Monday, January 15, 2024

The Mainlander

I was very curious about this new upscale restaurant since it is not like anything I had tried to before. 70's kitsch, limited reservations only, and the menu changes monthly or by what's in season. Also, you pay online, in advance, without tipping. I actually asked permission if we could leave at the end, but really it was because I didn't want to.

I was very surprised there were only seven tables total and only three were four-tops. The lack of a crowd made for an intimate experience, and it was cool to have a good view into the bar and kitchen. It did feel like we were in someone's living room in the 70's although VERY dark. (Definitely good for  date nights.)

The host (who was quite gregarious and I wanted to applaud) was also the server, although the chef came out a couple of times to deliver plates himself. It was nice to talk to him directly and he said there was only a staff of five doing everything.

Patience is always up for a food adventure and she loved that she didn't have to make any decisions. (We took a moment to salute "No Menu Monday" from Home Wine Kitchen.)

Thanks to the appetizer or "Tidits" course of the evening, I started to fill up before the main course came out. (You will not leave hungry!)

To warm up, we were served a Hot Buttered Rum to kick off the night.

Hot Buttered Rum

The first item, Sweet Potato Frites were just adorable, with local caviar on top! 

Sweet Potato Frites

Pate de Campagne Musubi and China Moon Shrimp Toast

The musubi was also almost too pretty to eat.

I never had Warm Mushroom Salad before, and I think this would have made for a good "vegetable" side dish. 

Warm Mushroom Salad

Under advisement, we opted to share a wine flight, (and to save money) although the cocktails looked very creative. One was entirely on fire at the table near us, but I think we made a great choice looking at the quality of the wine list!

Wine List

The entire first course was paired with a Tatomer Riesling. It was incredibly dry and was amazingly well balanced to pair with several different flavors. A perfect food wine. I hope to come across it again someday.

I didn't know what to think about a "Chicken Fried" Walleye, but I see how it made for a light batter. The fish pieces were HUGE and I made the mistake of finishing mine, although I didn't eat too much of the sides. 

Chicken Fried Walleye

The mustard greens were quite sweet with the apple honey marinade, but greens in general are not my favorite.

Apple Honey Mustard Greens

Since the chili sauce was too spicy for me, I ended up mixing the popcorn grits with my bites of chicken fried walleye. They were kind enough to package up the leftovers since we couldn't finish any of the main course.

Popcorn Grits

The main course was paired with a Gamay Noir, which I don't know if I've had before. This was fruity, but not overpowering, so well paired again.

YOU MUST save room for dessert. I know it'll be different each time, but I'm pretty sure it'll be decadent. I doused my German Chocolate Bao in the Flaming Caramel sauce. I finished mine even though I was so full. (The sparklers were for our 11th anniversary, which was very fun.)

German Chocolate Bao with Flaming Caramel

The last wine, a Mataro, was quite dry, but was a smart pairing with the chocolate in the dessert.

Although I say "for special occasions", we definitely hope to make our way back to try more menus. 

Main Menu

Bar Menu


The Mainlander =

Photos by Patience Scanlon

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