Skip to main content

Pengilly put on the map as buzzworthy restaurant gets New York Times praise

  • Author:
  • Updated:
    Original:

It's not often that the tiny town of Pengilly graces the pages of the New York Times* – but it's been put on the map now that it's home to one of the hottest new restaurants in Minnesota.

Eyebrows were raised when celebrated Twin Cities chef Sarah Master revealed earlier this year that she would be returning to her hometown of 400 in the Iron Range, giving up her role at Barbette, in Minneapolis' Uptown to take over the Mr. Roberts Restaurant and Resort.

But the chef, who co-owns the resort with business partner Dan Beckwith, is receiving high praise for her efforts crafting an eatery that the Times describes as "Midwestern with a Modern Twist" at the lakeside location.

Take a look at its menu, and you can see why you'd be unlikely to find an eatery like Mr. Roberts in most other small towns in America.

You still find the burgers, fish fry dinners and hanger steaks customarily found on most Minnesotan menus, but with some unusual additions, such as dehydrated olives, peach BBQ sauce, bacon jam, rhubarb chips and cashew butter.

Master's combinations went down well with Times reviewer, the Duluth-based Robert Lillegard, who said they show "flourishes that take them far beyond their church potluck roots."

Lillegard tried out the restaurant's braised shredded lamb, which he said had "added depth" thanks to the accompanying Minnesota-harvested cremini, oyster and shiitake mushrooms, while he was also impressed by a Goulash "brought up-to-date with seared grass-fed rib-eye, stewed cippolini onions and roasted cherry tomatoes."

Lillegard said her menu and location is "almost a political act," given it's in a traditional mining area "where tastes run towards Miller Lite and mashed potatoes."

The chef added that there has been some grumbles from some about the prices, which while not particularly expensive for the Twin Cities, is still more than you'd expect from traditional outstate eateries.

Business is doing well though, the Times' notes, because her local roots – combined with her appearance on ABC cooking show "The Taste" (where she reached the semi-final) – keeps the patrons coming.

You can read the full review here. It will appear in the Sunday print edition of the New York Times.

* On a side note, we did take a look at whether Pengilly has been mentioned in the New York Times before this – and it has, twice.

Once when Pengilly native turned New Jersey Devils hockey player Mike Peluso was quoted in 1995, and the other in 1948, when 20-year-old Lois Hall, of Pengilly, was cast in Hollywood film "You Made Me Love You."

Next Up

Wild

Wild flip the script, dominate Blackhawks

Ryan Hartman scored twice to earn the first game of a back-to-back.

Hopkins Basketball

Hopkins suffers rare loss to No. 1 ranked Sidwell Friends

The Royals held their own in a battle of the nation's best.

argue-wertman booking photos

Charges: 2 teens responsible for violent carjacking spree across Twin Cities

They face a combined 31 felony counts, all tied to carjackings and related crimes.

rep nolan west mn house

MN rep. says he was 'assaulted' at activist group's public meeting

The Republican said a man grabbed his arms and yanked him from the room.

Screen Shot 2022-01-20 at 12.56.52 PM

What were the 'bizarre things' seen in Minnesota's sky?

The mysterious streaks were not UFOs and they weren't pieces of an asteroid.

icicles, freezing weather, cold weather

Booming noises in the night could be frost quakes

The loud sounds are most likely to happen during the middle of the night.

coronavirus, coronavirus test, covid-19

Free COVID testing site to open in St. Paul for 3 weeks

The federal testing site comes as demand for testing remains high.

Reyel Simmons photo 1 - complaint - crop

MN TikToker accused of faking federal agent life pleads guilty

He told his 10,000 followers he was a Homeland Security agent — authorities say it was a lie.

Wilf

Report: Vikings request second interview with 2 GM candidates

Ryan Poles of the Chiefs and Kwesi Adofo-Mensah of the Browns.

Amaya Battle

Hopkins takes on No. 1 team in the country on ESPNU Friday

The game will feature a pair of top recruits in the Class of 2022.

st. paul federation of educators - teachers

Educators in Minneapolis, St. Paul could strike amid contract negotiations

Teachers and support staff are demanding smaller class sizes, mental health support and better pay.

Related

owammi

2 MN restaurants make New York Times' 2021 favorite restaurant list

The list features places the paper is most excited about right now.