What would we do without Instagram?
We’d certainly find less hot and trendy restaurants to try, that’s for sure!
So give the social media giant some credit for chalking up our latest find – Myriel in St. Paul.
Fresh off a multi-course meal, I’m here to report back about one of St. Paul’s hottest spots.
What is Myriel?
Myriel is brand-spanking new restaurant located in St. Paul’s Highland Park neighborhood.
Okay, that’s a bit of a lie. Technically, Myriel has existed nearly a year-and-a-half, although it was limited to a tiny takeout menu only for the first year. (Thanks, pandemic…)
But in the Fall of 2021, Myriel opened its doors to the world, and the praise came pouring in. Jason DeRusha quickly named it one of his 10 best new restaurants in the Twin Cities, and of course, my Intagram friends went equally wild.
The cliff notes version: Myriel serves a refined, chef-crafted menu with French and Minnesotan influences. What’s on the menu? You’ll have to find out for yourself! The menu changes by the day, week, and month, thanks to a devout commitment to sourcing only the most in-season ingredients from local, ethical producers.
About the Chef
Myriel is the brainchild of local chef Karyn Tomlinson.
While Myriel may be her first foray into restaurant ownership, it’s certainly not Tomlinson’s first appearance on the Twin Cities food scene.
Tomlinson is most known for her time leading the kitchen at Corner Table (a classic Minneapolis spot that was always a critic’s favorite before the team moved on to focus on the most popular fried chicken in town, Revival) and she also spent time cooking in the fan favorites Meritage (one of our best seafood restaurants) and Borough.
You’ve got two options at Myriel – a ten course tasting menu (currently running for $135 a person) or the always-seasonal “a la carte” menu.
We went with an a la carte reservation, mostly because the tasting menu appears so popular that reservations were booking over a month out.
The Atmosphere and Vibe
Anyone who’s ventured to this part of Highland Park will immediately recognize Myriel’s location. It sits in the old Bar Brigade spot, and the atmosphere is just as intimate and cozy as ever.
There’s a small bar to your right and the main dining room to your left. The dining room is tiny. Truly tiny – as I sat down, I felt like I should introduce myself to the couple sitting just inches to my left, and probably apologize in advance for the inevitable eavesdropping I was about to do on their conversation.
That said, the space is lovely. Dim lighting, real candles, a soft place-mat… this is definitely a perfect spot for a cozy date or a night with the girlfriends.
When we arrived, we were greeted with an a la carte place setting that immediately got our excitement up.
The menu is short and sweet. You won’t find any flashy naming done here either (sorry, bloomin’ onion fans, move along) and instead, each dish is just a list of its ingredients.
This didn’t exactly help me narrow down my selections, so I went with my tried and true strategy whenever I can’t decide – defaulting to the server’s favorites.
Our waitress immediately began raving about the freekeh, the lentils, and the lamb boulette, so away we went! (While filling in some of the other blanks, because when you’re excited and hungry, why not!?)
Pain Rustique, Cultured Butter
How am I gonna say no to a bread and butter dish, let alone a bread and butter dish where I know the cows probably live up the road and the bread was made with love, by hand.
It lived up to all my hopes and dreams, except that butter was even better than I could have ever imagined.
Seriously… that butter. It was so soft and creamy that I actually asked the waiter if I could order it as my next drink.
Carrot Soup, Creme Fraiche, Crouton, Carrot Greens
Ohhh, just so perfect on a cold winter night. This soup was nice and sweet from that natural carrot flavor, with just enough creme freche to add some richness.
It also featured some extra-unique croutons that I swear were the tastiest croutons ever. I have no idea what she did to turn ordinary croutons into deep-red colored flavorbombs, but I wish that technique became the new standard.
Freekah, Kabocha Squash, Celery, and Flax
There are times when I feel wholly unqualified to describe the delicious flavors I experience as a DiscoverTheCities.com writer, and this dish was definitely one of those times.
I have no idea how to explain the symphony of ingredients happening in this dish, except to say that it was absolutely fantastic.
This dish was almost like a squash rissoto – a flavor packed pouridge that I’ll be dreaming about for a long time.
Petite Golden Potatoes, Duck Fat
I’m a simple lady. I see potatoes on the menu, I order potatoes.
These potatoes came out at the same time as the main course, and they proved to be the perfect complement.
Stewed Black Lentils, Carrot, Frisee, Mustard (added Duck Confit Leg)
Okay, our waitress wasn’t messing around when she raved about the lentils.
Again, the kitchen here is churning out such advanced dishes that I don’t even know where to begin describing the technique nor the flavor. But I can say that the end product is totally rave-worthy.
Pro tip: Definitely add that duck confit. It completes the whole dish and is worth every single penny.
Lamb Boulette, Root Vegetables, Jus
Imagine the most perfectly crafted meatballs you’ve ever had, and then douse those meatballs in the perfect au jus dipping sauce. That’s what you get each time you swirl Myriel’s lamb boulette into its jus.
For those counting, this plate’s sauce would mark the second time I asked the waitress if I could drink a menu item.
A la fin (dessert) – Apple Pie
I mean, just look at that beauty.
Fresh apples with a hunk of the creamiest ice cream you’ve ever had. This was an all-time delicious apple pie.
Myriel is definitely a spot worth the hype.
I swear, you really can taste Myriel’s commitment to local ingredients across each menu item. And it obviously helps when each of those ingredients are elevated with the sort of delicate, chef-driven techniques they deserve.
With our a la carte experience sufficiently blowing our minds, we’ll definitely be back to check out the full ten course tasting menu. And you should, too!
470 Cleveland Ave S, St Paul, MN 55105
Street Parking (free)
Attentive Wait Service.
You can either reserve the multi-course tasting menu or an “a la carte” experience, where you order off the seasonal menu.
Average Plate Cost
$10-25. Modest portions meant for tasting multiple dishes.
Yes, this is one of the more popular new spots in town, and tables can be tough to come by.