A few days in MSP, looking for some suggestions
I'm a fairly eclectic foodie, but trend toward healthier dishes, and love veggies and fish over everything else. (E.g., my favorite cuisine is high-end Japanese and sushi, although I dabble in Ethiopian veggie patters, and love a grilled fish, etc.)
I wear two hats, the snob hat, but also the open, culturally diverse hat, if you know what I mean. ;)
Anyway, I'll be in MSP for three evenings, and also have time for two lunches. I will be dining solo.
Off the top of my head, I was thinking La Belle Vie, since that seems to be the highest-rated restaurant, but do you think the chef would be okay modifying the tasting menu to no meat, and, would it be weird to go solo and just...read?
One other night I have for the Bachelor Farmer, since my guess was that that was the most regional. Good idea/bad idea?
One more night I'm totally open?
Two lunches, not a clue, but I'm feeling either vegan/vedge stuff, Ethiopian, and/or Vietnamese?
Thanks in advance!! Price is not an issue, although prices in MSP seem very reasonable in general anyway. I notice that there does not seem to be a Japanese-run sushi establishment, so I'm steering clear of that scene.
I think Bachelor Farmer has a single veg entree. I've never been because they don't cater to me at all.
LBV is the most formal dining room in the city. You can get the same food in their Lounge, however, so might be more fitting to dine solo / read there. I don't know about having dishes modified.
I've heard great things about Borough, but not sure if they can skew veg either. I understand they have some great fish too.
Alma has enough veg dishes to choose your own 4 course tasting and has won a James Beard award (or two, I forget). Also do fish.
For an interesting ethnic adventure, The House of Curry is a Sri Lankan restaurant about 20 minutes south of Minneapolis. Otherwise St. Paul has many Asian restaurants on University Ave. Depending where you're from, you may not have access to Vietnamese or Hmong food. Can you get Pho where you're from?
I haven't been to La Belle Vie in a few years, but when I went, I went with two vegetarians and they had a tasting menu option for them. I don't see it on the website now, but hopefully someone else can chime in with more recent information.
I'd also consider dining at Saffron and the vegetarian tasting menu at Heartland.
I would never suggest the vegetarian menu at Heartland. $7 of (uninteresting) food for $35 and you'll leave hungry.
Saffron is another good suggestion. I hear great things about Corner Table as well (again, haven't been).
Most of the top restaurants in MSP can do something for you (I've emailed with most, most are happy to do it given some notice, harder a la minute). I thought LBV might just be too formal. Almost everywhere else is come as you are.
Haute Dish does a veg tasting on Sundays only.
Hmong Village and Midtown Global Market are great suggestions too.
"MSP" covers a fair amount of square mileage, so it's hard to know where exactly you'll be, but if you can make your way past the river to Saint Paul, it would be fun to visit one of the Hmong markets.
There's one northeast of downtown ("Hmong Village") and one northwest of downtown ("International Hmong Marketplace"). Both have a flea-market format with clothing, videos, and household goods, and both have informal food courts with a variety of Hmong versions of fresh and prepared southeast Asian foods.
Another choice, closer to downtown Minneapolis, is Midtown Global Market. It's not so much that the food there is unique, but (I'd say) most of it is quite well executed and it's fun to stroll around and make a meal of maybe an Asian appetizer, Mexican main course, and a Salty Tart pastry. Plenty of references on CH as to vendors and specialties.