Minneapolis is home to some really notable restaurants. Some have even won the highly esteemed James Beard Award- which is great for those who love great food, but sometimes you just want to have a great meal without all the pressure and frills of fancy fine dining.
Enter my dear friends, Matt and Megan - the kickass husband-wife duo behind 320 Northeast.
Open your home to strangers, feed them, and quit your day job
Since opening a brick and mortar is way too expensive, and buying a farm in the country was not as convenient to get to - Matt and Megan decided to host dinners in the comfort of their own dining room, at their townhouse in Northeast Minneapolis.
There are 10 seats at the table and you can only book a max of 2 seats. You don't know who the other 8 people will be until you arrive. Sounds crazy right?
We're so used to sharing meals with people we actually know, that the idea of having to eat and talk to strangers might seem foreign and a bit uncomfortable.
Dinner with strangers
My first favorite thing about 320 Northeast is that it gently coaxes you to step outside of your comfort zone. After you've introduced yourself to the other folks at the table, thus begins the conversation to get to know one another.
I've been to 4 dinners at 320 Northeast and I can tell you that the conversation at each one has been as unique and diverse as the people who attended.
Since this city is relatively small, it's usually no surprise that you have mutual friends or interests with one or more of the people sitting with you. There's laughter and merriment throughout the entire evening, and it's amazing that you walk away not only with a happy belly, but a happy heart.
Not just local, but native
My second favorite thing about Matt and Megan's dinners is that all of their ingredients are from local, organic farms and are native to this region.
Yes, NATIVE, meaning they don't serve anything that isn't historically from here. If you're at all familiar with growing crops, you know how this may complicate things for us here where winters are characterized by -30 degree wind chill and meters of snow fall.
What's on the menu is what you get
At most restaurants you can look at a menu and decide whether you want steak or chicken, but at 320 Northeast, the menu has been carefully and meticulously deliberated over by Matt and Megan and what they've chosen is what you're getting.
The menu changes from week to week but items on the menu range from chicken roulades, to pork or duck rillettes, to trout lox, to spinach salads with homemade honey mustard aioli. The creativity in their menus is out of this world, truly.
Beyond food and entertainment
Aside from being some of the best food you'll ever eat, and one of the greatest exercises in getting to know strangers- what's truly inspiring about Matt and Megan, is that they've turned a dream into a reality.
They have quit their day jobs to spend their days butchering their own meats (yes, on their kitchen table), canning their own veggies (that come from local farms or their own garden), and making their own vinegars (with apples they pick themselves).
320 Northeast is a testament to the fact that if you follow your heart, and you do what you love, the rest will follow.
- Colleen -