MSP Restaurant Week Fall 2009
Restaurant Week is coming up again! It is Sep. 7th through Oct 2nd, 2009. Participating restaurants and menus are at:
Last restaurant week, during the Spring of 2009, I went with my boy to Chamber's restaurant and had the most amazing dinner! I think, this time around, I'll try Cafe Lurcat or Campiello. OR maybe even moto-i... I was hoping that Saffron would be participating, but according to this list, they are not this time around?
Thoughts? Where do you plan to visit?
This will be my first year experiencing the restaurant week so I wanted to get some feedback from fellow chow hounds on my possible dinner choices;
Bradstreet craft house
Also, I was wondering if anyone has seen the restaurant week menus for Barrio and La Belle Vie. I couldn't find these within the msp magazine.
Thanks in advance for your help!
I went to Oceanaire for the spring Restaurant Week and I will probably be returning. The food is excellent and a heck of a value at $30.
I can't speak to Bradstreet or Capital Grille, but it looks like drew gave Bradstreet a thumbs up.
Barrio looks like it would be a pretty good deal as well, with 8 courses. I like the fact that the two locations are doing somewhat different menus (it looks like half of the courses are different).
I've heard pretty good review of LBV from this event, but I've never done it.
Others I've done during past restaurant weeks:
-Masa - Highly recommended for excellent Mexican food. Their restaurant week menu is quite good.
-Vincent - Was a little underwhelmed with the Coq au Vin, but I absolutely love this place. I might have to try the skate this time around.
-Oceanaire - Great experience last time, will definitely do it again.
-Chambers (RIP) - Always enjoyed it, might have to try D'Amico this time.
-al Vento - Can be a little crowded, but really enjoyed my meal there.
-Cosmos - Maybe the best overall experience I've had. Love the room, great meal with great flavors and flawless execution. If you've never been, I'd highly recommend going during this week.
Of the choices this year, those are the ones I've been to.
They are VERY different experiences.
Al Vento is a classic small, somewhat dimly lit neighborhood place. It can be quite loud and cramped if busy, or nice and cozy if it isn't. Food is nicely done with a home cooked feel to it.
Cosmos, on the other hand, is super chic...nice open space, bright and vibrant yet not loud. Expertly prepared food, impressive presentations, impeccable service.
It all depends on what you're looking for, but given the normal menu prices, Cosmos is a much better value.
Cosmos, for sure. The food at Al Vento is nice, but nothing extraordinary. The food, the experience at Cosmos is something special. And as BigE said, a much better value. Al Vento has Tuesday date night specials year-round. Choose Cosmos for restaurant week and visit Al Vento on any other Tuesday.
linfr21, Saffron is participating. Their menu is on the website:
For the record, they have a different 3-course menu for $30 every month. The current version is here:
And here is a link to jfood's glowing review of the current tasting menu.
Thanks, BigE! I noticed when I received my open table weekly update:
That is the FULL list of the restaurants.
I went to Chambers (RIP) last spring, and it was amazing, although not very busy.
For Barrio and Masa, a warning to those who have eaten authentic Mexican food from the origin: to me, it is a slightly different not all that different variation from the real stuff in Mexico slapped with a big price tag.
Also, for anyone who is thinking of going to Meritage, Solera, or Saffron, these restaurants, as BigE pointed out above, usually have monthly tasting menus for around $30.
Meritage, for example, has "Recession Sundays." From the website:
Join us for a night out that won't break your budget!
Just because the DOW is all doom & gloom doesn't mean we should be - join us for some amazing deals on food and wine.
Being part of a community means recognizing when that community needs support.
Gosh, I love Meritage!
Linfr, it looks like you posted a list of every OpenTable restaurant in Minneapolis. As much as we wish it was otherwise, I don't think they are all participating in restaurant week. :)
Here is the full MSP list from OpenTable:
BTW, Vincent has also been running $30 weekly menus since the last restaurant week.
The $10 lunch at Sea Change it tempting, even if the entree is linguini. The $10 lunch at Vincent I believe is a regular feature, though I still want it.
For dinner, might try Barrio's tasting menu, if I can get the wife interested, or Bradstreet if I cannot.
Went to Cosmos for dinner. I was most excited by what their menu offered during RW. Decided on the baby arugula, filet of steak, and panna cotta. The arugula was given a lovely blue cheese and had an amaaaazing balsamic reduction. I was weary of ordering steak - I'm used to RW in Boston where there are so many people some restaurants are pushing through that all the steaks are par cooked and then warmed again so they're medium/well when they're done - but, my steak was perfectly prepared and delicious. Panna cotta was yummy and served with a candied sage leaf! I love it when chefs get creative with sage -- i knew I loved it fried, but candied was neat too. The mocha dessert was the table hit - has some salt in it and brought out the sweet so nicely. Another of my set had a tuna, which was seared and served beautifully and I didn't even get a taste!
