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Aug 26, 2010 10:31 PM

Tasting Menus??

Looking for a special dinner for 2, thought about a chef's menu. Any rec's or good experiences out there that you could all recommend?



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  1. It depends on the atmosphere and budget you want. My choices would be.

    1) Alma - 3 courses (4 choices per), $45 ($40 veg). Still my favorite restaurant in town. Cozy, usually pretty quiet, casual atmosphere.

    2) Heartland - 3 courses, $40 ($30 veg). I haven't been to the new space, but there are a number of reviews in a different thread. I always enjoyed my experiences at the old place.

    3) Travail - Not sure what the current tasting structure is, but when these guys were at Victory 44, it was 5 courses for $30 or 7 for $40. Right now, I think they have a 10 course (!) for 2 people at $60 (total). Casual (can be raucous) atmosphere with some really outstanding and creative food.

    On the more expensive end, you'd have La Belle Vie, Vincent and Cosmos.

    La Belle Vie
    510 Groveland Avenue, Minneapolis, MN 55405

    Victory 44
    2203 44th Ave N, Minneapolis, MN

    2 Replies
    1. re: BigE

      Completely back Travail. Travail has a 10 course, 2 person for $60, and a somewhat vague vegetarian option of "4 -6" dishes for "around $30". I haven't done a tasting menu there yet, but even if you don't order a "tasting menu", the portions are generally smaller than average, so you can create-your-own as you go. They are also always tweaking dishes, ordering the same dish, say "tofu", a week apart might bring two totally different plates. Look them up on Facebook, they don't have a dedicated website yet.

      4154 West Broadway
      Robbinsdale, MN, 55422
      Mon - Sat:
      12:00 pm - 12:00 am

      Travail is probably my favorite restaurant at the moment. It's casual setting and smart food with reasonable prices. What more could one want? I have been 4 times in the month since they've opened, and while they started strong, they have only improved. The Dessert Buffet is a must order. The attached pictures are from a couple visits, but the desserts were just from my visit yesterday. Our dessert platter on our first visit (second night of their sneak preview) was smaller than the cookie plate.

      1. re: semanticantics

        Meritage in St. Paul offers 5, 7, and 9 courses at $65, $80 and $95, if memory serves (unless strong preferences for expensive ingredients are requested). This was arguably the best meal of my life, as a vegetarian I'm sometimes pigeonholed into the margins of the menu, but they more than took care of me. I really love Meritage but it is outside of my usual price point. Here is my 2,000 word review:

        410 Saint Peter St, Saint Paul, MN 55102

    2. La Belle Vie has 3 different tasting menus- the bar is 4 courses for $40 (plus you get an amuse, a little puff pastry thing at the beginning and cookies at the end after dessert- it's SO worth the money). You can do the other two in the bar or the dining room, and I think it's a choice between 5 or 8 courses.
      Another interesting option is the kitchen table at Corner Table. I think it's $125/person but you get as many courses as you can eat, plus wine and beer pairings. Scott the chef tweeted a few weeks ago that they set a record at 29 courses. They also have a regular $60ish tasting option that you can do in the dining room.

      Corner Table
      4257 Nicollet Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55409

      La Belle Vie
      510 Groveland Avenue, Minneapolis, MN 55405

      2 Replies
      1. re: meljohns

        I whole-heartedly second LBV Lounge Tasting 4 course.. went for the first time a couple weeks ago and wonder why it took us so long to try.

        1. re: reannd

          Same experience with LBV a couple weeks ago! Why didn't I do this sooner? Good price; great grub.
          Also saw on Saffron's FB page that they are doing a "blind" tasting menu right now. Not sure of the price, but sounds like it could be fun.

      2. I'd suggest Restaurant Alma. There is a reason why Alex Roberts won Best Chef Midwest and it isn't Brasa. The nice part here is that you do have some flexibility in creating your menu too. By FAR the best meal I've had in the Twin Cities in 2010

        Restaurant Alma
        528 University Ave SE, Minneapolis, MN 55414