What a great time for Restaurant Week to alight on us, July 17-22. Besides the fact that the summer bounty seems to be busting forth from fields and markets alike, it's just a good time to gather your friends and family, or maybe some new friends and co-workers, and get out for a communal meal (one that's priced for everyone) and break some bread together. Let's dip in and see what looks good.
Welcome to the fold, new to RW friends.
+ Betty Danger's Country Club is on board this year! The $15 lunch includes two tacos and two sides, plus a ride on The Danger. Dinner is $25 and includes a round of mini-golf. I'm partial to Bunny's guacamole and a local ham & cheese meltie before smacking the dimpled sphere around.
+ Girvan Grille is up in the Edinburgh golf club, and has both lunch and dinner on tap. I think the roasted pork tenderloin (an option on the $15 lunch and $25 dinner menus) served with a roasted peach chutney sounds good—otherwise, find both steak and salmon choices at dinner.
+ Over in LynLake, the Lyndale Tap House is playing their hand with a sweet and easy $15 dinner that lets you choose from seven different pit sandwiches as your main. I'm a fan of the Latin Pig: pit pork with habanero mandarin sauce, avocado, cilantro, and mayo.
+ Rival House in downtown St. Paul gives you the chance to play skee-ball or bubble hockey before digging into your $25 dinner, which could include sesame-curry crusted salmon with a mango-chili chutney and golden beets.
+ Welcome The Sheridan Room to the mix. They're doing $15 lunch and $30 dinner, and I'm glad to see a fresh corn salad with tomatoes, arugula, and lime creme fraiche dressing on both menus. Also, where else can you get beer can chicken in a restaurant?
BEST OF THE REST
There's a lot to choose from, chums.
+ Al Vento has a $35 dinner that leaves you the hard decision: to start, choose the classic La Quercia prosciutto e melone or the new-fangled summer vegetable crudo with hot garlic chive sauce.
+ On the Black Forest Inn's $20 lunch or $20 dinner menu, you can start with lentil and spaetzle salad and then move onto maultaschen, which are like little German ravioli filled with asparagus and dressed in almond brown butter. See? There's more to Germany than pork and taters!
+ Borough always does it up right, but I seem to be smitten with the catfish dish on the $15 lunch menu, as it seems like a variation of a lobster roll.
+ Campiello has picked up on the cacio e pepe trend, offering ravioli with sausage cacio e pepe on the $35 dinner menu, but I still might go for grilled trout with sweet corn and baby green beans.
+ Out in Excelsior, Cast & Cru is offering a secret cut of meat. Their Cerdo Asada on the $30 dinner menu is made from the secreto cut of pork (a tender butcher's cut) which is marinated and served with refried beans, avocado foam, arancini, lime-cilantro gel, and pico de gallo.
+ Beat the heat and weather out at Cedar + Stone in the MOA, with a BLT salad for your $15 lunch, or tuck in for the 12-hr braised short rib with Wisconsin cheddar on the $35 dinner.
+ So much to choose from on the $15 lunch and $30 dinner menus at Citizen Supper Club in St. Paul, this one would be great for your office rat pack. How do you pick—deviled eggs, Swedish meatballs, or a cheese ball to start? Lobster club, bolognese, or bavette steak with corn and tomatoes to carry on?
+ Those kids at Copper Hen have a chilled melon soup which would be a good kick-off to the grilled pork chop with chimmichurri and roasted yucca on the $30 dinner menu. I can't possibly tell you which dessert to choose.
+ How can you skip a menu that has "scrapple"on it? Corner Table's $30 dinner menu includes that and housemade pappardelle pasta with duck heart ragu and s'mores for desert (those sweet potato donuts, tho).
+ The $30 dinner at Coup d'Etat could start with that official salad of summer: Panzanella with green tomatoes, peach, and burrata.
+ Out at MOA, the $10 lunch from FireLake includes your choice of soup (go chilled cucumber), salad (gathered greens sound good), and petite sandwich (might go Bloomington Club on that one).
+ BOOM. Haute Dish does lunch now, and they're sporting a $20 menu for RW midday meal. Start with beer cheese soup, or picnic salad that has pork belly and potato salad together with maple butter beans and pickles. Then scoot into the Haute Dish brisket if you know what's good for you.
+ Icehouse's $35 dinner menu is like a summer ingredients larder: heirloom tomatoes with truffle peaches, veggie crudite with buttermilk and herbs, wild salmon with heirloom panzanella and basil pudding, even the tres leches cake has a sweet corn ice cream with raspberry curd for summer's sake.
+ Lake & Irving are letting their island life show on their $20 lunch and $35 dinner menus. I'm rather smitten with the thought of Ahi chili nachos with Asian guacamole or a coconut curry bowl with summer veg and somen rice noodles, or maybe a little ginger scallion opakapaka (pink snapper), hmmm?
+ Lela is back, this time with Stewart Woodman at the helm, for $15 lunch and $35 dinner. I'd be very IN for the pappardelle pasta with heirloom tomatoes, hazelnut pesto and snap peas, but also that duck agnolotti with sweet potato, kale and a touch of lavender.
+ Summer is always the right season for Lucia's, which has both $15 lunch and $30 dinner. When's the last time you ordered frittata du jour followed by a rhubarb summer berry cobbler? How summer housey of you.
+ I'd be remiss if I didn't point out the $10 lunch buffet at Mediterranean Cruise Cafe. All the hummus and gyros and falafel you can eat.
+ Monello puts up gorgeous food, and it won't be any different on the $20 lunch or $35 dinner, but the sleeper hit will be chef Mike DeCamp's smashed burger with white American cheese and pickles on the lunch menu. Oh, the tyranny of a great burger.
+ For either $15 lunch or $20 dinner at moto-i, you should try the chilled ramen with tempura shrimp and plot your visit so you can watch the Sumo tournament on the screens.
+ Hey, let's go see what Lenny Russo's done with Public Kitchen on Mears at the $25 lunch or $35 dinner. I could definitely tuck into an heirloom caprese or gazpacho for starters, and a rotisserie chicken with red pepper coulis and grilled zucchini could be simple and elegant.
+ Your $30 dinner at Rinata is actually a four-course affair, perhaps with pickled peaches and ricotta salata, rigatoni with spicy elk sausage, a roasted flat iron steak with broccolini and salsa verde, and a little gelato on the way out the door.
+ I love that Saffron is always lamb central, and on this year's summer $35 dinner menu you can have it roasted with smoked sweet corn farina, tomatoes, and black olives.
+ The $25 dinner at The Loop West End is a great post-movie option, especially with Buffalo chicken wontons and buttermilk fried chicken options that go well with the many taps of beer.
+ For the $20 lunch or $35 dinner at Victor's on Water, I would clearly go for some green gazpacho and a Martha Graham pizza, then stroll down to the lake for a bit, before coming back for summer squash putanesca probably.