FDC #3: Tilia

For Meeting #3 we added a member to the club. Matt joined us at Tilia, voted Best New Restaurant by City Pages last year, and still packing the house, so they’re doing something right.

Big thumbs down for being out of the fresh hop IPA from Deschutes that I wanted, but big thumbs up to the waitress for assuring me its replacement came in a 20oz pour when really it was a 10oz pour, but pouring me the extra 10oz anyway because a promise is a promise. You rock, woman whose name I don’t remember.

Proving that Minneapolis appreciates its dining scene: after suffering through a packed random Monday night at Butcher & the Boar last month, we also experienced a packed Tilia at 8:00 PM on a random Wednesday.

The menu was solid, but nothing jumped out at me like at the previous two Fancy Dinner Club meeting sites. We decided to split two appetizers and three main courses. For the apps we settled on the beet and kimchi salad and the roasted chicken things. Excuse me, did I just say, “Chicken things?” We ordered the chicken thighs, but the only reason we did was because we all first read it as “chicken things,” and the 8-year-old in all three of us just couldn’t let that pass. The waitress handled us like a pro, however, calmly confirming our order of “Chicken thighs,” after I clearly told her we’d take the “Chicken things.”

My fellow club members did not seem as impressed with the chicken things. I thought the “Sorta jerk style” sauce was really tasty, and the chicken was perfectly tender. I do think Tilia misfired on the beet salad presentation. I’m a sucker for beets, and pairing it with kimchi was radical. But they served the salad on a GIANT place, which only made me dwell on the comparatively tiny portion size, and those thoughts overshadowed my consideration of the flavors. If they had just served the same amount of salad on a smaller plate, it might have been my favorite part of the meal.

For entrées we split a lamb tenderloin, the tagliatelle, and the fish taco torta. Matt said he had never seen lamb served like it was steak, and I agree. It was cool. And delicious. Delicious, delicious lamb steak. I loved the tagliatelle, but Drew pointed out that the description promised jalapeños, and there was zero heat in the dish. All three of us are fans of spicy food, and we all agreed that spice would’ve put that dish over the top.

The torta was the best. All agreed. I don’t even know. The fish was fried perfectly, the bun was light and flavorful, and nothing was too heavy. I don’t recommend trying to split it three ways, as portioning it into thirds is as stupid as it sounds, but I would definitely go back anytime for a torta and a beer.

We finished with dessert. A first for Fancy Dinner Club, but it seemed necessary to cap the meal off. We got chocolate cake with orange three ways. Yeah… I’d go back for that too.