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Dara Moskowitz Grumdahl on Travail + Rookery

Photo: Katie Cannon/EAMPLS

This week in Week in Reviews, Mpls.St.Paul Magazine's Dara Moskowitz Grumdahl gives both Travail and The Rookery (or is it really just ONE restaurant?) an in-depth review using emoji-speak. Her review details some cocktails, Travail's tasting menu, Rookery's small plates, and whether or not we the people (who backed the epic Kickstarter campaign) actually got the top-tier restaurant that we were promised.

Cocktails: Dara describes the cocktails as fun, crazy, and riveting—"Emoji: raise-a-glass happy". Travail's tasting menu: She explains, as we know, that it is presented to be shared; however, she warns that you should only share with someone you feel very comfortable "swapping spit with" and that it is not in your best interest to arrive as an odd numbered party. The food at Travail? She gives us lots of colorful words and phrases that don't say a whole lot about the tastes and opinion of the food, but rather that this is Travail food "amped up to another level by fancy and expensive kitchen equipment" and that it is "tweezer food to the extreme". As for the Rookery, she describes it as "less expensive, less fussy, less unrooted, and better". DMG pro tip: Get the egg. The "lyrical, sumptuous, exquisite" egg. She also urges you to NOT share. You'll want your own egg (and bone marrow) over here. What else? Dara explains that it can be loud ("Emoji: hands over ears."), it can get crazy ("Emoji: These are the facts, people."), and that the wine list is mediocre. Which bring us to her bottom-line:

"There were many times at this new Travail when I thought: These many chefs really have no idea what it's like to be sitting at a table having a three-hour dinner; they only know what it's like to be cooking the individual elements of the three-hour dinner. This leads to phenomenal joys but also to an experience that's sometimes more about the cooks than the customers. Emoji: smiley face/that's what people always liked about it in the first place?"

There's a lot more to read in her review with details of the cocktails, her opinion of desserts, and her experience and thoughts on the theatrics of it all.
· All Coverage of Travail [Eater MPLS]
· All Week in Reviews [Eater MPLS]

Travail Kitchen and Amusements

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