Thursday, August 21, 2008

Corn Exchange

Once we realized we’d be spending the night in scenic Rapid City, South Dakota, we enquired of a business contact, “Where do we have to eat?” Given our limited pickings so far in other parts of the Dakotas, we really wanted some input. Without hesitation, our guy replied, “The Corn Exchange”.

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
(605) 343-5070

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