How good is Heidi’s? Let’s just put it this way: Save me a table, and nobody gets hurt.
To clarify: Heidi’s 2.0, reborn after that disastrous fire, isn’t simply as good as its former self: It’s eons better.
Starting with design: The setting is urbane, as befits the Lyn-Lake ’hood, and it’s also cozy (ditto). Rising front-and-center is a phantasmagorical snow-white tree (to be known, I’d guess, as A Tree Grows in Uptown), hung with red glass beads like Mardi Gras throws. Behind it stretches a slick bar with even slicker cocktails offering a full-frontal view of the kitchen, bright as a medical lab. But instead of curing cancer, they’re doing something more immediately rewarding: producing unique, visionary and — most important — stellar food. It’s Stewart Woodman and his pastry chef/wife Heidi to the max.
Portions are sensibly sized, allowing you to taste-test every course. And you’ll want to, starting with hors d’oeuvres ($3–9): two bites of edible jewelry, including a vegan Eggs Bennie fashioned of white tofu circling a yellow round of polenta, glorified by mushroom-like huitlacoche and truffle. Or a tiny plank of beef tongue with roasted shiitakes in spicy mustard topping soy “noodles.” Or a single scallop “juicy bun” dressed with crispy garlic. Just say yes.
The list of mains ($17–20) drove me crazy, simply because each one sounded irresistible. How to choose between barramundi (a fish-lover’s fish) in lobster sauce over pickled eggplant and briny olives, or a “cassoulet” of citrus-kissed salmon topping a ragout of azuki beans and Bibb lettuce? Or the plate Stewart calls “rabbit in love:” sausage and saddle with mashed sweet potatoes, Savoy cabbage and sparks of red jalapenos? Next time.
Tonight we shared the duck breast partnered with a coffee-pecan pancake and king trumpet mushrooms, piqued by scallion foam (uber-trendy) and lingonberry sauce (uber-trad). Genius! So was the lamb shank, served with cardamom-scented rice and a green swipe of arugula sauce. We also opted for a side of truffled papardelle noodles, just to take us over the moon. (P.S. The ride was fine.)
Desserts ($6–10) are Heidi’s domain, and she’s created some nifty ones. Consider the cool, palate-sedating frozen lemon-and-sesame soufflé, served with candied kumquats and white chocolate. Or even more out-there, the crazy combo of sweet-potato beignets (doughnuts gone to heaven) and Bourbon rice pudding: my new fave. Or, you want retro? Then how about the chocolate mousse with roasted marshmallows, peanut butter and homey? (BYO Grahams).
2903 Lyndale Avenue S.