Eating Out: Tilia

I've been away for so long!  A full kitchen remodel is no joke.  It's still a work in progress and my blogging will be spotty until we're done.  Since we're sans kitchen we've had a lot of wonderful opportunities to guiltlessly try a number of new restaurants.  Here's a little blurb about one of our favorite taste testing experiences...


We finally got to the newest neighborhood restaurant, Tilia.  It's tucked away in Linden Hills, a charming neighborhood in South Minneapolis.  I've read great things and heard wonderful word-of-mouth praise for the entire menu, brunch to dinner.  We decided to stop in for a very special birthday brunch for my oldest and dearest friend.

We walked in and two things happened.  First, I fell in love with the cool vintage chic of the interior decor.  Then, suddenly, I started to perspire.  I know they have air conditioners; I saw them.  I'm just not sure if they were on or perhaps powerful enough to fill the place with chilled, crisp air.  They set up some big fans around us to cool the joint off.  Mr. S thought it added to the ambiance.  Eventually my body temperature dropped and I was able to take it all in and enjoy the wonderful company. 

Tilia is everything I look for in a restaurant: clean, a version of laid back classy and I wanted everything on the menu.  I really enjoyed the servers' fashion choices: fedoras, various lengths of jorts and deliberate combinations of things that don't go together.  It made for good pre-meal people watching.

Our waitress walked up and I snapped out of my daydream.  I ordered a Coke and shortly thereafter remembered it was breakfast time.  About 10 minutes later I still had no Coke.  The waitress returned to take drink orders for some late arrivals and asked me if I wanted something to drink again.  I reminded her of the Coke and then asked to swap it out for a Grapefruit juice ($2 and it was fresh squeezed!!).  There was some more confusion after that.  I'm not sure what happened there, but it didn't improve upon the experience or ruin it.  It was just kind of strange.  She was nice enough and did a great job with the meal so no harm, no foul.   

Our three friends ordered either the Breakfast Crepes ($9) with ham, scrambled eggs, morbier cheese topped with a coarsely chopped herb mixture or the Weekly Omelet ($9). I can't remember all of the omelet's ingredients, but I think that week's version had a heavy dose of chorizo in it.

Mr. S got the Slow Poached Eggs in Parmesean Cream ($10) with caramelized tomatoes, tarragon and grilled bread. It was a blissfully creamy slice of the good life.

I went for it. I ordered the Smoked Soft-Boiled Eggs ($9) with buttermilk biscuits, sausage and sawmill gravy. Anytime I see biscuits and gravy on a menu I can't resist their magnetic powers. My dad schooled me on the best biscuits and gravy when I was just a kid during my time with him in LA. These days one bite of this dish still brings back a little magical childlike wonder.

We got a couple orders of Smattered Hashbrowns to share.  Nothing special, but a decent accompaniment.  I used them to sop up the last of the delicious gravy!

As an aside, it was a windy day and I was a little concerned the front entry door was going to shatter into a million pieces every time slammed shut.  We we're sitting right next to it so that was a bit of a conversation interrupter.

Never mind the a/c and slamming door, you need to visit this restaurant.  The dishes are plainly composed yet pack in delicious multi-layered flavors.  This kind of food is what's getting people so excited about cooking these days.  Just be mindful of their varying menus offered throughout the day and evening.  In-between mealtimes they only serve a snack type menu.  Plan ahead to get the full brunch or dinner experience.

Rating: B+, Some atmospheric challenges but the food is worth it!

Tilia, 2726 West 43rd Street, Minneapolis
(612) 354-2806


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