Flavor: Farm-fresh fare

Wise Acre Eatery serves up dishes highlighting ingredients from Plato farm

The new Wise Acre Eatery restaurant, now open in the former home of Liberty Custard at 54th & Nicollet, offers up its own special custard, too.

The flavor of the custards will change up often depending on what’s available at Wise Acre Eatery’s farm. On a recent Friday night, the custard special came topped with fresh strawberries, which have just started to ripen at the farm.

“Our custard will have ever changing daily flavors — the recipes lovingly rewritten by Beth [Fisher] using cream from Castle Rock Dairy, the local honey from Ames Farms and egg yolks from chickens at the farm,” said chef Caroline Glawe, who has collaborated with Fisher on the menu. The duo has experience working with local food pioneer Lucia Watson.

Just about everything featured on Wise Acre Eatery’s menu comes from Tangletown Gardens’ farm in Plato. The restaurant is a new venture for the garden center’s owners Dean Engelmann and Scott Endres.

“Systems and teams are getting put into place, and our little baby is starting to hum,” said Endres, referring to the garden center as the restaurant’s older sister. “The neighborhood — and beyond — has embraced us from day one, with lots of people come through the doors.”

Highlights on the dinner menu recently included dill pickle fried chicken with a cheddar biscuit, shallot marmalade and black strap carrots; a royal brie and bacon burger, wild rice slaw, pickles and farm fries served with a special cinnamon infused homemade catsup; and maple rhubarb braised beef with carrot chive mashers and basil sugar snaps.

“There is something for everyone — well, almost everyone — and there are enough unique twists to be intriguing without feeling like we are experimenting,” Glawe said. “The food is created much the way our grannies cooked — like the dill pickle fried chicken — marinated on our house made quick pickle juice and then fried not in our fryer but in cast iron skillets.”

The restaurant also has a “Comfort Zone” area — a pickup window where you can order deli sandwiches, custards, sundaes, floats and other snacks like corndogs and farm fries.  

For breakfast, Wise Acre Eatery offers up all kinds of pastries and baked goods, including a doughnut muffin that looks irresistible. Endres is also proud of the coffee available at the coffee bar.

And as one would expect from the Endres and Engelmann, the restaurant is adorned with gorgeous plants, both inside and on the outdoor patio.

“It is an honor and privilege to be part of this project,” Glawe said. “Each and every day, to work with meat, with produce, with herbs, that we can directly trace back to the farm is beyond our wildest dreams,” she said. “We can truly make a difference in how people eat, one plate at a time. The level of respect shown to the earth, and to the animals at our farm is incredible, and to be a part of this makes each long day very worth the effort.”

Wise acre eatery
5401 Nicollet Ave. S.
Hours: Tu-Thu, 8 a.m.-9 p.m.; Fri, 8 a.m.-10 p.m.; Sa 10 a.m.-10 p.m.; Su 10 a.m.-8 p.m.
Website: wiseacreeatery.com