The Corn Exchange? Great. Fine. A good steak, nice people, cold beer. No problem.
Yea. That ignorant assumption did NOT survive first contact with reality at the understated bistro on Rapid City’s (dare I say it?) hip Main Street. The fact that the only reservation I could get was for the bar at 8pm should have been a clue.
It turns out that the Corn Exchange is run by a cool local-food crazy young chef. She's making AMAZING food in an area filled with $20 steak dinners.
Our meal included:
- Half bottle of Elk Cove Pino Noir from Willamette Valley
- Local beets, Valencia orange, & sheep's cheese
- Prosciutto w/California figs, & feta (the chef brought the figs back from San Francisco the day before)
- Heirloom tomatoes, basil oil, & goat cheese (why do I have to go to South Dakota to get exquisite tomatoes? Marvelous!)
- Smithwick Garden Greens-Watercress w/a 15-year old aged sherry vinaigrette and feta
- Savory buttermilk, white corn and scallion pancake topped with house-smoked salmon, sprouts, and a cucumber-crème fraiche and horseradish compote
- Pan roasted quail in olive tapanade on bed of tomato & zucchini (we were fighting over the last bits of the veggies from this dish)
- Butterscotch pot du crème (Yea. Just think about that for a minute and tell me you're not jealous)
- Local miniature strawberries w/crème fresh
Add to all of this outstanding service – attentive, knowledgeable, easy-going – and I will never look at South Dakota the same way again. Mind you, this is in a place where you can eat in shorts or jeans. We might stay an extra night just to eat there again.
The Corn Exchange
727 Main Street,
Rapid City, SD 57701