I decided to set the bar high for my first restaurant review with the trendy Spoon and Stable. Based in Minneapolis’s cool North Loop area, Spoon and Stable is one of the most difficult reservations to acquire, especially during peak times. Chef and Owner Gavin Kaysen, a James Beard award-winning chef, is mainly known for his appearances on The Next Iron Chef (contestant) and Top Chef (judge). However, I was excited to eat at his restaurant knowing he crafts menus targeted towards diners with food allergies (as he has celiac disease).
As background, in 2014, I was diagnosed as “borderline celiac”. My doctor tested me twice and the results were mixed (one positive, one negative). She said, “I guess you should avoid gluten”. (Um, thanks?) It was a tough process to start, but I noticed a massive change in how I felt physically. I have experimented with different types of food and basically know what is fine for me to eat (soy sauce) and what is not (white flour). However, I desperately miss real, doughy bagels. Sigh.
*daydreams about everything bagels*
Anyway, when it came to choosing this restaurant for my birthday, I knew we needed to book in advance. We found a spot at 9pm on a Sunday night – that was all they had available! Alas, I knew I wanted to dine here and was willing to wait. The day before our reservation, however, I checked OpenTable again and an early spot opened up! I was grateful to eat a massive meal before my normal bedtime. (Hey, I have to get up early for work!)
I was immediately struck by the warm yet industrial feel of the space – high ceilings, minimalist light fixtures, soft booths, and an open kitchen. My husband and I were seated in the middle of the restaurant, which allowed us to enjoy the views across to the bar and back to the kitchen. Even at 8pm on a Sunday, the place was bustling.
Our server attended to us quickly, walking us through the craft drink menu. My husband ordered the Gin & Tonic (autumnal tonic, death’s door gin, spanish style) and I drank a Dark & Stormy (house rum blend, gray duck chai, ginger, lime). Both drinks were great, but not really our style. (Food and drink, like any art form, can be incredibly subjective. However, I recognize this and try to differentiate between something that is objectively good and something I thought was delicious.)
For my starter, I ordered the Butternut Squash Soup (apple butter, lime cream, cinnamon churro). I spoke to the waiter immediately about my desire to eat gluten free, and he made sure the churro was not included. It was AMAZING. It had pickled pieces of the squash throughout the soup, which weren’t obtrusive to the taste, but added great texture. The lime cream balanced out the richness nicely. Both of us would absolutely order it again.
We asked the server to recommend main courses and he raved about Dorothy’s Pot Roast (pommes aligot, mushroom confit, carrots, rosemary broth). He said customers call frequently to see if it is still on the menu because it is so wonderful. Well, my husband loves pot roast, so that was a no-brainer. It was like lululemon yoga pants – so comfortable but also really high quality (or expensive, whatever). I could not try the meat, but the vegetables were fantastic.
I originally wanted a fish dish, but the server recommended their gluten free pasta (made fresh in house). Honestly, I am dubious about gluten free pasta. Most of the time, it has a bad texture or just does not fulfill my craving for pasta. However, I was at arguably one of the best restaurants in my hometown, so I hoped it would not be mush or glue. I went with the server’s suggestion of Gluten Free Tagliatelle with Pork Ragu and I am so glad I did. The spice from the tomatillo salsa mixed well with the pulled pork. And the pasta itself was so delicious (I could not tell it was GF), I asked the server if I could buy it in bulk to make at home. He said yes! Sadly, this specific pasta dish is no longer on the menu, but, like my favorite TV shows, I hope it returns next fall.
While we were no longer hungry (technically), we could not say no to the dessert menu. (Let’s be honest, I rarely say no to a dessert menu.) Since the server really had not steered us wrong so far, we picked from his recommendations the Beeswax Crema with Quince (for me) and the Honey & Cream Cake (my husband). Like every item we tasted this evening, there was nothing to fault in these amazing desserts. Balanced flavors, great textures, and some adventurous combinations that made every bite enjoyable. The plating was beautiful, too.
As we ate dessert, I ordered a Lambrusco sparkling wine. (It was my birthday, after all!) I loved the moderately dry taste combined with citrus. Unfortunately, I didn’t catch the name of it, but I would order it again.
When we finally surrendered to our full stomachs, the server came over and said he had a birthday surprise. He wasn’t kidding. He brought a very, very large homemade cotton candy to the table. It was literally the size of my head. (And I don’t use the word “literally” figuratively, ha.) It was so much better than any festival cotton candy – just pure, melty, sugary goodness. I also enjoyed the experience of it sticking to my fingers, just like when I eat cotton candy at a Twins baseball game! The perfect end to an incredible meal.
Overall, this was a lovely dinner and experience. I cannot recommend Spoon and Stable enough, especially for celebration meals. I look forward to trying their brunch menu in the future!
In the comments, I would love to hear about your favorite dining experience. What made it stand out? Can you still remember what you ate?
Spoon and Stable (Minneapolis, MN)
Gluten Allergy Accommodation: 10/10
Would I revisit? Yes, no question! 10/10
If you don’t require a specific day/time, consider checking reservation availability 24-48 hours in advance. There may be openings!
If you cannot find allergen information online, call or email the restaurant before you visit. Spoon and Stable emailed an up-to-date gluten free menu upon my request.