Remember Geoff Hausmann, the tattooed charcuterie master who was omnipresent at the opening of both Victory 44 and Travail? The one with the Star Wars and R2D2 sleeves? If you were at the restaurants when they opened, you’re sure to have seen him. He was the most gregarious of all the chefs, chatting and eliciting laughs at every table, but also dazzling with his inventive, highly technically accomplished charcuterie. Perhaps you recall his foie gras baloney?
Hausmann was last noted, by me, doing charcuterie for Pat’s Tap and the other Kim Bartmann restaurants. Ever try the brilliant buffalo wing terrine? That was his. Well, guess what? He took over the kitchen at the Sample Room in November, and is about to debut his own, complete menu for the first time.
What’s coming? Hausmann says he really wants to buy a fryer for hand-cut fries, house-cut chips—and trotter tots. Rillettes seasoned pig trotters, wrapped in pig skin, and deep-fried. “They’re so good. Like a vegetable-free version of a tater-tot,” Hausmann explains. He’d also like to use the fryer to do a brined-cod fish-and-chips, in true Friday night, Northeast style. Sample Room, pretty please, a fryer?
But what about the meat? Some charcuterie-tricks up Hausmann’s sleeve, as it were, include his kimchi and beer sausage, pork liverwurst, house-cured salamis like copa and guanciale, and, when he finds the time, perhaps an entire deconstructed charcuterie pig face, to complement the Sample Room’s signature roasted pig face. Are you ready to be the table with two pig faces, plain and fancy? It might be coming.
And what about mortadella, the Italian ultra-fancy baloney, and one of Hausmann’s signature triumphs?
“That’s easy. I’ve made three mortadellas without a kitchen,” Hausmann said. How? “Robo-coupe,” he responded, citing the super-fast blender.
So, I asked, “All you need is a dead animal and a Robo-coupe and you can make me a mortadella?”
“If you also had some cream.”
“Some people are all, ‘Don’t get all crazy and Travail on us,’” Hausmann says, “and some people are like, ‘Get all crazy and Travail!’ I think it’s going to be a little like Victory 44 was when it opened, where one person can have a burger and a beer and the other person can get a couple of interesting small plates.”
Hausmann’s first menu drops later this month, and then they start working out the kinks. But no matter how you slice the foie gras baloney, it sounds like fun times on the big beautiful deck at the Sample Room this summer.
The Sample Room, 2124 NE Marshall St., Mpls., 612-789-0333, the-sample-room.com