Birdie is the ultimate dinner party dining experience in Minneapolis.
I am still in awe a week later, and I cannot wait to share my experience with you!
With great excitement, my mom told me she had purchased tickets for Birdie the day after my move back to Minneapolis. I was a little confused, so she clarified that Birdie is a private dining experience with over 10 courses and wine parings. Obviously that sounded amazing, but at that point I still had no idea what I was in for or just how inspiring this experience would be.
Birdie is connected to the diner Nighthawks in the South Minneapolis. You must purchase tickets opposed to getting a reservation because there are a number of set spots at each private dining experience (only available Tuesday-Thursday). So already you’re feeling super-duper important having this “ticket” for a special-secret dinner, right?
But then you walk through a separate, almost secret door and enter a white tile-lined, quaint and cozy room. A prep kitchen is at one end, behind two long tables, which are plated with fine stemware, fresh flowers, and tea candles. At each place setting, there is a hand written menu, showcasing the courses and wine pairings.
There’s a record player in the corner, and Chef Landon takes time between courses to change the record, so a fantastic playlist is in store, too! Along the other wall, are rows of wine glasses and bottles of wine, just waiting to be savored. I faced this table of wine-heaven and watched in awe as each wine pairing was poured to perfection.
Chef and his team describe the dishes in detail as they are presented – their focus is on fresh, local vegetables. So local, in fact, that many ingredients came directly from one of their gardens. How AWESOME is that?! You really can’t get any more local than a block away.
Between courses, the diners get an up close and personal experience watching the team prepare the dishes in the prep kitchen. The passion that this team exudes as they prepare and present the dishes is palpable. It is such an inspiration to watch them work together.
Even more so, each bite of EVERY dish burst with flavor, with many unexpected combinations that blow your mind. I can’t even begin to describe the detail, thoughtfulness, and preparation that went into each and every dish; it was evident throughout the entire night!
If you’ve tolerated the iPhone photos with me so far, here are some of my favorite dishes…as the night went on, the lighting got darker – obviously – so the photo quality wasn’t up to snuff, but the food was too good for me to really care anyway 😉
The Weeds –
Fresh from Jessie’s Garden, this was a unique blend of greens and edible flowers with a bit of Icelandic yogurt on top for a creamy twist! I love, love, love the local focus and the message of how we need to stop and remember how many edible things are around us!
Deviled Egg –
Like no other deviled egg you’ve had before – this one packed a punch with what I assume was horseradish, and the shaved celery and celery lovage.
What’s celery lovage you ask? It’s an herb that was described as if celery and (I think) parsley had a baby, it would be it – and it fit perfectly with this little appetizer and balanced out the flavors fabulously.
Sweet Corn Panna Cotta –
I’m the kind of person who likes to save the best for last. However, I can’t wait any longer to bring this course to your attention. Now, I’m not saying the others weren’t fan-freaking-tabulous, but my Iowa heart swooooooned over this Sweet Corn Panna Cotta. I have never tasted anything like it, and honestly, I want to eat about 5 more in 1 sitting.
The first bite (and every bite thereafter) was so creamy the sweet, sweet corn flavor was instant- I don’t know how he does it! Well, I do, because Chef Landon did share it with us, but still. This was like crazy good and I think only a culinary genius could pull it off.
It was topped off with fine crumbles of cotija cheese, another creamy component with the lime mayo, and aleppo pepper – simply out of this world. Oh, and the green onions on top! You may think are inconsequential at this point but you’d be wrong my friend. They were the perfect crunch and balance this dish needed (I say that like it needed something more, but they were like the cherry on top). Could I talk about this forever? I probably could. Moving on…
Several other gorgeous courses…
Pictured above: Marigold Gnocchi, Peach and Melon Soup, Blueberry Sorbet, Strawberry Cake. Not all courses are pictured in this post.
We also ended the night (as if we could eat one more darn thing after 13 courses) with a take-home gift of – ok seriously, I’m not exaggerating about all of this – the most amazing shortbread I’ve ever had.
Birdie was hands-down an amazing culinary experience! One I could’ve only dreamed to have, and I am so grateful to have done so. If you’re in the area I’d highly recommend booking your tickets NOW – I believe they’re almost, if not already, sold out through this summer. Plan ahead friends, it’ is so, SO, SO worth it!!!
And just FYI – all opinions here are my own, I’m just a super huge fangirl now. And still drooling over that Panna Cotta. Any future Panna Cotta tastings have been ruined for me, but that’s a problem I’m willing to live with.