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First Bite: District Fresh Kitchen + Bar
By: Stephanie March | Posted: 02/18/2014
Holy Schmoly this couldn't have come at a better moment during our deep freeze ... Restaurant Week 2014: February Edition is upon us! As if you needed a reason to get out there and dine on discounted two and three course meals. Think of it as a culinary stay-cation, think of it as a reason for the season, actually don't think ... just go eat. Here are some picks from the menus, looking good 2014!
Shout out to first-timer Mona Restaurant which hosted a little RW preview, people were licking their plates clean. I'm excited to go back for dinner this week and try the oxtail on toast with orange-onion jam and the duck pie with duck confit, lentils, and foie gras. Lunch and Dinner.
Other newbies to the game:
Max Thompson is the new owner of 128 Cafe and it's still a cute little place you want to call "yours". Dinner is looking fun with jackalope terrine (they DO exist!), green curry mussels in coconut broth, grilled polenta with mushrooms and robiola, and a burger hit with Twang (their signature hot sauce). Dinner only.
Borough is on board for the first time, and methinks that hamachi crudo is calling my name, what with its Asian pear, Meyer lemon, and yuzu. Also, I'm not mad at the arctic char with salt cod agnolotti. Dinner only.
Welcome Eat Street Buddha Kitchen to the show. Your dinner can start with 8 pieces of spicy tuna roll, and then still go on to a big bowl of the Key West Penang Curry with ramen, shrimp, and perfect egg, ending with chocolate lava cake for a silly $30. Dinner only.
I Nonni is throwing in with an optional wine flight addition for $20. I would totally go for the house-made gnocchi with tomato, basil, and burrata (because these guys GET gnocchi). Dinner only.
For the first time, we have a kid/adult friendly fast-casual eatery in the mix, Streetz American Grill in both Bloomington and Hopkins. The deal: $10 for and appetizer and entree with a whole bunch of options. I can vouch for the burgers, they are legit with pink in the middle, a righteous bun, and fresh toppings. And the Coney fries smothered with chili, cheese, and onions is right on. Lunch and Dinner.
Of the veterans:
Bar Abilene intrigues me with three courses for $15, which could end with a "seasonal beer float". Hmmmm. Dinner Only.
Cafe Barbette has me at lunch with a comfoting and soul warming beef Bourguignon followed by cardamom sour cream cake with orange-cinnamon gastrique, ginger shortbread crumble and pistachio ice cream ... for $10! Lunch and Dinner.
Cheese lovers will want to report to Basil's for lunch: a tenderloin sandwich with Amablu cheese, truffle mac 'n' cheese with white cheddar, and a lamb burger with gruyere. Lunch and Dinner.
The three-course menu at Bradstreet is a huge deal at $15. Start with shishito peppers, do the arctic char with pickled fennel and kale, and wash it all down with an expertly shaken cocktail. Dinner only.
Lunch at Cosmos, upstairs from Bradstreet, has a whopping 13 entree dishes to choose from including a lobster sandwich and a grilled hangar steak. Also of note, dinner has a whole wheat spaghettini option with rapini pesto and fennel sausage. I've never seen a whole wheat pasta dish on the list before, good on ya. Lunch and Dinner.
For the early set, Firelake at MOA has added breakfast to the lineup. You could easily start your shopping day with a lemon-ricotta cornmeal waffle platter or some smoked salmon pastrami on a boxti, yeah? Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner.
If ever there was a place to go to pretend you're tropical, Masa is it. Lunch brings three choices for $10 (tacos, tacos, and tacos are appropriate), while dinner brings lime and garlic roasted pork shoulder in a banana leaf, among other things. And there's a healthy list of margaritas to seal the deal. Lunch and Dinner.
Scusi is tempting me via duck lasagna with mushrooms, spinach, bacon, and ricotta. Dinner only.
Stephanie March is Mpls.St.Paul Magazine’s food and dining editor. See bio
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