Visited on Tuesday, January 1st
Ben's ReviewTo fully utilize the time my parents were watching Annie and Luke, we wanted to go out to breakfast on New Years Day after our sushi dinner the night before. We struggled for a bit deciding where to go, knowing we wanted a place that was NOT close by, since we didn’t mind the drive with nothing else going on in the morning. Also, we struck out on a couple places that didn’t appear to be open on the holiday.
I was looking over our list and randomly clicked on Tilia to see what it was, and they helpfully had an updated web site that showed they were indeed open on New Years Day. Located in Linden Hills, it also fit the bill for not being close by, and Erin had been wanting to check them out, so we were set.
We arrived around 9 o’clock to a restaurant that was about half full. I appreciated the heavy curtains on both sides of the door that did an effective job of blocking any cold air from coming in when people entered or exited, very smart.
The host attempted to seat us near the door which, in spite of the curtains, was certainly colder than NOT being by the door, even though there were far better tables available. I asked if we could instead sit closer to the exposed kitchen and the host complied, but she certainly seemed a touch annoyed. We weren’t having seating luck on these New Years Eve restaurant outings.
Our server stopped by soon after and got our coffees going. When our coffee was brought out, I was immediately in love with the coffee mugs. They were white, simple, easy to hold, and had a thin rim. I loved them so much that I located them at Crate and Barrel and have since bought us four of them :) They’re only $4 each too.
The coffee setup was cool too, with a nice matching cream cup, and large hunks of brown sugar for Erin to get her fix. The actual coffee itself was just ok, it tasted a bit burnt to me, but the mug more than made up for it :)
Looking over the menu, I came across their Cuban breakfast sandwich and knew that I was done looking. “¡El Sapo en la Cubano!” has your typical Cuban ingredients of pork, ham, pickle, mustard, and they add a runny egg on top. Either the mustard had horseradish in it, or they added horseradish on its own, because there was a ton on the sandwich that nearly made some bites inedible it was so strong.
Other than the occasional hit of horseradish, this sandwich was amazing. The people leaving at the next table over helpfully told me to just break the egg and use a fork and knife, and that was certainly necessary. The sandwich is humongous and would be difficult to eat as a normal sandwich (and I hate getting my hands messy anyways). Tilia uses high quality ingredients in their food and it definitely showed with my dish, it was absolutely superb.
While we ate we had a chance to check out the restaurant and I really want to make it back in the evening for dinner sometime. The entire restaurant is well decorated with a rustic, vintage feel to it, and the bar is no exception. They have a great list of tap beer and a large wine selection as well. The quality of our brunch makes me think the dinners are also excellent. We may have to venture over to Minneapolis again soon to give it a try.
I was really excited to find out that Tilia was actually open for brunch on New Year's Day. I've been wanting to try the place since they opened, but we very rarely got over to Linden Hills, and I knew that the chances were slim of getting a table quickly if we did have time for brunch - the idea of waiting for a table with 2 little ones was not appealing! We have been able to go out for brunch a few times on weekdays, but none of the good places are open then. This time, we got lucky!
I was really surprised at how not busy it was when we got there. As far as I know, this is still a pretty popular spot, but maybe people were like us and just assumed they'd be closed. Their loss, our gain! I was glad that we decided to move over the side of the restaurant by the kitchen since it was freezing outside and the vibe on that side was much more pleasant and bustling. I loved the decor here, everything was very simple but felt very thought out and worked well together with the beautiful bar and the open kitchen. We saw some kiddos and it looked like they had some little fun stuff for kids to play with which is awesome.
We immediately ordered coffee and I got a cinnamon roll since I was starving. The menu had many enticing options, but I can never turn down a benedict, and the Reuben one on the menu sounded amazing. I went with that, and enjoyed the coffee. The coffee was ridiculously strong, so it took quite a bit of cream and sugar for it to be prepared to my liking, but I made do. The cinnamon roll was pretty good, but I've had better and it would have been a lot better if it was warmed up a bit.
Our food came out pretty quickly, and I had to chuckle at the couple who came over and told Ben how to eat his cuban - the instructions were great, but the fact that they name dropped the chef as if they were best friends (and, I guess, maybe they are??) seemed like a very Linden Hills thing to do. It was good, because Ben honestly did look a little confused as to how to proceed, so he clearly needed some direction.
My Reuben benedict were simply amazing. The corned beef hash croquettes were the best part, along with the perfectly poached egg and delicious hollandaise. Sooo, everything was the best part. It was just delicious. Definitely the best breakfast dish I've had in recent memory. We lingered over our food for a long time, and I had a few more cups of decaf as well. It was so nice to enjoy a nice long breakfast without having to manage the kids.
I loved our meal at Tilia, and would definitely go back. I'd love to try their dinner options, but wouldn't hesitate to go back for brunch or lunch or any meal for that matter.
2726 West 43rd Street