D'Amico Kitchen, Burger Jones, and more: Most popular dishes at your favorite restaurants
When you go out to eat, do you ever stare at the menu for minutes on end, waffling over what to order? Do you ever wonder if the restaurant's regulars know something you don't? Here's a handy guide to what customers order most at some of the Twin Cities' most popular eateries, plus recommendations from the chefs. Check out more of our Eat This posts here.
What to order at D'Amico Kitchen? (Hint: the chef likes the hanger steak.)
Most popular: "We have a crudo dish here, which is a yellowfin tuna, that just flies out the door," says Justin Frederick, D'Amico's new chef. "We only use the best, No. 1 tuna out there," he says, and he serves the appetizer ($11) atop avocado with melon and a lemon jam. As for entrees, one of D'Amico's top sellers is the house-made ravioli with ricotta, Stickney Hill Dairy goat cheese from Minnesota, a tomato-based sauce, speck (an Italian smoked bacon), and basil ($10 as a small plate; $19 as an entree).
Chef's choice: "I think we have a fantastic beef carpaccio here," Frederick says of his favorite appetizer ($11). He prepares it using a Creekstone all-natural beef tenderloin, with green olive aioli, capers, and sea salt. His favorite entrée? "I personally really like the grilled hanger steak. We actually cut our hanger steaks in-house, which allows me to have more control on the flavor. We use Meyer Ranch beef, which is a really, really good-quality beef." It comes with pancetta-wrapped radicchio for $23.
Most popular: "People definitely know us for our Reuben and for our Perfect Burger," says Paul Johnson, one of Victory 44's chefs who, like all the restaurant's chefs, also famously doubles as a server. Victory 44's menu changes every couple of weeks, he says, but the two sandwiches are permanent fixtures. The Reuben is piled with an untraditionally thick cut of 10-day-brine corned beef that "melts like butter," Johnson says, along with braised red cabbage, house-made Russian dressing, and Swiss cheese on rye bread. For the Perfect Burger, the restaurant grinds its own meat and serves it with a Dijon aioli and ice-box pickles (both made in-house), plus bacon and white cheddar cheese on a Turtle Bread Bakery bun. The fries are also noteworthy: sprinkled with herbs, Parmesan, and a little bacon fat. Both sandwiches are 10 bucks.
Chef's choice: Johnson has several favorites on the menu, but he singles out the house-made foie gras hot dog ($9), being served now with rhubarb mustard and rhubarb relish. "It's very decadent," he says. He also recommends the seared scallops, which are paired at the moment with a sweet pea risotto, charred-lemon puree, and artichoke chips ($9).
Most popular: The burger joint's most popular offering is also one of its simplest, says general manager John Emerson. It's called the Nooner, an all-American cheeseburger with fries, served Monday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. ($7.99).
Chef's choice: Emerson has a personal hankering for Burger Jones's green chili cheeseburger. "It's our 7-ounce burger with a salsa verde on top, pepper jack cheese, and one of our house-made onion rings," he says, which goes for $8.99.
Most popular: At the always-busy Café Maude, customers are crazy for the hanger steak, according to owner Kevin Sheehy. "It's grilled on a wood grill with cognac-grilled onions, veal jus, red wine, and parsley oil [$16]."
Chef's favorite: "I'd have to say the ginger-brined pork tenderloin," Sheehy offers. It's served with sauteed escarole, garlic, carrots, golden raisins, pine nuts, and a ginger-carrot puree ($22).