Fine European Cuisine by a Cambodian Chef in Small-Town Jordan, Minnesota
Suzette’s is likely the most popular dining destination for our Nicolin Mansion guests. And it’s likely the most unexpected in our quaint town.
The restaurant in located in a very unassuming building, an old Bridgemann’s, along Highway 169 about a mile out of town. We’ve heard people drive up and think they are not at the right place – so we usually tell our guests beforehand to go, sit down, and order – you will be amazed.
We refer a lot of guests, but we usually dine at Suzette only about once or twice a year. The funny thing is, every time we are seated (with maybe one exception) we get the same table! Do they know we’re coming and save it for us? Who get’s it the other 363 days? Anyway, I digress.
So Sunday night, we’re here to celebrate – we survived the grand opening weekend of Kevin’s other project, the Minnesota Harvest Apple Orchard. Our waitress, Kati, greets us and explains tonight’s specials. We simultaneously exclaim “OK!”
But while Kati’s off getting our soup, we actually look at the menu and realize we haven’t ordered an appetizer. Bummer! So, she holds our soup so we can have our Portabella with Chicken Mousse and Brandy appetizer first.
Our enthusiasm continued through the appetizer, as I forgot to take the picture before we ate three-quarters of it! Sorry. Just imagine a full portabella cap. Other appetizer choices we had (and have had in the past) are Escargot with garlic butter and onion, and Crab Cakes with dill cream sauce.
We finish our appetizer, and now Kati can actually bring us our soup. We both ordered the Shrimp Bisque. Lovely! Kevin ordered extra rolls, which were warm and crusty, and awesome dipped in the soup. The other soup of the day was Cream of Broccoli (I know, we should have ordered one of each to report, but neither of us were willing to give up Shrimp Bisque).
And now for the main event – the specials of the day. I ordered the Ribeye - my family are not huge red meat eaters (and I even abstained for years until I was pregnant with my second son), so whenever I go out for dinner I tend towards the beef specialty. And I was not disappointed. It was enormous, and I got to enjoy it for lunch the next day in my cubicle, and even more unexpected setting for fine French cuisine. Other beef choices on the menu are Steak Cafe de Paris (Grilled New York Strip topped with garlic butter) and Chateaubriand (beef tenderloin topped with bordelaise sauce). Suzette’s also offers pork options of Pork Suzette (twin medallion of pork tenderloin topped with shrimp and swiss cheese) and Cranberry Pork (sliced pork tenderloin topped with fresh cranberry sauce). I’ve had Pork Suzette and can highly recommend it. Suzette’s chicken options include Chicken Fettuccine, Chicken Marsala, and Chicken Wellington (chicken breast stuffed with a blend of mushrooms, wrapped in a pastry shell). These are also representative of some of the Italian offerings of that Fine European Cuisine. I’ve never tried the Lamb, a New Zealand Rack of Lamb, but I think that will have to be my next choice (in October for our anniversary).
Kevin’s entrée choice was the Stuffed Salmon special – no surprise if you know Kevin, salmon is his all time favorite. And he loved this, stuffed with crab and scallops (Awesome! I tried some off his plate). The Seafood selection is the largest on Suzette’s menu: Seafood Manicotti, Crab Cake Meal, Salmon Dill Beurre Blanc (salmon broiled and topped with dill white wine cream sauce), Marin Grivois (shrimp, scallops, chopped onions, garlic and linguini - I overheard Kati tell another table this was her favorite – Kevin will have to get that in October), Petite Fillet with Shrimp (beef tenderloin with large broiled shrimp), Shrimp Provencal (gulf shrimp sautéed with olive oil, onion and garlic), Sea Bass, Seafood Mix Grill (gulf shrimp, scallop, and petite lobster tail), and Suzette Mixed Grilled (petite lobster, beef tenderloin, and pork tenderloin – I’ve heard a common favorite of our guests). And there is a Vegetarian choice of assorted vegetables served with mushroom cream sauce and your choice of pasta, rice or pastry shell.
We are feeling completely satisfied, and Kati comes out with this Fruit Napoleon compliments of Chef Ban! Beautiful! For a split instance we thought of boxing it up and bringing it home to the kids, but quickly decided to have Ban cut it in half and share with another table, our Chamberlin Room guests sitting across the room from us! It was perfect. Another dessert favorite of ours is the Creme Brule.
Chef Ban (formally Banrith Yong) joined us at the table for a moment, as he usually does, to chat a few minutes about all our ideas of bringing this beautiful small-town’s offering to yet another level. He also likes to joke about bringing Kevin back to Cambodia and starting a band – we’ll make lots of money he says.
Speaking of the kids – they do have a kid’s menu: Spaghetti and Meatballs, Chicken Fettuccine, and Pizza ($4.95 each). Our boys keep asking us to take them to Suzette’s and we keep disappointing them by only going there on our date nights. I guess it’s time for the Mama to take the Boys out for our own date night at Suzette’s.
Tuesday – Friday: 11 am – 2 pm & 4:30 pm – 9 pm
Saturday & Sunday: 4:30 pm – 9 pm
20251 Johnson Memorial Drive (Highway 169)
Jordan, Minnesota 55352
Update: October 11, 2012 (Our 15th Wedding Anniversary)
As promised, we did finally take our boys to Suzette! And it lived up to all their impressive expectations.
We’ve entitled it a night to celebrate, and indulge, in all the best Suzette’s has to offer. Starting with the appetizer: Escargot with garlic butter & onion.
Noah’s choice is Marin Grivois ~ Shrimp, scallops, chopped onions, garlic and linguini sauteed with herbs and spices.
I’ve been promising to try the duck, and I’m in luck with tonight’s duck special! Too perfect!
Kevin loves the fish at Suzette, and is satisfied once again with tonight’s fresh fish special.
And since we are indulging, and it’s our boys’ first Suzette experience, we can’t turn Jesse down for his choice of the Seafood Mix Grill ~ Gulf shrimp, scallop and petite lobster tail, served with garlic whipped potatoes and vegetables.
We are blessed once again with a dessert gift from Bahn ~ this night a beautiful cheesecake. Thank you Bahn!!
Satisfied, our boys have finally had the Suzette experience. Cheers to Life Suzette’s!!
Update: February 11, 2011
Suzette restaurant gets a mention in the article Let’s Go: Unexpected eats