photo by Katherine Harris
Heyo. It’s boring and grey out there and you need a reason to kick your boots into go-mode. Restaurant Week starts on Sunday and is bigger and badder than ever with more than 50 joints on the list for you to grab a seat and score a meal deal. Also don't forget that if you use your FlexPerks Visa during RW, you get double points!
Here’s what I would eat if I were you:
508 Bar and Grill in the Warehouse District is on board for a $15 lunch! I think I'd go Greek salad followed by pepperjack bacon chicken sandwich.
If I'm going to do the three course dinner at Beaujo's Wine Bar in Edina for $25, I would add on the optional wine pairings for $15.
Out at the MOA, Cantina Laredo offers you a three course $30 dinner that should include those snacky chorizo empandas and the carne asada grilled steak (and the churros, of course).
You don't have to go see a show at Cast & Cru, but you might want to linger after grilled pork with braised wild mushrooms and charred tomatoes. Also, they have suggested beer and wine pairings.
Cedar + Stone is also a new kid out at the MOA. Gather your squad—there are some good choices, including spicy cheese curds and baked butternut squash gnocchi in goat cheese fondue, for a $15 lunch.
St. Paul's newish Citizen Supper Club has a bunch of choices for the $30 dinner. Swedish meatballs or shaved cauliflower to start? Then, how do you choose: lobster club, duck a l'orange with papardelle, pork tenderloin "shake n' bake" with celery root puree?
McCormick and Schmick's has joined the pack. I would check out the three course lunch for $20 that includes that blue crab corn chowder.
Scena Tavern in Uptown has a beautiful yellowfin crudo to start, then choose the earthy veal tongue bolognese as contrast.
Use RW as an excuse to finally get over to The Commodore and nosh on those crab-topped deviled eggs to start your $35 dinner.
I love that Vieux Carre is on board, with a $25 dinner that ends with Bananas Foster flan, and potentially a show!
Dinner at Al Vento takes it up a notch to four courses for $35. I keep looking at that arugula and blood orange salad with fennel and ricotta, then thinking about a plump four cheese ravioli or some salmon with orzo in roasted red pepper sauce.
It's a good time to go check out the new owners at Amore Uptown, their four course dinner is running $30 and includes choices of shrimp scampi, spaghetti and meatballs, or veal pot roast with Valpollacella demi glace and pumpkin ravioli.
Sure, the Parlour burger is on the Borough lunch menu for RW, and it's a steal deal at $15 for three courses when the burger alone is usually $13. And you should do that one day, then come back another day, because the dinner menu is $30 and could spoil you with sole and fennel or pork loin with couscous, cheddar, and ... hotdog? Intrigued.
I'm a fan of Lurcat's RW menu, dinner at $35, because there are no less than five choices for each course. This makes it an ideal spot for larger tables of people who like to share and eat off each other's plates. Guilty.
Heading into Copper Pot Indian Grill is a good way to dip your toe into Indian cuisine. Your $30 dinner could bring you chicken Manchurian with a garlic cilantro sauce, lamb shank slow-cooked in cardamom and cinnamon, or konkan fish with green chilies, coconut, and curry.
The sweet potato donuts are reason enough to call you to Corner Table's $30 menu, but then there's the farro risotto with roasted squash, the choucroute and all the meaty goodness that implies, and the pork belly with chow chow to pull you in.
Cosmos has an Amish chicken cassoulet with sausage and cracklins, plus a bubbly upgrage that gets you Champagne for $15/couple.
Break the rut and check into Faces Mears Park for their $35 dinner which includes two tagines: spicy seafood and seven harvest. There's also a couple of risottos for the less adventrous in your group.
FireLake out at MOA has a great lunch deal for $10. You get soup (go chicken and corn), salad (fennel heart with citrus and honey blood orange dressing), half sandwich (smoked pork popover with bacon marmalade), and maple bread pudding all for the cost of a Hamilton!
I keep coming back to the fact that Haute Dish's $35 menu includes two entrees in their three courses, and one of them happens to be rabbit noodle soup with beautiful torchio pasta and foie gras.
I Nonni has that thinly sliced beef carpaccio that they do so well, plus chicken in a lemon-caper pan sauce on their happily old-school $35 menu.
Very interested by the Lake & Irving $35 dinner menu, especially with starters like ahi chili and Korean fried cauliflower with gochujang glaze. Plus someone at your table can order the ginger scallion opakapaka (pink snapper) while someone else orders the goat cheese crusted New York steak. Everyone wins.
At Mediterranean Cruise Cafe in Burnsville, there's an all-you-can-eat lunch buffet for $10. Thought you should know.
This is your chance to have a four course tasting menu at Monello for $35! Sea bass with caviar, braised rabbit pasta, grilled ribeye with smoked potatoes, and pumpkin creme brulee! You could add in a couple of small pastas and still be under $100 for two.
The crazy, fun atmosphere is included in the $20 dinner at Pig Ate My Pizza which gives you hog tots or salad to start, a classic pizza (I like the Diana Ross and The Big Cheeser) and homemade ice cream to finish.
Stepping away from beef and pork? Saffron knows how to make full and flavorful dishes that will help you not miss it: Persian spiced lentil soup, heirloom carrots and burrata, slow cooked steelhead trout, and roasted lamb with sweet potato and lentils all do the trick.
The $30 dinner at Smack Shack could be your best Friday fish dinner: oysters or lobster bisque, crab cakes or lobster guac, shrimp 'n' grits or lobster roll, cajun fries or lobster mac 'n' cheese on the side, then key lime pie to end. Do you see what I'm saying here? Meatless luxury.