Service was fantastic, friendly. We were allowed to dine at our own pace and not rushed through our meal. Cocktails were alright but if you're searching for a mixology lesson, go downstairs. Wine list is admirable and the waitstaff was quite well versed in the offerings.
Overall, one of the best dining experiences I've had in the last couple years. Definitely recommend trying it out.
601 First Avenue North Minneapolis, Minneapolis, MN 55403
Went to Oceanaire on Monday.
Starters - East/West oyster sampler. This was my first go round with raw oysters (I've had charbroiled in New Orleans) and I have to say, I don't see what the fuss is about, one way or the other. There is a strong taste, yes, but I didn't find it overwhelmingly pleasant or unpleasant. Oh well, I've done it and I won't be scared to do it again.
Main - Cornmeal crusted trout with butternut squash hash. The trout was very good, light and moist. The cornmeal didn't come through, really, but that was alright. The hash was very clever, I thought. Squash, red potatoes, red pepper, red onion and bacon. Excellent.
Dessert - Panna cotta with caramel. Outstanding. That's about all I can say. Rich but not too heavy...a great ending to the evening.
Couldn't go last night and can't go tonight. Hopefully tomorrow and Friday I'll get out.
BTW, I'm glad you liked Cosmos, fire. That is still my favorite Restaurant Week meal/experience. Just top notch all the way around.
Went to D'Amico kitchen and Vincent so far for lunch. This was my first time at D'Amico in Chambers and it was exceptional. The service was spot on and that sometimes means more to me than the meal. The beef carpaccio app was excellent and although they were out of the chicken dish, the tuna sandwich was excellent. I didn't want fries so they subbed a small salad which was probably better than the sandwich.
Vincent was very busy and very slow although I love the place. The food was good although I didn't feel like they really "brought it" for restaurant week. I had the chicken/rissoto dish with the cheese plate. It was solid and a good value for $10 but I wasn't blown away like D'Amico by the experience.
Next stop will be Sea Change on Friday. Any other reports on Lunch/Dinner?
Went to Sea Change yesterday for lunch, seated 3 of us at 1:15 no problem. 2 of us ordered the restaurant week menu, the third ordered the crab cake sandwich. Service was honestly a little lacking. It wasn't busy at all so I was surprised.
I was really busy though, and didn't really have much time to do anything except eat. The soup was good, Not exactly something I would have anticipated for a seafood restaurant to place on a restaurant week menu, but otherwise enjoyable. The pasta dish was obviously scaled back for restaurant week, I think I had 2 small clams and some tiny shrimp. Aside from the portioning, the pasta was cooked perfectly, served hot, and tasted good.
The crab cake sandwich I was only able to try a small bite, but I don't think I would have ordered it. It is served on a hamburger style roll with bacon, lettuce, tomato, and smoked mozerella. I pulled part of crab cake out and it wasn't spectacular by any means, but not bad. They don't serve them as an app, and I don't think they are even on the dinner menu.
All in all, I think I'd like to go back and try a few of the regular dinner menu items, as nothing I tried yesterday would send me running back for more.
A late reply, I know, but I do want to tell chowhound all about Cosmos, because I thought it was superb.
It started with an amuse of a pumpkin carrot soup, which was, to say the least, creamy, flavorful, interesting, and absolutely divine. A great teaser for what was to come. For the appetizer course, I chose the diver scallops, which came decoratively plated with two sauces and a few grape fruit sections. The scallop was simply seasoned and lightly seared, but when put together with the sauce, grape fruit, and scallion that was cut, it was divine. My boyfriend got the salad, which had this delicious and light bleu cheese and candied nuts.
Before the second course, the waiter brought out a palette cleanser that the chef called "kiwi explosion." When I asked the waiter, he explained enthusiastically how the chef freezes the gelatin and then sucks out the inside. As the gelatin comes to room temp, it is filled and sealed with kiwi juice, placed into a little shot glass, and the glass is filled with strawberry juice. When you put the contents of the shot in your mouth, the gelatin literally explodes. It was fun to try and a good "cleanser."
The second course, we both got the steak tenderloin. I got mine rare, and I received two nicely cut, thick, juicy, and perfectly rare pieces onto of bleu cheese au gratin potatoes. The potatoes, while delicious, were the least favorite item I was served. There were too many textures, that mushed together rather than complimenting each other like a great texture combination should. There were also some perfectly cooked asparagus.
For the final course, I got the buttermilk panna cotta in a light pear sauce. On top, there was a candied sage leaf! The combo of the creamy, sweet panna cotta, sweet and crisp pear, tart pear juice, and crunchy, candied, and bitter sage was HEAVENLY. I've never tried such an inventive combination of flavors and textures on one spoon. My boyfriend got the mocha dessert, which was comprised of mocha sorbet, a type of brownie like cake, and molten chocolate fudge. It was AMAZING.
The waitstaff were amazing. Attentative, never pressuring us to buy more, enthusiastic, and energetic. They behaved as if they really wanted to be part of the dining experience without getting in the way.
All in all, a great dinner and I will definitely be heading back in the future!