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The Spoon and Stable Reviews Are Rolling In: What the critics think of Gavin Kaysen's hotspot

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Although there were some quibbles.

City Pages' Emily Weiss was the first to file her review of the restaurant which she described as "accessible...fine-dining" from the "adept, warm, clear-eyed" chef. Weiss was able to get into the restaurant early. The pumpkin soup (which has since changed on the menu) was a "silky fairytale." Her review also includes the edict that every dinner should be accompanied by the spinach topped with fried cheese curds, "happy marriage of virtuous, nutritious ingredients and unapologetically indulgent ones." The service is described as "seamless."

Recommended Dishes: All of the desserts, spinach topped with fried cheese, poached sturgeon.

Critiques: The sides served on the same plate outshined the chicken entree. The "gorgeous bucatini" tossed with an uni cream and clams was both "balanced and brackish."

Bartender name spelling: Robb Jones

Summation: "How they cook is pure European elegance meets American comfort."

The bar inside Spoon and Stable: run by a guy with a dubiously spelled name. Photo by Joy Summers

The Pioneer Press' critic Jess Fleming hasn't had the opportunity to dine more than once. She encountered the same reservations issue other early diners found when it was difficult to book a table. (Snagging a seat has since become easier.) Her first impression is that Spoon and Stable was worth both the wait and the hype. Fleming eased into the comfortable room, observing, "If you're looking for molecular gastronomy or crazy, hard-to-pronounce ingredients, look elsewhere." She found the attentive, warm service some of the best in the Twin Cities. She also swooned over the soup, now made with squash over the previous pumpkin. Conversation flowed easily between Fleming and her dining companions, thanks in part to the blessed acoustics, which makes hearing easy, even with the restaurant buzzing.

Recommended Dishes: The Manhattan, day boat scallop crudo, bison tartare, Dorothy's pot roast was "elevated comfort food food at its finest" with drinkable rosemary broth and the apple crisp was the best of a group of delicious desserts.

Critiques: Bucatini was a fishy disappointment with a bad clam. Chicken skin was "flaccid."

Bartender name spelling: Rob Jones

Summation: Tight, fairly classic cocktail list, some of the best service in the city, and a beautiful back-to-basics style of cuisine.

Chef and owner of Spoon and Stable, Gavin Kaysen. Photo by Katie Cannon

Heavy Table's Josh Page easily had the most exciting dining experience at Spoon and Stable when the burlap beneath the bread plate caught fire and a particularly badass server put it out with his bare hand. In fact, the servers and bartenders seemed unflappable, answering a myriad of inquiries as if they were truly happy to do so. Page noted the "comfortable fine dining" is "like Princess Di or Beyonce, it’s both regal and of the people." He was also appreciative of the "civilized" noise level inside the open dining room. Bill Summerville's wine list is "expansive and exciting."

Recommended Dishes: Fire-roasted baby carrots "led to a barrage of exuberant swearing," bison tartare, squash soup, Hamachi and all of the desserts.

Critiques: The pot roast was delicious, but not exciting. Spinach with cheese curds was confusing, but still devoured quickly. Page observes, "It’s rare to find so little to fault in such a young restaurant."

Bartender name spelling: No mention

Summation: "The space, service, and food exude a quiet confidence reflective of a proud — but not prideful — mid-sized, Midwestern city that doesn't stand on ceremony." Food is "precise, beautiful and delicious."

Spoon and Stable

211 North 1st Street, , MN 55401 (612) 224-9850 Visit Website

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