanctuary. It's across the street from the new Guthrie. The girl and I had an amazing night here on Valentine’s. (fyi, They’re not usually open on Sundays, except for special occasions and the occasional themed dinner). High end-ish ($140 before tip), very cool space, whimsical gargoyle statues, changing art installations (currently paintings by a local artist (http://www.jodibee.com/paintings.html
), the music had me putting on Transglobal Underground later, and you get treated like gold from the moment you walk in when Co-Owner Michael greets you. The girl and I WILL be back
Chef Patrick “Frenchie” is a bit of a trip on their FB, and after that meal, I’d happily eat anything he sends out
We started off with . . . I forget what she had, but I had their Vesper Lynn, they describe it as an
“elderflower scented bond martini”. Nice, very nice
Apps . . .
Up front is their “garlic, spinach, and parmesan artichoke tartlets, provencal olives, cornichons and a shot of white verjus”. Seriously, one of the best spinach artichoke dips on top of this buttery pie crust . . . I think I’d freebase the crust. Our waitress told us that Chef changes 2/3rds of the menu every couple months, but they keep these tartlets on because the last time they took them off people revolted
“rocky mountain bison ‘oysters’, with pineapple salsa, and garlic-chili soy sauce syrup”. These were flat out FANTASTIC. Like the best pork tenderloin you could hope for. I’d never had animal nuts before . . . I’m thinking they’re generally just deep fried gunk like mozz sticks . . . but I figured if I was going to try them for the first time anywhere, that this should be the place. I was right, we both loved them
Entrees . . .
I had the “U-12 shrimp, with spaghetti dero di sepia in a saffron-champagne broth and black olive tapenade”. The girl wasn’t impressed, but I loved it (I don't think she got enough of the broth). I’ve put olives in pasta, but man, that concentrated tapenade was something else
She loved the “wild acres farm duck breast, with Mexican vanilla mashed potatoes, blood orange sauce, and pico de gallo” . . . and two little saffron dusted malted milk balls that the waitress went out of the way to point out. I had a couple bites, and the crust on the duck was mouthwatering, but the blood orange sauce was the true winner on that plate . . . just bursting with blood orange flavor. Ima have to figure out how to make it and put it in my arsenal
Dessert . . .
I don’t EVER order dessert (sorry, Zach), but Valentines’s . . . the girl . . . when in Rome, right? . . .
She ordered the “chocolate soufflé cookies, brown sugar cinnamon ice cream, and banana, hazelnut, chocolate milk shake sauce”, with mint sprigs on marrinated cherries. I thought it was fine. She wanted to rub her face on the plate
I ordered a port the waitress recommended, Smith Woodhouse 20yr Tawny. Neither of us had had port before, but . . . we’re both now acolytes. Our port education has started in earnest . . . we tried another at W.A. Frost later that night, and picked up a bottle of another Tawny the next day
As dinner was winding down, Chef stopped by the table to ask how everything was which was nice. Oh, and I have to mention . . . if we were done with a plate, not a single member of staff walked back towards the kitchen without taking it away. Not a one. Fairly impressive
So, yeah, we loved Sanctuary, can’t wait to go back
903 S. Washington Ave
Minneapolis, MN 55415