This week in Week in Reviews, someone has finally reviewed Travail proper, and it's the Star Tribune's Rick Nelson, who gives the restaurant a rare four stars. He starts by saying that the chefs at Travail "aren't just chefs, they're vaudevillians," praising the "gleeful sense of humor," and the fact that it can "make a success of the communal table, a near-impossible achievement in a frozen land that values personal space above all else."
But let's get to the food. Nelson writes:
"It's hard to conceive of a more playful cooking aesthetic. Where else will you encounter a cherry-glazed liver mousse done up like a Tootsie Pop? Or an amuse-bouche assembled on the backs of diners' hands? Or a spring salad presented as a micro-terrarium? Or a three-dimensional beef carpaccio? Or a shrimp boil's flavors reduced into a crispy cracker? This place is a riot."
But the food also has a serious side, Nelson adds, "particularly when it comes to unlocking the harmony between seemingly discordant flavors, textures and colors." He waxes poetic about a butternut squash soup with sage-scented panna cotta, and then concludes by telling the reader you can get a sense of Travail's "powerful creative forces" by multiplying that one dish by twenty (his estimate for all the courses plus extras in a typical Travail tasting menu).
· All Coverage of Travail [Eater MPLS]
· All Week in Reviews [Eater MPLS]