This post will have many more words that Post1, so get ready to do some reading. Post1 was like a visual teaser for the restaurant, and this will take a bit of a deeper dive into the place, letting folks in on some of the info I found out as an anal-retentive foodie.
First off, I wanted to say "thanks" to Dan, our waiter that night. He was a good sport, knowledgeable, and indulged all of my questions. Though I think he thought I was bonkers at the beginning, I hope he could see by the end of the night that I was simply trying to get all the info I could gather, to make an interesting place read like an interesting place on my blog.
Now, you need to know why Spoon & Stable is named that - the first part, "spoon", comes from the fact that the head chef/owner used to steal spoons from every high-end restaurant he's eaten at. So much so, he has a large collection of spoons and now displays many of them in the restaurant (see below).
|That's a lot of spoons. My grandma would have been proud|
The spoon term also reminds me of a chef constantly tasting their creations, with spoons of course. Not forks or knives, but always spoons. Watch any chef on PBS, Food Network, or even the movie Burnt and you'll see all manner of spoons being used to taste and plate amazing dishes the world over. They just take one taste, toss the spoon in the dish pile, and adjust the sauce or dish accordingly.
So, that's the "spoon" part, but why "stable"? Well, it's simple really - the location and physical space that the restaurant occupies was once a stable for the downtown area of Minneapolis. Knowing all that, the name seems to make perfect sense, and also lets your imagination run wild as you dine. Finally, it really makes their initial name for the new restaurant, Merchant, seem quite out of place. Glad they didn't go with that, as I suspect they are too.
We even got a little bit more info, the wine "cellar" they use used to be the main entrance for the stable. It's quite a striking look in the space and seems to get lots of eyes on it each night, see for yourself...
And finally, as our dinner group went through the meal, with all this info, good humor, and stiff drinks around, we found ourselves teasing most of the staff about stealing spoons of our own. Surely, they would think it's hilarious and allow the stealing of their own spoons, knowing what the owner has done during his "spoon career". Well, they weren't exactly excited to loose their own spoons to sticky-fingered patrons, but they've created a charity revolving around a collectible spoon. All proceeds from the sale of the spoon below fund the charity.
It has their logo on it and also becomes a nice talking point for any patron once their meal is done. Not only that, but one of the guests in attendance with me that night, after being rather vocal about the spoon "souvenir", got his own, free charity spoon to take home. I'm sure he won't soon forget the wonderful atmosphere, great service, warm comfortable dining room, delicious & memorable foods, great drinks, and superb time we all had at Spoon & Stable. I know I won't.
I'd recommend this place to all. It seems particularly well-suited to foodies, small groups, dinner parties, and even serves brunch on the weekends. They make their breads in-house (looked like a boulangerie to me), seemed to whip their own butter, make all their desserts and pastries in-house, and purchase from local vendors when possible. Their staff, if you couldn't tell already, seemed particularity attentive and knowledgeable.