Friday Feast - The Third Bird

LandandLiving Staff - Friday, February 20, 2015

What do Bryant-Lake Bowl, Cafe Barbette, and Red Stag Supper Club, Tiny diner, and The Third Bird all have in common? Kim Bartman. Miss Bartman is CEO and proprietor of the aforementioned establishments whose dedication to local sourcing, sustainability, and support for local farmers are just a few of the many reasons her neighborhood restaurants have the reputation and staying power required to succeed in this increasingly competitive culinary culture that is the Twin Cities. This week, myself and a couple of drakes, flew into The Third Bird , located on Harmon Place in Minneapolis, to fill our beaks with some lunch.

french onion soup- miche, taleggio

Third Birds version of French Onion may be one of my favorites. It is thick and rich with deep complex flavor. This was the first menu item I tried and it really set the tone. If they put this much care and attention into the whole menu then we are in for a treat. The taleggio was so creamy you could mix it right into the soup. It was so perfect that it should be the required cheese for French Onion.  The miche, or pan de campagne (country bread in French)is a chewy bread but after sitting in heaven for bit it became perfectly pliable. 4.5 out of 5 forks

beets- vanilla, burnt cinnamon, orange, macadamia nuts

If you are a beet fan, I would be sure to order the beet salad. The vanilla and cinnamon are balanced out with the citrus from the orange. The macadamia nuts and texture. Well done. 4 out of 5 forks.

grass-fed bison burger-1000 ISLAND DRESSING, CORNICHONS, iceberg,  house-made milk bun

The grass fed-bison burger was my least favorite item. It was decently cooked but considering how difficult it is to cook bison I overlooked it. I like red meat rare-mid rare but I don't think the average person would have had a problem with the way it was cooked. As for taste, I think it did not offer anything more than many other burgers in the Twin Cities, other than that it is bison. Points for the house made bun, which again shows the attention to detail. 3.5 out of 5 forks.

“caesar salad”- roasted CAULIFLOWER, romaine, brown butter bagna cauda, cherry tomatoes, Parmesano vinaigrette, crouton

It is hard to do but often tried. How do we offer a Caesar salad but in a way that is unique. The Third Bird did add a unique twist with the roasted cauliflower and the brown butter bagna cauda (bagna cauda is usually made from garlic, anchovies, butter, and olive oil), but how amazing this sounded on paper I don't think completely translated to the plate. The cauliflower seemed misplaced along with the croutons. The "dressing" seemed a bit absent but had immense flavor. The amount of dressing a caesar salad has is a delicate balance, some want more while others want none, so I think they played it a little safe. 3 out of 5 forks.

grilled cheese- flatbread, carmelized onion, ROASTED TOMATOES
Add bacon | Add egg

Messy, cheesy, caramel goodness! Did I mentioned there was bacon? All this thing needs is an ...oh wait, there is an egg. This thing has the potential to blow minds while simultaneously making us fat! Perfect combination. Wait...why did they put the egg on top of the sandwich? I tried to put it inside the sandwich where it belongs but it broke up and the deliciously gooey yolk, that should have been running into my mouth, ran all over the I had high hopes for you. 3 out of 5 forks.

I think Kim Bartmans latest creation has staying power and do look forward to my next visit. I think she does an excellent job of reading a neighborhood personality and then translating into a restaurant the fits. Each one of her establishments is unique in character, unique in flavor but all are equal in the way they execute and make the customer feel invested. Give The Third Bird a try.


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