Birdhouse on Hennepin: a sneak peek

Categories: Sneak Peek

Birdhouse logo (250x210).jpg
Birdhouse on Hennepin is now open
Birdhouse on Hennepin, the new venture from Heidi and Stewart Woodman (owners of acclaimed Heidi's Restaurant) is officially open to the public today for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Their liquor license came through yesterday just in time for a small preview dinner in the charming space, which formerly housed Duplex Restaurant. The Hot Dish stopped by to sample a few items from the dinner menu, as well as one of their craft cocktails and some of their bubbly offerings. Read on for pictures of the menu and some of the dishes we tried.

Mo Perry
We kicked things off at the upstairs bar with the specialty cocktail for the evening, The Birdhouse Cup: a tasty mix of vodka or gin (we went with gin), cointreau, sweet vermouth, cherry heering, oranges, a skewered slice of cucumber, and mint ($9).
Mo Perry
While awaiting our meticulously crafted drinks, we perused the lunch menu as servers circulated with samples of several items, including the sweet pea pate (bright and satisfying, with a dollop of creme fraiche) and green beans with a tofunaise ranch dip, a virtuous feeling pre-dinner nosh.
Mo Perry
The golden beet and arugula salad proved to be one of our favorite dishes of the evening: a simple but delicious use of fresh, seasonal ingredients.
Mo Perry
The roasted chicken sandwich combines goat cheese, fig jam, and perfectly roasted chicken on toasty wheat bread with a side of slivered veggies in a light dressing.
Mo Perry
The Lake Superior whitefish, served on a bed of beluga lentils, crusted with sunflower seeds and topped with sprouts wasn't abundant in the flavor category, but the textures were all sumptuous and pleasing, which is saying a lot for a lentil.
Mo Perry
The mushroom terrine was hands down our favorite dish of the evening, with its beautiful presentation, deep, umami flavors, and melt-on-your-tongue velvety richness.
Mo Perry
In keeping with the healthy ethos of the menu, the only red meat entree at Birdhouse is the braised bison short ribs (bison being significantly lower in all the "bad stuff" than its red meat counterparts). We found the mashed roots to be overly bitter last night, but the meat itself was tender and artfully presented.
Mo Perry
As we chatted with the Woodmans and enjoyed some post-dinner drinks and apricot peach crisp, a gorgeous rainbow formed over Uptown. Birdhouse's upper porch offered the perfect view of what can only be an auspicious symbol for the eve of their grand opening.

2516 Hennepin Ave S, Minneapolis
612.377.2213 (no reservations); Birdhouse website

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