I’ve enjoyed writing about the Ole Store Restaurant in Northfield, MN. Read my latest blog post profiling their seasonal entrees. (Photos and written content by Amy Acheson.)
As the brisk autumn air turns to winter, the Ole Store Restaurant is busy preparing some warm and oh-so-good seasonal dishes inside.
Harvest time displays a color-rich palette of our region’s bounty that ripens into vibrant tones of mustard gold, deep apricot, crimson berry and toasted walnut hues.
The Ole Store, an upscale neighborly establishment, celebrates the season with an appetizing menu colored by locally produced ingredients. Chef Chris Basina and the Ole Store’s talented culinary team bring fresh insight to create a tasteful selection of fine foods that can be paired with wine and craft beers.
As we enter the cold weather season, warm up to these delicious thoughts —
The Roasted Garlic Plate is an appetizer to share. Build your own bites from an assortment of delectable fare — caramelized, mild roasted garlic atop toasted baguettes with a taste of award-winning St. Pete’s Select blue cheese. Try the country-style coarse dark ale mustard for a hearty spread. Fresh pear slices and homemade pear butter, created by the Ole Store’s own sous-chef, adds another layer to this palate-pleasing, savory-meets-sweet sensation.
Another favorite served family style is the Crab Louie. A classic in its own right, this one is piled high in goodness. Chef Basina adds his own twist to the traditional dish by dressing up the East Coast jumbo lump crab with a slash of color. “We took it a step further by composing it with a salad to build a flavor profile that’s exciting,” said Basina. Added to the 1000 Island dressing option is a new smoked-tomato vinaigrette created right in their kitchen using a four-hour smoking process. Hard-boiled eggs, red onion, kalamata olives, avocado, artichokes, feta cheese, capers and carrots stack up to make you feel like a king served at a table of white linen.
Along the lines of seafood is the Cedar-Planked Salmon. Again, it’s about the overall experience at the Ole Store. The aroma of the salmon smoked on a red-wine soaked cedar plank is just one of the elements. The salmon itself is carefully sourced from a researched and reputable supplier in the Faroe Islands that believes in environmental stewardship and best practices when it comes to ocean food. This entrée is served with butternut squash risotto with caramelized walnuts, pear butter sauce and chef’s vegetable.
Locally procured grass-fed beef from 1000 Hills Cattle Company in Cannon Falls is on the Ole Store’s select menu. The aged NY strip is a choice piece that has been hand-cut and is charbroiled to perfection. This tender and juicy entrée is served with your choice of potato — Yukon mashed, au gratin, twice baked sweet potato or french fries plus a chef’s vegetable. For the cheese connoisseur, you can opt to add local award-winning St. Pete’s Select cheese to your steak.
Pizza never sounded so good. This rustic flatbread is presented with a 16-hour smoked spiced pulled pork and caramelized butternut squash. House made rolled crust is drizzled with olive oil; the garlic bakes in with the melting bubbly mozzarella and chevre while fresh sage is chopped and tossed on top.
Why have plain old pumpkin pie when you can have Pumpkin Tiramisu? This dessert dappled in layers of airy silkiness and smoothness is similar to the original recipe which paddles in whipped cream, mascarpone cheese with accents of liquor and coffee, but the Ole Store’s version offers a unique autumn edge. Basina turns the leaf with this light pumpkin-filled dessert by sprinkling in crushed gingersnaps and folding in aromatic autumn spices reminiscent of fall’s finest moments … leaving a lasting impression, as the delicate taste-full texture is really an experience worth having.
— written by Amy Acheson