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Anybody going out tonight?

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We aren't really Valentine's Day people, but we are doing the special Barley John's dinner tonight on a whim. Anyone else braving the crowds?

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  1. If my wife is feeling better, we've got a rez at Muffuletta in St. Paul.

    1. Not here in Vermont. 24" or more of snow, 3 degrees, and 30 mph winds. Many places already called it a day at noon !

      1. We did have reservations at Cosmos but I have so much work to do I just couldn't deal with the pressure of getting it all done in time for a fancy dinner. Instead, husband has decided he's going to get us nice cheeses from Surdyk's, he wants wings from Runyun's, and I want sushi (what else? ;). I will hopefully get out of work at 7 and we'll have a nice little picnic at home.

        1. We went to Malibu Grill here in Bloomington, IN. We always eat out on Wednesday because of my teaching schedule. The meal was good, as usual, but the restaurant was very crowded. Service was good, though.

          1. We're staying in! Cooking a mean chicken cacciatore with pasta and a salad. Champagne and chocolates later. mmmmmmmmm

            1. We went to Little Szechuan in St. Paul - it was indeed mobbed, as expected (thanks to this week's rave review in City Pages), but the staff was coping admirably and our meal was wonderful.

              Anne

              1. We went to 112. A few days ago I called, just as they had gotten a cancellation -- what great luck! Overall, a terrific dinner. One new dish for us was the banana cream dessert. It was very fresh tasting, but seemed more like a summer dessert, if that makes any sense.

                Earlier in the day, I had lunch at Lucia's bakery... really good beef stroganoff. They were extra-crowded at lunchtime today, and had made a bunch of special baked goods for valentines day... pink sugar cookies, chocolate heart cakes (large and mini), etc. As always, everything looked good.

                You could say it's been a chow-friendly day. :)

                9 Replies
                1. re: Chris Mitra

                  Our V day dinner was take-out from Lucia's bakery. We had the stroganoff (on peppered pasta - which may have been homemade) and a great pear-gorgonzola salad.

                  The chocolate heart cakes were pretty yummy -- they had cinnamon "red hot" hearts embedded in them.

                  Bob

                  1. re: Chris Mitra

                    Please help out a banana cream junkie and describe the dessert you had, thanks.

                    1. re: faith

                      It was a buttery round tart shell, filled with what appeared to be chilled mashed banana (possibly combined with some sugar, but not overly done-up), then topped with some whipped cream. Very simple and fresh.

                      1. re: Chris Mitra

                        thanks, sounds like 112 finally has a dessert I'd like! I've enjoyed the other
                        things there but haven't been that enticed by their dessert menu, although that
                        can be a good thing considering...

                        1. re: faith

                          The tres leches cake (which I think is actually a quatro-leches cake...) at 112 Eatery is wonderfully decadent. Have you tried it, faith?

                          ~TDQ

                          1. re: The Dairy Queen

                            No, I haven't tried the tres leches cake there. I'm actually trying to avoid
                            super decadent desserts, as in very sweet. I know, it's hard to tell..:)
                            but thanks for the suggestion. I just looked at their new menu and see
                            there's a carrot mascarpone cake that I might check out. Somehow
                            creamy stuff appeals to me, and fruit, and some chocolate can be good.
                            But caramely stuff is a bit much for me unless it's a very small amount.
                            I must say that $9 for dessert is kind of high though.(banana cream thing
                            is $9 at 112 now)

                            1. re: faith

                              "But caramely stuff is a bit much for me" -- Perhaps you're thinking of dulce de leche?

                              The tres leches cake is more like a... ricotta cheesecake would be the closest analogy I can think of at the moment.

                              1. re: Chris Mitra

                                Seems like I had some tres leches cake at Midtown Global Chowdown
                                and it was very sweet

                                1. re: faith

                                  You might have had DOS tres leches cakes at the (first) MGMkt Chowdown. One from the Mexican bakery in the Southwest corner, which was the favorite of folks who seemed to like the "less" rich version (and I think it was the one that tasted more of cinnamon, though, I might be misremembering that) and one from La Sirena Gorda that was richer and had a hint of espresso flavor in the frosting.

                                  The one at 112 Eatery beats them both, in my opinion. And, it comes with an adorable white chocolate "milk bottle" garnish (the fourth leche!)

                                  ~TDQ

                  2. Also went to Little Szechuan, around straight-up eight. It was packed. I hadn't realized that review had come out. We ended up leaving because the whole thing was disorganized and harried, though I don't blame the staff at all. Who could cope with that. I'd brought a book, expecting a wait. But there was no end in sight.

                    I will say they should really have a consistent routine for turning tables, getting their bills to them, etc. Many tables seemed to be lingering, waiting for their bills or someonen picking them up and giving change, etc. All that said, I'm going back tonight. I was so disappointed not to get my fix, after I'd waited patiently all day. Felt like a little kid with his reward taken away or something.

                    1. We shared a pot of spicy seafood stew hot pot (they call it "casserole" @ Kings in Fridley...delicious & stuffed with aphrodisiac shellfish. We got there early (6:30ish) and there were mostly couples with one or 2 families mixed in. We then ducked in to the, ahem, "gift store" next door and headed home...best Valentine's day in recent memory.