Dining In and Out: Ode to Food and Drinks
By Kaylyn Deiter
One young foodie explores the local restaurant scene, bringing quality cuisine into your kitchen, sans doggie bag.
Ode to Food & Drinks is a diamond in the rough of Sioux Falls’ downtown restaurant scene. Situated on the ground floor of the futuristic office complex that is Cherapa Place, few passersby would guess that an eatery as charmingly nuanced as Ode resides within its revolving doors.
But, that’s the way this restaurant likes it.
Bar manager Frank Gajardo described Ode this way: “Gourmet in blue jeans.” And that’s exactly what this little eatery on the prairie is – refined, yet relaxed, just like your favorite pair of Levi’s.
“We make fresh, simple, unique dishes in a west coast style that’s different from the norm,” Gajardo said. “We’re not trying to be like anyone else.”
True to Gajardo’s word, Ode isn’t like anyone else.
The eatery’s interior is contemporary—with its sole sculpturally abstract white wall, bar replete with the requisite big-screen TVs and streamlined minimalist feel—but there’s also an inherent ode to hominess: the chalkboard back wall printed with the day’s features, inviting blue-gray color palette and a single hand-picked flower nestled in a glass jar on every table.
And don’t even get me started on the food. The cuisine itself is a continuation of the home-meets-metropolitan vibe, serving up the classics with a twist. Their signature pasta, Ode to Carbonara, tops my list of the restaurant’s must-haves, while even classics like bruschetta and burgers invite the unexpected, with goat cheese and candied cherries galore.
But at the end of the day, people trump food, every time.
“I’ve been in the industry for years and I’ve never seen the kind of quality and service that we have here,” Gajardo said. “There’s that family feel. We treat our staff like family, and in the end that’s how we treat our customers too. It’s about serving people right.”
Three reasons to eat at Ode:
- The home-meets-metropolitan ambience
- The food (the bruschetta trio is the best thing since sliced bread)
- The drink selection – options on options on options
Not feeling the drive over to Cherapa Place tonight? Want to test your own culinary prowess instead? Check out this carbonara recipe courtesy of Recipes.com and enjoy something resembing Ode’s signature pasta from the comfort of home.
- 1 lb dry spaghetti
- ⅔ cup olive oil
- ¼ tsp salt
- ½ lb bacon, cut into ½ inch pieces
- 3 eggs
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- ½ cup grated parmesan cheese
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Fill a large pot with water, add salt and bring to a boil
- Add pasta and cook, stirring frequently until done (9-11 minutes)
- Cook bacon and garlic with olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat until cooked, but not crispy (about 5 minutes)
- Drain most of the fat from pan except 2 TBS
- Drain, but don’t rinse, pasta
- Break eggs into a serving bowl and whisk with fork
- Throw eggs in just drained, piping hot, pasta and mix to coat. Hot pasta will cook the eggs
- Toss in bacon, garlic and remaining fat
- Stir in parmesan cheese, add salt and pepper to taste
Though I didn’t think this pasta recipe turned out quite as delicious as Ode’s (I mean really, what could top that?), it was still a pretty simple recipe for a carbonara novice like me to follow, and for people who like their noodles a bit more mild, this is a nice staple.
Three reasons to make Ode to Carbonara at home:
- It’s less spendy
- Cooking as creativity
- You have the power—throw another ingredient or two in that carbonara, no one’s stopping you
Ode to Food is a restaurant like no other. The atmosphere is top notch and the food is even better. If a little kitchen creativity is just what you need to satisfy a craving for your favorite restaurant, try our carbonara recipe and thank your lucky stars for dining gems like Ode to Food.