While Lisa is definitely one to celebrate Valentine’s Day, I’ve never been much one to do so, so we decided to compromise and celebrate the Saturday before it. I spent the past month trying to get her to guess where we were going for dinner, although I wasn’t too worried about her actually figuring that out, as I knew JP American Bistro was essentially non-existent on her radar screen. The restaurant is only a 15 minute stroll from our house, so it had been my intention to have us walk past all the places she thought we may be going — Lucias, Campiello, and La Bodega, among others — and then walk into some place she was completely unfamiliar with. She wasn’t feeling well, though, so we drove, and I had to relegate myself to throwing false turn signals as we passed the restaurants.
While the service was a bit odd from time to time, the food at JP American Bistro was fantastic. It was probably the best dinner either of us have had in the Twin Cities. We opened with a very tasty pizza with applewood smoked bacon, cashews, and pecorino ramano cheese. Lisa had oven-steamed salmon in a sweet soy glaze, with organic green beans and toasted nuts, which she loved. Following an unsolicited tip from a neighboring table, I tried the fish of the day, seared tuna with a pineapple and berry chutney. (I’m allergic to pineapple, but what the heck.) It was easily the best tuna I’ve ever had, and I went through quite a tuna phase a few years ago. For desert, Lisa had a molten chocolate cake with caramelized bananas and coffee ice cream. I had a caramelized banana tart with caramel sauce that vaguely reminded me of the best desert I’ve ever had, a spectacular concoction at Thalia in New York four years ago. It didn’t match up to the desert at Thalia, but the fact I’m even willing to mention it in the same sentence speaks well for the desert at JP’s.
So, uh, we were both quite happy with dinner. I still think Valentine’s Day is a corporate holiday, but if we’re going to be stuck with it, we might as well make the most of it.