Borough – Minneapolis


The first time I heard about the Borough was when I read the list of opening and closing restaurants throughout the Twin Cities at the end of an article on the Heavy Table website. I checked out the menu and I stopped at the first item:

SoupChampagne, Fingerling Potato Chips, Black Truffles, Chives – $7

I didn’t even need to read the rest of the menu. Instead, I immediately sent an email to my husband stating that we had to put this on our list of restaurants to try!

But I went without him.

We ended up there by accident. My friends Kim, Jen, Jared and I had scheduled to take a cooking class together at Saga Hill. Unfortunately, the chef had the flu and I totally missed the message that afternoon that they had to cancel the class. We arrived there to find dark rooms and no one inside. When we learned what was going on, we thought that since we were together and were hungry, we might as well dine together!

We all searched our smartphones for nearby restaurants and when Jared suggested the Borough, I gave them a call. They didn’t have any tables left; all were reserved. However, they did have a large bar that wasn’t quite busy yet.

When we arrived, the bar was busy in that nearly all of the seats were taken. There definitely weren’t four seats together. However the hostess asked a few people to move down to allow us to sit. They kindly did so!

As do many restaurants in the Twin Cities now, there was an excellent assortment of beers on tap. I rather liked the bar area and the style of taps.


Borough Bar

Look closely above. There are no advertised taps here. They all have the same look to them. Instead, the beers are listed on mirrors on either side of the bar.


These mirrors indicate the beers on tap as well as the basic menu.

However, after Jared ordered a glass of bubbly, I couldn’t help but order a glass myself. Once three of us decided to go that route, we chose to order a bottle instead.

By this point, I was pretty hungry. The menu was separated into categories of small, medium and large plates. I  was hungry, so I totally skipped that soup that sounded so good! And you won’t believe this… Even though they were highly recommended by the bartender, everyone else but me ordered the scallops!


Scallops – Parsnips, Maitakes, Maple, Pancetta, Cider Gastrique, Pearl Onion – $16

I think $16 is a pretty decent price for a scallop dish in the Twin Cities. Despite the fact that all of my friends ordered these, I didn’t take a taste! Here are their thoughts on the scallops:

Jared: “I liked the scallops, but wouldn’t say they were the best I’ve had. I thought they were done correctly and had a nice sear on them. The Parsnip puree was slightly sweet and went well with them. I would order them again. The seafood sausage was very interesting, but could have had a bit more flavor in my opinion.”

Jen: “I don’t have anything too memorable to report on the scallops. They were good, but I would not have gotten as excited as the bartender.”

Kim: “They were ok. The scallops were a little chewy and too salty. Presentation was awesome. I would try something else next time.”

Because I was so hungry, I ordered a “large” plate. I also was in the mood for comfort food. Fried chicken was calling my name:

Fried Chx

Chicken – Fried, Buttered Potatoes, Mustard Greens, Radish, Soubise Gravy – $19

Although these pieces just look like over-sized chicken nuggets, it ended up being a lot of food – definitely worthy of being called a “large plate. And to me, the chicken was more like just breaded chicken than true fried chicken. When cutting into the square pieces, I noticed that the white and dark meat was pushed together to form the square. Only a place like this could get away with that! Fast food joints are chastised for it.
I did love the presentation though. The contrasts of colors and the use of the watermelon radish as a garnish was perfect. I adored the mustard greens! But overall, I found this dish to be too salty.
When Jared asked if we wanted to get to dessert, I remembered that there were only three desserts to choose from:

Dessert menu

So why not order them all to split?!


Pineapple Cake – Caramel, Rum, White Chocolate, Pineapple Ice – $7


Chocolate – Flourless Cake, Ganache, Chèvre, Cherry, Ice Cream, Hazelnut, Espresso – $7


Margarita – Lime Curd, Saltine Cracker, Tequila, Meringue, Sea Salt – $7

The Verdict on Dessert:

Jared: “I wasn’t really wowed by any of them. I like pineapple upside down cake, but this one left me wanting more. It had more caramel on it than it needed. The chocolate was ok, but I’m not a coffee fan and that was too much for me. I guess, I would give Borough a second chance, but the BEST thing about it was the company.” Awww!

Jen: “I liked the tequila lime dessert the best. I am realizing that I could take or leave flourless chocolate cake.”

Kim: ” My favorite dessert was the lime one with the chocolate a VERY close second. That’s just because I love key lime pie!”

Me: These desserts were beautiful! They reminded me of the presentation at Naha. My favorite of the three was the chocolate cake, but mainly because of the espresso flavor. I loved the combination of the two! A very close second was the Margarita. I tried that one first and looked at Kim immediately and said, “You are going to love this one!” since she adores key lime pie. That’s just what it tasted like!

So you can see we do have somewhat different tastes!

One thing I really loved about Borough is that when they delivered the plates, they explained all of the components to you. Too often, I forget what the menu read. It’s nice to have a reminder and not be left wondering.

The couple next to me had split the burger on the menu and I overheard them raving about it with the bartender. Hmmm… I just may have to come back and bring Rob. Okay, so I really want to try that burger, too! It looked so good.

What’s the best dessert you’ve ever had?



8 responses »

  1. Oooooh, that place looks really interesting… sort of reminds me of my trip to Travail, but a little more reserved in plate decorations. Certainly my kind of restaurant, will have to go; that Fried Chicken sounded fun, love when places use the meat glue.
    As for favorite dessert…. so hard to choose… but my most memorable was easily a little something called “Botrytis Cinerea” at the Fat Duck in England. Botrytis Cinerea itself is a little mold that grows on certain grapes and only feeds on their water, causing them to shrivel and concentrate their sugars; it’s really pivotal in a lot of dessert wines like Sauternes. So to “celebrate” it, they made all these little perfect spheres of different things, like sorbet and caramel-filled chocolate, sugar, and I can’t even remember all… and then arranged them to look like a grape bunch, with a cinnamon-baked stick for the stem and a “leaf” made from blended and dried grape skins. Plus they had a flavorful powder and sauce on the plate. It was… an amazing meal, and that was the one thing on the menu that I had not heard about beforehand, so it was a complete surprise; not to mention it really connected with my deep love of Dessert Wines, almost felt like it was made just for me.
    A little long of an explanation, but that’s sort of how every item of the meal is ^^’ haha.

  2. I enjoy your reviews and everyone’s comments about their dishes. Your right about the chicken too, they can get away with that but, no one else could! Do you know in my entire life I have never ordered dessert? My hubs either. We just fill up on the food 🙂

  3. I wish I lived closer to you – we’d have the best foodie dinners out! Like Suzie, I don’t order dessert too often, but I worked at a restaurant that made a chocolate goat cheese flourless cake, and while that sounds gross, it was to die for!

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