Table Talk
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Should you find yourself in the unusual position of attending a hockey game but craving some slow-braised beef ragu over gnocchi, the suite-level kitchens have got you covered. The Minnesota Wild menu for the upcoming season debuted this week, and on it were some surprising entries, especially for those lucky enough to score a suite. Among them: Top chefs Tim McKee (Octo Fishbar), Tim Niver (Mucci's), Tyge Nelson (Pajarito) and Thomas Boemer (Revival) each contribute a dish. There's a selection of Minnesota church-basement fare that would make real-life hockey moms proud. And there's lots of seafood that just screams "winter sports in a landlocked state." Here are five unexpected dishes you'll find at Xcel Energy Center this hockey season.

1. Lobster

This grinning whole crustacean on the seafood tower from Octo's Tim McKee is destined for the high-rollers with unlimited corporate spending accounts. Now, if McKee were cooking for the lowly masses with regular tickets, he'd whip up "fried sunnies. Yeah, that would be a good concession." If only.

2. Lasagna

The "verde" version of lasagna, from Mucci's Tim Niver, with green noodles, cream sauce and a beef-and-pork mix, is as warm and comforting as winter food can be. Though it needing a fork and knife to eat it doesn't exactly meld with watching a bunch of brutes on skates slam each other against plexiglass.

3. Osso bucco

Frenched chicken legs served over polenta? Don't ask why, just go with it. Other items available only to diners at The Reserve, the exclusive suite-level lounge, include chimichurri shrimp kabobs over cilantro pineapple slaw and beef and wild mushroom ragu over gnocchi. Yup, utensils required.

4. Impossible "meat"

Finally, something for spendy vegans! One suite-level menu incorporates the Impossible-brand plant-based meat substitute on sliders, in a meatball grinder, and inside potstickers and spring rolls.

5. Taco dip

Now we're talking. A selection of dishes inspired by the older women in the life of Xcel Energy Center executive chef Kyle Bowles brings "tacky funeral food" to the masses in the Made in MN suite package. Besides this Pyrex dish full of gloopy taco dip, served with bags of Doritos, you can try Bowles' mom's peanut brittle, his grandma's cheesy potatoes, pot roast served in an actual Crockpot, and a mysterious "pretzel salad" that most definitely contains Jell-O.