The Sample Room's wild mushroom ragout on polenta: 100 Favorite Dishes, No. 58

mushroom ragout.jpg
Mo Perry
A rich, complex, earthy treat
Everyone keeps saying spring is around the corner, but it's hard to believe when ice is still encrusting the sidewalks and your skin seems to have taken on a permanent, dry translucence. Still, you know from experience that this is the time of year when you have to stop measuring your portion sizes by the metric ton--soon enough that down parka will be tucked away into the closet and your months of indulgence will be flaunted for the world to see. That makes the Sample Room's wild mushroom ragout on polenta just about the perfect March dish.

mushroom ragout.jpg

It's undeniably rich, with its three different cheeses, and it has a depth and complexity that is perfectly suited to counteract the chill outside. But true to the Sample Room's philosophy, the portion is petite, meant for savoring each bite, not inhaling mindlessly.

The polenta makes a lush, perfectly seared bed for the creamy ragout--simultaneously dense and light, with a pleasing toothsomeness. The mushrooms, nestled in a cloud of olive oil, white wine, goat cheese, Parmesan, and Camembert, exude an aroma of garlic, herbs and truffle dust. The toasted pumpkin seeds are a nice garnish, lending a a touch of crunchiness to the otherwise supple dish. Pair with a soup, salad, or another small meat or fish plate for a meal that's perfectly suited to a month with one foot in winter and the other in spring.

2124 Marshall St. NE, Minneapolis
Sample Room website

Hungry for more? The dishes in our countdown thus far are linked below:

No. 59: On's Thai Kitchen's Nam Thok

No. 60: Flamingo Restaurant's vegetarian combo

No. 61: Sea Change's brioche pain perdu

No. 62: Haute Dish's "steak and eggs"

No. 63: Tremblay's Sweet Shop's salt water taffy

No. 64: Bars Bakery's Turtle Bar

No. 65: Pizzeria Lola's Lady Zaza Pizza

No. 66: In Season's fried oysters

No. 67: Cave Vin's steak frites

No. 68: Everest on Grand's cabbage and potatoes

No. 70: Surly's Coffee Bender

No. 71: Quang's bun tom xao

No. 72: Maple bacon doughnut at YoYo Donuts

No. 73: Cupcake's mini cupcakes

No. 74: Willy D's ribs

No. 75: Salsa a la Salsa's fried chocolate truffles

No. 76: Anodyne's Artichoke Melt

No. 77: Origami's steamed duck

No. 78: B.T. McElrath's Salty Dog bar

No. 79: Mozza Mia's house-made limoncello

No. 80: Salty Tart Bakery's pastry cream-filled brioche

No. 81: Little Szechuan's bamboo tips with chili sauce

No. 82: Oceanaire's Jumbo Lump Crab Cake

No. 83: Aperitif's Nonni's Meatballs

No. 84: Christos's Saganaki

No. 85: Sesame seed bagel at Seven Stars Coffee House

No. 86: Lemon ricotta pancake at Hell's Kitchen

No. 87: Blackbird gourmet banh mi

No. 88: Tank Goodness cookies

No. 89: Gal Bee at Sole Cafe

No. 90: Porter & Frye's El Pelon

No. 91: Coffee News' fish and chips

No. 92: Bread & Chocolate's Fabulous Fudge Bar

No. 93: People's Organic panna cotta

No. 94: Sea Salt Eatery crawdad po' boy

No. 95: Fuji Ya's Tofu Don

No. 96: Ike's Food and Cocktails The Weekender Bloody Mary

No. 97: Punch's Toto pizza

No. 98: Stockholm Pie Company's peanut butter fudge cream pie

No. 99: Dogwood Coffee Co.'s macchiato

No. 100: Al's Breakfast buttermilk pancakes

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