Salty? Check. Fatty? And how! Would a steady diet of these have you flirting with cardiac disaster? You bet. Just resign yourself to a longer jog tomorrow and enjoy this smoky slab with impunity tonight.
Libertine‘s tenure in Calhoun Square began this summer on a promising note, if only for a simple juxtaposition: It’s not the Uptown Cafeteria. Any concept that replaced that fluorescent-hued, gravy-soaked disaster would immediately do Uptown a huge favor. To make it stick, Tim McKee called in some of the usual suspects – Johnny Michaels on drinks, Steve Hesse (Masu Sushi & Robata) leading the kitchen.
His concept focuses on less-appreciated cuts of meat, designed to deliver a steakhouse experience at lower-than-steakhouse prices. And while a full meal at Libertine may not be cheap, one can easily avoid a Manny’s-like soaking with a strategic order. The key move is to split a protein between two diners, and the prime candidate should be the Bacon Chop ($20, above).
The cut is a long, shoulder-cut chop that keeps a long swath of the belly meat attached. Besides the obvious pork belly bonus, the cut also works to insulate the lean meat on the inside. The result is an absurdly moist chop, smoky and tender, and big enough to split with a salad and a veggie side or two.
Start with drinks and the charcuterie board (excellent chicken liver mousse). And make sure to order in flights, because everything comes out when its ready (so, proteins, then wait 10 minutes, then the veggies).
Libertine, 3001 Hennepin Ave. S., Minneapolis, 612.877.7263.