MSP Restaurant Week 2008
- MplsM ary Jan 27, 2008 03:40 PM
Starting this topic anew for 2008. Link to last years thread (with two 2008 posts): http://www.chowhound.com/topics/370303
Link to this years MSP mag restaurant week promo: http://www.mspmag.com/promotions/wher...
This year they list the available menus which I find truly helpful. Still, there seem to be a lot of chains represented which irks me.
And....REPEATING my previous post:
Since American Express is a sponsor this year, anyone with an American Express card can make reservations early - Feb 1st - 10th. Due to reviews from last year, I think I'll be making reservations at Chambers on Friday. Does anyone have any input about "where" might be better this year? If so, our destination may change.
Would like to add that most retaurants are only advertising menus up to and including Valetines day, but NOT saying anything about "Retaurant Week" as of yet! I'm not sure which restaurants MplsMary is talking about because she didn't say...I'm saying Chambers Kitchen, Cosmos, Vincents, and Saffron haven't listed a thing yet.
Went to Saffron last night with the intention of trying the restaurant week menu, but after seeing their full menu, both my friend and I ordered off the full menu instead. We totally lucked out on making reservations for last night since Mondays feature half-price bottles of wine. We started with small plates of fried mussels, artichoke tagine, and fois gras. It was my first experience with fois gras and it was amazing. It's kind of a sweet preparation, and with the combo of the figs, it tasted like the most expensive peanut & butter sandwich in the world when I spread it on bread. I had the gnocchi entree and my friend had lamb. The gnocchi is not made with potatoes, but a pastry, which made them really light and creamy. Not really a true gnocchi, but delicious nonetheless, especially with the meatiness of the oyster mushrooms. The lamb was so tender it fell apart when you touched it with a fork. For dessert we had the chocolate ganache with rice krispies and banana ice cream. My friend is a chocolate snob and he was impressed. The entire meal came to $101 including tax, not including tip. The place was pretty empty, and the service was perfect. Had we gone with the restaurant menu and optional wine flight, I don't think our bill would have come to much less, so we were both happy with ordering off the regular menu. It made me a little sad they were so empty, I want everyone to love this place. The host said that they expected to be busier later in the the week with restaurant week reservations.
We went to Saffron tonight & ordered the tasting menu & split a wine flight. The wine was paired perfectly.. even muscat @ the end (my favorite, and the only reason I was convinced to spend the extra dough).
The artichoke soup was probably my favorite part of the whole thing.. huge bummer that it's not part of the regular menu. The duck was way nicer than I thought it would be (I don't like duck that much, so went here with the intention of getting my love on - it was good.. maybe not love on, but some severe like-on is in my dictionary), and the cake was just right (except I am a huge cake person, and it could have been 10x bigger and still not made me full;)
We also ordered the eggplant dip as an add'l starter (the server sort of pressed ordering more.. it's their job I supposed.. but it was only $4 so why not). The eggplant was also excellent. I didn't know this, but you get hummus & bread w.every meal. That's pretty rockstar. Good place!
We went to Firelake Sunday and it was terrific. One of the challenges or great tests for a restaurants during restaurant week is how well the service performs when they know they have a fixe (and likely not a big alcohol tab Sun-Thu). Firelake did very well both in terms of food and service. The trout was well prepared, simple and delicious. My wife enjoyed the chop and the ginger snap panna cotta was fun if not executed perfectly.
Tonight we are going to Masa. The D'Amico properties seem to have the most choices within courses and Campiello's menu looks very attractive. Bummer we are leaving town Wednesday and can't take full advantage.
We've heard bad things about the service at Oceanaire during restaurant week which is a shame since they have an awesome menu (including oysters!) this year. Can anyone confirm?
That's interesting, Foureyes. I was at Firelake on Sunday night as well (and I'll be at Masa tonight). I had the prime rib, which was very nicely prepared. The meal as a whole was very nice.
I went to Cosmo's last night with my family. That was an excellent experience. Great food from beginning to end. The ribeye was cooked perfectly, the presentation was nice, excellent service. Everything about the restaurant is top notch.
I am going to Masa tonight (again with my family). I've been there before, but I've never had any of the main course items. Masa is probably my favorite restaurant in the Twin Cities, so I can't wait for the meal.
Tomorrow, I'm going to Chambers. I'm very much looking forward to that as well.
As you can tell, I'm taking advantage of the week.
I went to Firelake Tuesday night and I'd have to say, I wasn't all that impressed. They did not bring us the starter at all. The soup was ok, the prime rib - while it tasted ok was not as warm as it should be and the dessert was good, but nothing out of this world. The service was also incredibly lackluster. My water glass never got filled and it took forever to get from the main course to dessert. I think there are far better places to choose from.
I had my final dinner of the week last night at Chambers, and what a way to end.
We started with a few appetizers; sashimi, rice cracker crusted tuna, and the chicken/beef/pork satay sampler. All were outstanding.
The miso soup was nice and light. I've never had miso soup before, so I guess I can say it was the best I've ever had. :)
The walleye was also excellent. Pretty serious portions too. There was a nice black bean puree/cilantro dipping sauce. The fish was nice and flaky...almost liked a classed up version of a friday night fish fry.
The dessert was probably the highlight. Green apple cinnamon pavlova with cinnamon meringue and whipped cream. The green apple/champagne sorbet sat in the little cinnamon dish, with sliced green apple on the top. On the side was the whipped cream with two large apple chips. The combination of the cream, apple and cinnamon was absolutely sublime. Maybe the best dessert I've ever had.
Absolutely top notch from beginning to end. Outstanding end to an excellent week.
I went to Campiello in Uptown last night they did a very nice job - good service, lots of menu options, and full portion sizes of everything. I did a full review on my blog but I will say that if you can still get a reservation definitely head to Campiello this week - they are really putting themselves out there rather than just offering one option as most places are.