Thursday, June 24, 2010

Terra Waconia - Another Fantastic Night

I know I gush a lot about this restaurant, but Terra Waconia is not a unique restaurant. My wife and I headed there last week for some conversation and some outstanding cooking. We weren't disappointed in any way.

First, we were thrilled to try a new addition from Parely Lake winery, a very tasty Frontenac Gris. We started the dinner with the requisite order of mussels, and were fortunate enough to have the co-owner/chef poke his head out and promise to "kick the order up a notch." Consider that pitch hit out of the park. The broth was equal parts richness and spice that made for an incredible start. We then moved onto entrees - mine being fabulous pan fried walleye served over a bed of pureed parsnip, while my wife had an expertly prepared chicken with mashed potatoes and grilled carrots that were painfully good.

As we enjoyed our meal and conversation, the table next to us posed a riddle to anyone in earshot. Multiple tables participated in tossing out answers, and your faithful scribe landed upon the right answer. A new and similarly constructed riddle was floated, and I happened to be the first to derive the answer to that as well. Our neighbors at the next table congratulated us on the answers, and demanded to buy us dessert as a reward. Despite protests (and, yeah, we didn't protest too hard - we're talking about dessert here) our new friends placed an order for us, paid their bill and left.

My wife and I continued our conversation, and the evening slowed down, which afforded chef Craig to come out again to talk. His passion for what is being done at Terra Waconia is clear, as evidenced in a story he told about a local strawberry grower and the different varietals of berry that were available. He later escaped to the kitchen and came back with a sample of two such varietals, and we were amazed at the distinct differences between the fruits. The picture shows the tasting presentation (post taste), along with our delicious creme brulee reward.

Simply another great evening at this fabulous restaurant - great locally grown and passionately prepared food, delicious locally grown wine, hearty conversation (either at your table or with others), and personalized service that is a rarity. Go see Tracy, Craig, and crew.

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