Fermentations Wine Bar & Bistro

★★★★☆
Local flavors and lots of wine make this tiny town's bistro worth the drive.
  • 236 Railway St N

    Dundas, MN 55019

    Map & Directions
  • 507-645-8345

Food

Food
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-Don't expect to get a return phone call - keep calling until you reach a real live person; it took me over a week to get a "reservation" and special menu for our Anniversary
-Do expect the staff to be more than gracious and attentive.
-Don't expect them to wash their morel mushrooms; they will be served gritty with sand in the sauce
-Do expect them to have the pheasant perfectly roasted, and the beef perfectly braised (under the sandy morel sauce.)
-Expect them to have some wonderful wines paired, but we didn't notice any Chilean, Argentinean or Australian reds on the list.... (If you're fans of the wines of these countries.)
-FYI: An Amuse' or Amuse Buche is a single bite-full of food to tempt/entertain the pallet with promises of courses to come....served at the very start of the meal. Don't expect the staff to know this. We were served an "Amuse Moosh" by our server after roasted pheasant prior to the braised beef course.... it consisted of a breakfast pastry sized puff pastry purse filled with pears, figs - and feta! - covered in Chinese 5 spice sauce. It would have made a lovely dessert with a different cheese.... maybe a brie or even a blue. Feta just tasted too strongly soured with the sweet syrup over the top. We thought this was our dessert..... after our courses. Pulled out the card - We'd been there for more than 3 hours..... We just thought the server had been confused. Only to our dread did we realize when she returned that we still had two more excruciating courses to sit thru.....delicious, but SOOOOOO SLOW!!!!

We knew they had already started firing our next course, so we were stuck for it, but sent word to cancel the dessert course as we HAD to go.... The server didn't say anything to us, but seemed much less friendly after that, and didn't come bustling around very much anymore. No apologies were offered for the extreme experience - it seems that is the expectation when you dine/share the evening with them. (Don't make plans!) oh - and we still paid for the dessert course we canceled....as it was part of the special Anniversary dinner we had arranged with them.

(The neighboring table had an appetizer-to share; each an entree from the menu and coffee.... they left at the same time we did - 4 hrs for the whole adventure.)

1
★★★☆☆

-Don't expect to get a return phone call - keep calling until you reach a real live person; it took me over a week to get a "reservation" and special menu for our Anniversary
-Do expect the staff to be more than gracious and attentive.
-Don't expect them to wash their morel mushrooms; they will be served gritty with sand in the sauce
-Do expect them to have the pheasant perfectly roasted, and the beef perfectly braised (under the sandy morel sauce.)
-Expect them to have some wonderful wines paired, but we didn't notice any Chilean, Argentinean or Australian reds on the list.... (If you're fans of the wines of these countries.)
-FYI: An Amuse' or Amuse Buche is a single bite-full of food to tempt/entertain the pallet with promises of courses to come....served at the very start of the meal. Don't expect the staff to know this. We were served an "Amuse Moosh" by our server after roasted pheasant prior to the braised beef course.... it consisted of a breakfast pastry sized puff pastry purse filled with pears, figs - and feta! - covered in Chinese 5 spice sauce. It would have made a lovely dessert with a different cheese.... maybe a brie or even a blue. Feta just tasted too strongly soured with the sweet syrup over the top. We thought this was our dessert..... after our courses. Pulled out the card - We'd been there for more than 3 hours..... We just thought the server had been confused. Only to our dread did we realize when she returned that we still had two more excruciating courses to sit thru.....delicious, but SOOOOOO SLOW!!!!

We knew they had already started firing our next course, so we were stuck for it, but sent word to cancel the dessert course as we HAD to go.... The server didn't say anything to us, but seemed much less friendly after that, and didn't come bustling around very much anymore. No apologies were offered for the extreme experience - it seems that is the expectation when you dine/share the evening with them. (Don't make plans!) oh - and we still paid for the dessert course we canceled....as it was part of the special Anniversary dinner we had arranged with them.

(The neighboring table had an appetizer-to share; each an entree from the menu and coffee.... they left at the same time we did - 4 hrs for the whole adventure.)

Pros: They come really close to hitting the mark

Cons: They come really close to hitting the mark....

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We have made three trips to Fermentations, two of the three the service was good and the food was above average. We continue to be puzzled by being pressured to choose a wine flight before ever seeing a menu. Our advise is to ask for the menu when and the specials when you sit down and don't ne pressured into ordering wine until you do.

The exterior is down right tacky but the interior is relaxing and understated if not a bit crowded. The service has bee good but inconsistent when it comes to information on wine and menu items. And with no descriptions accompanying the wine selections, the staff needs more training.

