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Nov 1, 2007 08:31 PM

MSP New 128 Cafe

I worked very long hours today and detoured a bit on my way home and drove down Cleveland Ave. As I was driving by St. Thomas campus, I noticed the lights were on for 128 Cafe. I remember a mention here in the threads, but a search pulled up nothing.

Has anyone tried the newly resurrected cafe? Is there more information available? Any info would help.

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  1. According to their website, they are reopening on November 5, 2007. They've posted their menu online.

    I've updated the places link.

    128 Cafe
    128 Cleveland Ave N, Saint Paul, MN 55104

    1. Here's the link to the post I made re: what the Nancy Ngo said about the Cafe 128 re-opening. The key is that it's re-opening with much of the same staff and with the original recipes.

      I'm glad Bob uncovered the official opening date from their website! Hurray!


      1. From the St Paul Paper

        128 Cafe Makes a Comeback
        128 Cafe across from the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul reopens Monday. Former server Jill Wilson is resurrecting the 11-year-old neighborhood hangout with her husband Andrew Wilson after it closed in June.

        Expect dishes like gnocchi marsala and duck as well as 128 classics such as the ribs, which should taste familiar -- former owners Brock and Natalie Obee gave the Wilsons their original recipes and chef Ian Pierce is back in the kitchen.

        1. Bumping this topic to say that I finally got to the reopened 128 Cafe for a lovely dinner. It seems like the same old place, only nicer.

          My friend got the risotto-shrimp appetizer, and I got a tiny bite. Delicious, with very strong flavors, but a bit too salty for my taste. The two shrimp were coated with a delicious harissa (spicy paprika) sauce/rub - my friend said the first shrimp was too hot for him, but refused to let anyone else have the other shrimp. Dang! (I dipped my bread in the sauce, and loved it. It was indeed very spicy.)

          I had a very nice caesar salad - just the right amount of creamy, garlicy dressing, lots of good parmesan, plus a lovely anchovy (upon request). My companions each had the green salad with blue cheese and blood orange vinaigrette. I was too busy gobbling my salad to ask how they liked theirs.

          I had the fish special of the evening - ahi tuna with a spicy aioli, zucchini, potatoes, and meyer lemon. Oh, it was lovely. The server said the kitchen recommended medium rare for the tuna, so I went with that even though medium rare is often too cooked for me. But it was just right. And that sauce! I licked the plate.

          Mr. Tastebud had roast chicken breast with polenta, and it was very very good. (I got one bite.) My friend had the beef tenderloin, and said it was very good. (I did not get a bite.) He licked his plate, too. (Figuratively, that is - we all used bread to mop up every last molecule of sauce from our dinners.)

          Then we had pistachio bread pudding (beautifully done) and kaffir lime-ginger mousse (the menu called it custard, but it was mostly cream) in a cookie cup. The guys didn't like the kaffir lime flavor - it's quite distinctive - but I LOVED it.

          I forget what the bill amounted to - by that point, I had had 2-1/2 glasses of wine - but it was moderately-to-rather expensive. The entree prices range from $14 - $30 (the steak), and a glass of wine ranges from $6-10. So, not cheap, but definitely worth it for great food in a cozy, not-too-fancy neighborhood restaurant.

          I'm so glad that 128 Cafe is open again!


          P.S. We didn't order the either of the 128 classics - the roasted garlic, apple chutney, and goat cheese appetizer and the BBQ ribs - even though I've been pining for them since I heard that the original place closed. I'm just going to have to go back.

          1 Reply
          1. re: AnneInMpls

            Great report, Anne. We were very close to going to 128 last night, but decided we wouldn't be able to resist their ribs, so decided to pass on it. But, good to know there are other wonderful options. And, karykat, it's good to know that the ribs are as good as ever, for when I'm ready to eat BBQ ribs again!


          2. We went there a few weeks ago and I can report that the ribs are as good as ever. Another in our party had a fish entree and reported it to be very good.