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Flashback to the Pinnacle of White Linen Dining Inside Travail’s New Pop-Up

Homage pays just that to the titans of 90s dining, including Doug Flicker

Travail’s new residency recalls a finer era
Courtney Perry/Travail

During the construction of Travail’s next generation of restaurant theaters in Robbinsdale, the chef collective have taken up an extended residence at 1930 Hennepin Avenue. The restaurant, for now, is calling Homage, paying service to the chefs and white linen restaurants that dominated the 90s. Mike Brown, Bob Gerken, and James Winberg, the chef/owners of Travail have teamed with chef Doug Flicker. He was once the up-and-coming chef/owner of a legendary restaurant once located in this very location, it was called Auriga. Flicker and his restaurant are just some of the creative minds the menu pays tribute to.

Introductory bites are inspired by Minneapolis trailblazer chefs like Tim McKee, Alex Roberts, and Jack Riebel. Desserts are a hat tip to Michelle Gayer, who was Charlie Trotter’s pastry chef at the time. In between the menu hits on every boldface name ever listed in Gourmet under Ruth Reichl’s tenure.

James Winberg, Doug Flicker, Mike Brown, and Bob Gerken of Homage
Courtney Perry/Travail

The tasting menu is a tromp through the greatest hits of the decade with ruminations on beets, goat cheese, cosmopolitans, dollop presentations and a whole pressed chicken.

Even the art hung on the walls is evocative of the era
Courtney Perry/Travail

Tickets are available for a multi-course meal, presented as all Travail meals are, by the chefs who have prepared courses.

The chefs plate and serve
Courtney Perry/Travail

The cost for the multi-course experience ranges from $95 to $135 and tickets have to be purchased ahead of time.

The bar cocktails include this twist on a Ramos gin fizz made with Honey Nut Cheerios milk
Courtney Perry/Travail

For those that aren’t able to secure the full service or don’t plan ahead, the bar is open and requires no reservations.

The bar’s more casual food includes the old pizza and wine combo so popular at Auriga’s happy hour
Courtney Perry/Travail

The bar has its own menu that includes burgers and pizza. A $5 pizza with a $3 glass of wine were mainstays of Auriga’s happy hour.

First bites are in honor of local chefs who made their names in the white linen era
Courtney Perry/Travail

Homage is open Wednesday through Saturday for dinner.

A sun soaked dining room framed by greenery on the walls, white tablecloths, and a chef with his back to the camera in the foreground
The entire room is draped in greenery and fresh flowers
Courtney Perry/Travail
Doug Flicker standing like he’s stood there before
Courtney Perry/Travail
The chef introduces the multi-coursed meal and explains the inspiration for each dish
Courtney Perry/Travail
Dishes include a beef tartare with egg yolk in the middle just waiting to be slowly sliced and videoed
Courtney Perry/Travail
Mussels and baller accouterment
Courtney Perry/Travail
Whole roast chicken: this isn’t going where one expects it would
Courtney Perry/Travail
In goes the chicken
Courtney Perry/Travail
Mike Brown explains the chicken press, reducing the whole glorious business into a rich sauce
Courtney Perry/Travail
If the chocolate was poured pre-Instagram, how did anyone know it was there?
Courtney Perry/Travail
Dill garnished Cosmo
Courtney Perry/Travail

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