It's relatively rare -- maybe even a blue moon-level occasion -- for a chef, particularly one at a new restaurant, to be able to go out on the town and have someone else cook for them. So when local chefs do get a chance to get away from their own kitchens, where do they choose to eat? This Chef's Day Off series reveals some of the lusted-after dishes and top restaurant picks of the talented people who shape our local food scene.
|E. Katie Holm|
|Chef Ian Gray in his element, with seared chicken breast and spicy goat Benedict|
This week's featured food industry professional is Ian Gray, executive chef and co-owner of the Gray House
, a neighborhood gastropub in Lyn-Lake with a constantly changing menu, an affinity for tip-to-tail cooking, and exclusive beers on tap thanks to their partnership with Lucid Brewing in Minnetonka.
Since his restaurant opened in the early fall of 2012, Gray admits days off have been few and far between, but he always uses them to spend time with his wife, who is also a co-owner of the restaurant. "Kate and I try to eat at least once a week together, and we always go out," says Gray. "Living downtown we have a lot of options, and we are always trying to hit up the new restaurants, but more often than not we end up at our old reliable spots."
Taste of India in St. Louis Park:
We go here for the dynamite food and simple, strong flavors. We typically order a vindaloo of some sort, a jalfrezi, onion kulcha, keema naan, and one of their many vegetarian entrees.
Bar La Grassa:
The staff here is wonderful, and the food is always superb. We get the red wine spaghetti with pine nuts, the St. Louis-style pork ribs, one of the meat plates -- usually the chicken -- with a side order of the soft polenta.
Butcher & the Boar:
This one is close to where we live, so we go here a fair amount. They always have good stuff on tap, and the food is really consistent. We always try a new meat dish whenever we're here, but the standbys are the sausages and the Fulton fries.
Thanh Truc in Woodbury:
This place is the best Vietnamese in the whole Twin Cities. It's an amazing family-run restaurant with real integrity, fresh ingredients, and real cream cheese in the wontons! When we visit Kate's parents who live in Woodbury, this is usually where we go.
Brasa Premium Rotisserie:
No matter what, Brasa always hits the spot. We usually get the slow-roasted pork plus yellow rice and beans, collard greens with smoked chicken, and the cornbread with honey glaze.
610 W. Lake St., Minneapolis, MN