1
★★★☆☆

We have made three trips to Fermentations, two of the three the service was good and the food was above average. We continue to be puzzled by being pressured to choose a wine flight before ever seeing a menu. Our advise is to ask for the menu when and the specials when you sit down and don't ne pressured into ordering wine until you do.

The exterior is down right tacky but the interior is relaxing and understated if not a bit crowded. The service has bee good but inconsistent when it comes to information on wine and menu items. And with no descriptions accompanying the wine selections, the staff needs more training.

Pros: Friendly service, nice interior, independent restaurant

Cons: Inconsistent food, lack of experienced staff, over priced food and wine

.

My new husband and I just cannot say enough about how absolutely fantastic Fermentations is !! We've been repeat customers to this lovely hidden away gem of a restaurant for the past several years, it's our favorite and one of those places that you can never get enough of !! On Saturday, September 23rd, we were fortunate to have Joan, Paul, Ed, and staff host our wedding reception. Together we planned a 5-course dinner paired with excellent wine selections....not only was the meal superb and the service outstanding.....but they pulled out all the stops and made our special night one to remember. We were blessed to be able to share in the full Fermentations experience with our family and friends - we could not have been happier.

If we could give them a "12" rating we would !! Thank you again to Joan, Paul, Ed, and all the hard working wait staff that really made our night a night to remember for all who attended !!

Warmest regards,
Monique and Scott Morton

2
★★★★★

My new husband and I just cannot say enough about how absolutely fantastic Fermentations is !! We've been repeat customers to this lovely hidden away gem of a restaurant for the past several years, it's our favorite and one of those places that you can never get enough of !! On Saturday, September 23rd, we were fortunate to have Joan, Paul, Ed, and staff host our wedding reception. Together we planned a 5-course dinner paired with excellent wine selections....not only was the meal superb and the service outstanding.....but they pulled out all the stops and made our special night one to remember. We were blessed to be able to share in the full Fermentations experience with our family and friends - we could not have been happier.

If we could give them a "12" rating we would !! Thank you again to Joan, Paul, Ed, and all the hard working wait staff that really made our night a night to remember for all who attended !!

Warmest regards,
Monique and Scott Morton

Pros: Excellent food, dynamic wine selection

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Don't let the little non-descript former milltown fool you...for it holds one of Twin Cities' most hidden gems in Fermentations. If the readers aren't aware, the restaurant is now (recently) chef-owned. Paul and Joan are full of passion and will dazzle any "Big City" diners who are too pretentious to think outside their little box. Definitely give this little gem a try. Fresh, fresh seafood. Wonderful decor. Service has always been well above average. Listen, having dined extensively through all the local magazines' "Top Picks" blah, blah, blah, I'd put Fermentations up against any similar establishments in the Twin Cities.

2
★★★★★

Don't let the little non-descript former milltown fool you...for it holds one of Twin Cities' most hidden gems in Fermentations. If the readers aren't aware, the restaurant is now (recently) chef-owned. Paul and Joan are full of passion and will dazzle any "Big City" diners who are too pretentious to think outside their little box. Definitely give this little gem a try. Fresh, fresh seafood. Wonderful decor. Service has always been well above average. Listen, having dined extensively through all the local magazines' "Top Picks" blah, blah, blah, I'd put Fermentations up against any similar establishments in the Twin Cities.

Pros: Chefs' creativity, desserts, visit this soon-to-be top-ten Twin Cities restaurant

Cons: the small town might scare you...don't worry, go inside and start eating

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150 words -- not enough. We are visting a nearby college, from East Coast. Hearing of Fermentations, we read reviews. Without expectations, went anyway. Thrilled that we did! Disagree with others' recent comments. Ate on Thursday night. Meal as good as any at a fine restaurant. Scallops -- delicious. Lamb cooked just right, tasted great in unique mint sauce. Asahi Tuna exactly as expected -- delicious with unique crust, with wonderful rice dish. Boar superb, unique flavor -- not too gamey, like steak. Presentation great. Vegetables perfectly cooked (not overdone or raw). Desserts wonderful. Chocolate pudding type dessert outstanding and others very good. Service pleasant, helpful. Atmosphere like small pub, quiet, reserved. Wine flights offered nice selection. Is somewhat expensive, but worth it.

