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[MSP] Restaurant Week?

Is anybody going to be going out for Restaurant Week? I never have, and really don't know anything about it except for the insert that I saw in my New York Times yesterday. Here's a link to some more info: http://www.mspmag.com/promotions/wher...

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  1. Oh my. I hadn't seen anything about this until now. Upon reading this it appears as if each place has a $30 prix fixe menu during this week. Is that correct?

    1. Yes. Check out opentable.com for reservations, but I think a lot of places are already booked. I made some reservations, but to be honest you have a select menu to choose from and I am sometimes disappointed in the level of service as these restaurants are just cranking people in and out. Worthwhile if you can get reservations, but I wouldn't be too disappointed if I missed it.

      1. I've been eagerly waiting for Resturant Week in MSP, to try a few places : Chambers Kitchen, La Belle Vie and Vincent. My sister loves Restaurant Week in Washington DC, so I'm hoping out own one will measure up. They offer $30 fixed price dinners and $10 (or $20) fixed price lunches in a few places.

        1. Just got back from an excellent Restaurant Week lunch at the Chambers Kitchen. The $20, 3 course menu today was a butternut squash soup (poured tableside), a choice of a blackened chicken, tempura-battered walleye, or a ricotta and arugala ravioli, and dessert was with a creme fresh (I think) cheesecake (it also had a tangerine or orange citrus sorbet on top). Everything was excellent. The only disappointment was how EMPTY the place was -- you'd think with this great promotion, they'd have a full house.

          1. We did dinner at La Belle Vie. The full-on experience isn't within our budgetary reach at the moment and so this seemed like a nice way to at least get a morsel.

            There was a pheasant consomme with foie gras "ravioli" and a poached quail egg. Truffles were involved, too.
            There was a sauteed skate with beets and olives. Andrew Zimmern mentioned it at his blog.
            There was a veal tenderloin with something something something oxtail. It got a little wordy.

            It was all impressive and tasty, though I have to admit I'm not a fan of poached egg no matter what bird it's from.

            1 Reply
            1. re: demijohn

              Ugh, I gave up my reservation at La Belle Vie last night because work was crazy. I LOVE poached eggs and foie gras, and truffles too? Man, that sounds like my dream dish.

            2. Had dinner at Vincent last night. It was my first time there and the dinner was great. I was so stuffed afterwards!

              The choices were:
              1st Course
              Your Choice of:
              Tomato-Mint Soup, Crème Fraiche
              Vodka Tempura Battered Mozzarella, Mushroom-Tomato Ragout, Parsley Oil

              2nd Course
              Your Choice of:
              Roasted Duck Breast, Taro Root Puree, Brussels Sprouts, Tarragon, and a Red Wine Shallot Jus
              Pan Seared Skate Wings, Leeks Fingerling Potatoes, Brown Butter Sauce

              3rd Course
              Your Choice of:
              Cheese of the Moment
              Orange Tart, White Peach Sorbet
              Vincent's Favorite Dessert (vanilla ice cream, madelines, hot fudge sauce)

              My friend and I shared everything, so we were able to try all the choices. The tomato-mint soup was very smooth, and the mozzeralla was very lightly battered. The duck breast with the taro puree was fantastic, i'm love with the taro puree, very yummy and the combination of flavors was great. Since i tried the skate after, i felt that it paled in comparison to the duck, but it might have been different if i ate the skate first. The orange tart was a perfect light dessert after a rich meal.

              1 Reply
              1. re: starburst

                We were at Vincent's last night, too! We were there from about 7pm 'til 9:30.

                We both got the skate, and agree with you that it was only OK -- but enjoyed the soup very much. Our dining companion got the duck, and it looked very good. We got the cheese plate (Cheese of the Moment was a St. Nectare cow's milk) which was good, but our friend got the orange tart which was clearly the winner.

                This was our second time at Vincent's. I remember liking the feel of the dining room, which was confirmed this time around. However, I was not aware that there was also a bar section, with a French bar menu (steak frites, escargots, etc.), and what seemed like really good happy hour specials. We are definitely planning to try the bar sometime soon.

