FireLake Grill House & Cocktail Bar Minneapolis @FireLake

From the moment you walk into the lobby at the Radisson Blu at Mall of America you know this is going to be quite an experience. From the accommodating doorman to the giant, basket-woven chair that hangs from the nearly 40-foot ceiling, this place is all about edginess and creativity. I must admit, I felt a bit like a fish out of water being in such ritzy surroundings. I think I used that word (ritzy) 35 times while there. The Radisson Blu hotel connected to the Mall of America opened in March 2013 adding a further layer of luxury to an already luxurious mall. Once we got past all the glamour and glitz of the lobby and surrounding areas, we headed to the hotel’s restaurant- FireLake Grill House & Cocktail Bar– with a big appetite and dessert on our minds.

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FireLake Grill House & Cocktail Bar features walls covered with reclaimed Minnesota barn wood and exposed bulbs as light fixtures. When designing the restaurant they wanted guests to not feel like they were in a mall, “Minnesota chic” is what they call it. It is the only place in the mall with real, natural light which fills the room, bringing in the brightness of the outdoors for guests to enjoy. We were greeted by the host and brought to the bar area to sit while we waited for Chef Lynch. While we waited we took a peek at the dessert menu and were eager to try what was waiting for us. When Chef Lynch arrived he introduced himself and the dessert menus, informing us that we would be sampling from both the regular dessert menu and the seasonal dessert menu (which would be debuting the following week). He explained that their focus was staying true to being a “Minnesota restaurant”, always using regional, local, and sustainable ingredients. He explained that the desserts are straight forward yet sophisticated. We were told that we would be going from lighter flavors to richer flavors, saving the chocolate desserts for last. Before heading to the kitchen to retrieve our desserts he said he “hopes we enjoy our food orgy!” At this point I knew I wouldn’t be let down.

 

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The first dessert brought out to us was the White Chocolate Banana Cream Pie– a gourmet version of the classic southern dessert. Chef Lynch said this is the favorite among guests, and after trying just one bite I could see why. Layers of pastry cream, fresh bananas, whipped cream, and topped with almonds and salted caramel. The caramel flavors were prominent, and the addition of white chocolate brings this classic to a whole new level. Next up was the Lemon Chantilly Blueberry Pie. Chef noted that this was in the form of a deconstructed pie, and the presentation of being served in a mini mason jar was genius! A graham cracker crust base, with layers of warm blueberry coulis, whipped cream, and topped with fresh blueberries, lemon and a “pie crush wave”. Never one to be a fan of blueberries, this dessert has changed my mind! A nice balance of both  blueberry and lemon combined with the fresh whipped cream, this has brought pie to a whole new level! Following in the fruit category was the almond pear tart. I was really excited about this one because I feel like pears are a really underused fruit. The way Chef Lynch managed to make it’s flavors stand out with the addition of almond and topping it off with a marscarpone cheese whipped topping and lingonberry sauce on the side , was right on mark. Next we got to try my second favorite of all the desserts-Warm Maple Bread Pudding Brulee! Bread pudding is not only one of my favorite desserts to eat, but also to make. Combine that with another of my favorite desserts- creme brulee- it was like I died and went to dessert heaven! It had the perfect consistency and the added touch of the pie crust maple leaves, It’s not wonder guest kept requesting it be put back on the menu (Chef Lynch said it was  only meant to be a seasonal dessert). I’ll definitely be back for this dessert! Brought out next simultaneously were the Peach Rhubarb Cobbler and the Apple Pecan Buckle. My sister-in-law and I agreed that The Peach Rhubarb Cobbler was our favorite out of all the desserts. We literally couldn’t pull ourselves away from it, and had to keep reminding each other that we had 7 other desserts to eat. The merge of peach with rhubarb is something I never would have thought to put together, but the harmony of the sweet with the tart worked perfectly. We were informed that a “buckle” is a cross between a cake and a pie (how can you go wrong with such thing?) It was the perfect dessert to enjoy on a cool fall day with the accompaniment of the homemade buttermilk ice cream screamed Minnesota dessert! (Also can I just say how OBSESSED I was with mini cast iron pan it was served in? So adorable!) The last two desserts were the chocolate desserts- and Amish Malted Chocolate Peanut Butter Pie and a Dark Chocolate Truffle Tart. The Amish Malted Chocolate Peanut Butter Pie is sinfully good, like lick the plate clean good! Chocolate and peanut butter are always a good pairing, but the organic peanut butter Chef Lynch used was especially good. It was topped with fresh whipped cream and roasted peanuts. The Dark Chocolate Truffle Tart is what Chef referred to as “Everything you could want in a chocolate dessert!” Boy did he hit that nail right on the head! Hazelnut praline, salted caramel, and dark chocolate- I was literally left speechless after eating this dessert. A chocoholic’s dream come true!  Chef Lynch is doing wonders when it comes to desserts, and I highly recommend a visit to FireLake Grill House, even if it’s just for one of the desserts listed above!

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