2
★★★★★

150 words -- not enough. We are visting a nearby college, from East Coast. Hearing of Fermentations, we read reviews. Without expectations, went anyway. Thrilled that we did! Disagree with others' recent comments. Ate on Thursday night. Meal as good as any at a fine restaurant. Scallops -- delicious. Lamb cooked just right, tasted great in unique mint sauce. Asahi Tuna exactly as expected -- delicious with unique crust, with wonderful rice dish. Boar superb, unique flavor -- not too gamey, like steak. Presentation great. Vegetables perfectly cooked (not overdone or raw). Desserts wonderful. Chocolate pudding type dessert outstanding and others very good. Service pleasant, helpful. Atmosphere like small pub, quiet, reserved. Wine flights offered nice selection. Is somewhat expensive, but worth it.

Pros: Superb food, Pleasant atmosphere, Helpful service

Cons: Expensive

.

I live about two seconds from Fermentations although I had no idea it was there until I searched for fine food on the internet. First off, the service was extremely slow. The menu looked good, but a bit over priced. We ordered a bottle of wine and the cheese selection. Our cheese arrived without the bread and fruit. We alerted our server that we did not recieve the bread and fruit - she brought us bread but we never saw the fruit! About two minutes into our cheese our main dishes came...cold! I shouldn't say cold, they were a little warm. We finished our food and ordered dessert and chocolate port. Seriously 20 minutes after finishing dessert I had to ask for the bill! It was a $110 lesson...don't go to Fermentations.

1
★★☆☆☆

I live about two seconds from Fermentations although I had no idea it was there until I searched for fine food on the internet. First off, the service was extremely slow. The menu looked good, but a bit over priced. We ordered a bottle of wine and the cheese selection. Our cheese arrived without the bread and fruit. We alerted our server that we did not recieve the bread and fruit - she brought us bread but we never saw the fruit! About two minutes into our cheese our main dishes came...cold! I shouldn't say cold, they were a little warm. We finished our food and ordered dessert and chocolate port. Seriously 20 minutes after finishing dessert I had to ask for the bill! It was a $110 lesson...don't go to Fermentations.

Pros: Great decor, Impressive menu, Good wine selection

Cons: Over-priced, Slow service

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A party of four arrived late for a 7:30 reservation (we called to alert the staff we would be 15 minutes late) to find our "table wasn't ready". Once seated we were given a wine menu. After a lengthy wait we were asked if we would like to order a starter. We had to ask for a menu to do so. The starters were adequate, but not outstanding. We order our main courses and asked for the lamb to be prepared rare. It came medium to well done and was sent back. The wine flights and bottles are over priced by a factor of 2. We would not recommend making the trip. No offer to discount any portion of the meal was made. We will not return.

1
★★★☆☆

A party of four arrived late for a 7:30 reservation (we called to alert the staff we would be 15 minutes late) to find our "table wasn't ready". Once seated we were given a wine menu. After a lengthy wait we were asked if we would like to order a starter. We had to ask for a menu to do so. The starters were adequate, but not outstanding. We order our main courses and asked for the lamb to be prepared rare. It came medium to well done and was sent back. The wine flights and bottles are over priced by a factor of 2. We would not recommend making the trip. No offer to discount any portion of the meal was made. We will not return.

Pros: Intimate venue, Friendly staff

Cons: Street parking, High prices, Poor food quality

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My wife was told about Fermentations through a casual acquaintence who had never eaten there, so we weren't quite sure what to expect. I have to say that we were pleasantly surprised. I would give the food 4.75 out of 5 stars - although creative, there are better places in the metro. What really sets this place apart, though, is the thoughtful selection of wine flights. They are reasonably priced and the selections (3 glasses in each flight) have obviously been well-researched and grouped logically to allow the user to contrast and compare each vintage. We'll definitely be back.

2
★★★★☆

My wife was told about Fermentations through a casual acquaintence who had never eaten there, so we weren't quite sure what to expect. I have to say that we were pleasantly surprised. I would give the food 4.75 out of 5 stars - although creative, there are better places in the metro. What really sets this place apart, though, is the thoughtful selection of wine flights. They are reasonably priced and the selections (3 glasses in each flight) have obviously been well-researched and grouped logically to allow the user to contrast and compare each vintage. We'll definitely be back.

Pros: Wine flights, Courteous staff, Good food

.

Northfield's a lively town, but how does such a gem show up in Dundas? Arriving outside you'll be dubious, but once seated an astonishing culinary experience unfolds. A nice, deep wine-list, a diverse menu, and a staff that obviously cares. Fermentations belongs in the metro, but appears to thrive in an utterly obscure location. Go and find it.

2
★★★★★

Northfield's a lively town, but how does such a gem show up in Dundas? Arriving outside you'll be dubious, but once seated an astonishing culinary experience unfolds. A nice, deep wine-list, a diverse menu, and a staff that obviously cares. Fermentations belongs in the metro, but appears to thrive in an utterly obscure location. Go and find it.

Pros: Wine List, Service, Menu

 

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