Welcome Mill Valley Kitchen, a new restaurant on the scene in St. Louis Park, featuring fresh and locally sourced California inspired cuisine. It is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner and the menu features an abundant selection of hearty and healthful foods. They also identify calories/fat/carbohydrates/protein for each menu item however if you’re not the health conscious type don’t let this give you the impression that you’ll be eating rice cakes for lunch.
My most favorite admin of all time, Deb Ohlson, and I were in for a culinary adventure. As we pulled up to the restaurant we were greeted in the parking lot by a friendly valet who escorted us to the front door. Both of us were taken aback by the interior – the space is <i>impeccable</i>. Clean and fresh with windows galore, you never feel like you are dining in the ground level of an apartment complex. The hostess immediately attended to us and we were promptly seated. Not surprisingly, our wait staff was courteous, friendly and knowledgeable of all the Mill Valley’s menu items.
Of special interest on the menu were selections from the “natural refreshments” section. We tried the Spa (cucumber, agave nectar, lemon and soda), and the home made Ginger Beer (non-alcoholic), both delicious. I’m sure the Ellipse Elixir (acai, pomegranate, black tea, cranberry and soda) would have been as well. Although it was only two of us we were game for a feast. We started with the Kale with Garlic, Lemon and Parmesan, and the Mushroom-Farro Risotto, both offered as “snack & sides”. They were simple, fresh and full of flavor. From the “soups and salads” we ordered the Pacific Rim Ahi Tuna Salad (marinated tuna, hearty greens, bean sprouts, avocado and tomato) which ended up being our favorite plate. Also on our table was one of their five “whole grain flatbreads,” the Italian chicken sausage, green pepper, mushroom and onion, and the Roasted Duroc Pork Bahn Mi from the “artisan sandwiches” section. Every item we ordered was perfect. Simply said, there was really not a single thing to complain about on our visit to Mill Valley Kitchen. I’m looking forward to returning and trying more of the menu items as I imagine they are all worth sampling.
Bill’s Beverage of the Month
In the spirit of Mill Valley Kitchen’s homemade ginger beer, this month’s beverage feature is a Dark and Stormy. I stumbled upon this drink (and probably stumbled after this drink) on a vacation to Bermuda where it happens to be their National Drink. Mix 2 ounces of dark rum (specifically Gosling’s Black Seal) and 8 ounces ginger beer over ice. Add a squeeze of lime and you’ve got yourself a refreshing cocktail! I’ve been known to import ginger beer from Bermuda and make these at home when the mood strikes.