              2. So far we have done:

                Chaing Mai: Monday - Cheap ($15 prix fixe) for a Monday Night. Same as it ever was, but cheaper so we liked it more. We thought they'd scale-back the portions for the prix fixe, but they didn't, so we both had lunch for the next day as well. (side note- it was out first time in Uptown in awhile...that place is getting weird. It is now "land of 10,000 thai restaurants and empty storefronts.)

                Lurcat: Tuesday - We just wanted comfort food after work last night. (For those that dislike Lurcat, I'm not feelin' you.) We basically had the same meals we usually get on the lounge side but at about 20% less than we usually pay. Chive salad was as good as always, pot roast was fall apart good, bugers and fries...hard to get wrong, plus they still gave us the bearnaise. Mini donuts were boss. Plus, we went early enough to get happy-hour prices on drinks, so it was a fine evening.

                Tonight we're doing LBV latenight in the lounge as a walk-in. I've never had a bad anything there so I have high expectations. Plus I like to talk to the concierge about Akira Kurosawa movies.

                Friday we hope to do Nicollet Island Inn or Vincent...

                I enjoy the fact that most of the places are offering some of their better dishes for people to try but deep down (for us chowhounds) I wish they were doing something out of the ordinary for this week. But that's not really what restaurant week is all about.

                1. Went to La Belle Vie last night and it was just wonderful. Great service, excellent food, and a nice valet that wiped the snow from my car. The menu was as listed above but they also did a separate $30 menu that was vegetarian for me that included a warm goat cheese salad, tempura endive with a spicy carrot sauce, and wild mushroom risotto with sage. They certainly did not have to accomodate me (I was thinking I would order from the regular menu) but it was greatly appreciated. If you make it, spurge and order dessert - they were incredible! The banana pain perdu w/malted milk ball ice cream and chocolate was lighter than anticipated and the current/peanut dessert was like heaven for those that still crave peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. LBV also offered a wine pairing with the menu for $19, and this was a great deal including a glass of champagne, a reisling and a red that I didn't catch the name of. And they weren't shorting the pours.

                  The bar itself was surprisingly empty so even if you don't have a reservation, go and sit at the bar!! It is so worth it for this price.

                  1. Also did the $10 lunch at Vincent yesterday. It's basically a "free dessert" as this isn't a three-course option. There are three different entree options and two dessert options. No complaints though.

                    I had a cremini mushroom/roasted grape risotto with chicken. It was fine, but a little brothy. Three creams for dessert (creme caramel, pot de creme, creme brulee) and that was great.

                    A buddy had a "grande salade" that looked impressive. It's on their regular lunch menu: apples, duck, mushrooms, nuts. Looked hearty. The final entree option was a croque monsier/madame. And the other dessert options was the Vincent's favorite dessert mentioned above.

                    I doubt you can do much better for $10 in the city.

                    1. Just wanted to bump this thread in preparation for MSP Restaurant 2008. Can we get some more reports on the best dinner / best deals from last year's RW? This thread lists impressions of LBV, Lurcat, Chang Mai and Vincents, but there is quite a list to choose from this time around -

                      List of Participating Restaurants:

                      Azia Restaurant & Anemoni Sushi
                      Bloomington ChopHouse
                      Cafe & Bar Lurcat
                      Campiello-Eden Prairie
                      Chambers Kitchen
                      Chiang Mai Thai
                      Conga Latin Bistro
                      D'Amico Cucina
                      FireLake Grill
                      Herkimer Pub & Brewery
                      Jimmy's Food and Cocktails
                      La Belle Vie
                      Landmarc Grill
                      Lord Fletcher’s Old Lake Lodge
                      Mission American Kitchen & Bar
                      Murray's Napa Valley Grille
                      Oceanaire Seafood Room
                      Otho Restaurant and Street Lounge
                      r. Norman's The Steakhouse
                      Red Stag Supperclub
                      Rossi's Steakhouse & Blue Star Room
                      Ruth's Chris Steak House
                      Saffron Restaurant & Lounge
                      Stella’s Fish Café & Prestige Oyster Bar
                      Temple Restaurant
                      The Sample Room
                      The Melting Pot
                      Town Talk Diner
                      Via Café & Bar
                      Vincent A Restaurant