Twin Cities Restaurant Week is upon us, 7 days starting Sunday, October 16! This popular event allows people to go out and splurge on a 5-star meal, sampling (if the restaurant is doing it right) the best things on the menu in a 2-5 Course lunch or dinner.
This time around, we have to give credit to MPLS-ST Paul mag for getting 71 restaurants on board… but with only 7 days, how do you pick the winners?
We think it’s high time it is explained to these restaurants: RESTAURANT WEEK IS ABOUT GIVING PEOPLE THE FULL EXPERIENCE FOR A DISCOUNT; SO THEY CAN TRY AND FALL IN LOVE WITH YOU.
Well, we’ve looked at all the menus, asked fans and friends, and have put together a ranking of the Top 7 for you, based on both price (discount) and quality/buzz. These places are doing Restaurant Week right for you.
PRICE: $15 | APPROX DISCOUNT: 22%Week's Menu
Barbette’s take on simple French food is as the French would intend, simple, quality, farm-fresh ingredients prepared and presented by the chef him(her)self.
This week, they’re really showing their skills with a special limited menu, featuring dishes for Carnivores and Vegetarians alike. Choose from a starter of Pork Belly and beans, or (recommended) Broccolini with Curry Sauce. Then enjoy gourmet mushroom/ricotta Ravioli or some phenomenal Tartine for your main course.
A similar menu with dessert for dinner, but we recommend lunch for best value if you can make it over to Uptown!
PRICE: $35 | APPROX DISCOUNT: 40%Week's Menu
* Also have a decent $15 Lunch Deal *
Monello Cucina‘s Mike Decamp has concentrated on simple, fresh, coastal Italian, and they hit it out of the park, especially on restaurant week!
The “Chef Selections” are part of the menu, featuring the $35 Grilled Ribeye (with Kale, Tomato, Sheep’s Milk Cheese) by itself! Add an appetizer and dessert (a Chocolate Ricotta Torte!), and although selection may be limited, Monello is still one of Restaurant Week’s top picks!
(The only bummer is that darn Downtown Minneapolis tax (but at least the Vikings are winning).
RINATA’S 4-COURSE $30 DINNER
PRICE: $30 | APPROX DISCOUNT: 33%
Probably 1 of the most under-rated places in Minneapolis, is this small little neighborhood Italian eatery. It’s ALWAYS a good deal, but for a $30, 4-Course Tasting menu, it’s really something!
You’re gonna be eating Rissoto. You’re gonna love some Short Ribs. You’re gonna go ga-ga for Porchetta, and then finally, hopefully you’ll have some room tiramusu or canolli. All house made Italian comfort food. Yum!
CORNER TABLE’S DINNER
PRICE: $35 | APPROX DISCOUNT: 30%Week's Menu
Corner Table is consistently noted as 1 of the best restaurants in the Twin Cities, and for restaurant week, they aim to prove it to you!
Ranking right up there with Monello for “best deal this week,” they feature a ton of selection for the event, a 3-course meal for $35 (and if you’ve ever eaten at Corner Table, you know why this is a great bargain). The total tab should ring in over $50, so this is definitely the week to make it there!
HAUTE DISH’S BIG FILL-UP
PRICE: $35 | APPROX DISCOUNT: 40%
If you’re feeling the MEATS, Haute Dish has you covered. This cool North Loop restaurant was one of the Twin Cities 1st to popularize the “upscale meat concept” leading with charcuterie, crazy awesome burgers, and other Midwest faire.
For Restaurant Week, you get 3 courses, but here is the kicker: For “dessert” you basically get a full other meal, so we recommend getting Steak Tartare (awesome here) or the Charcuterie, then the Pumpkin Curry (pictured), and finishing with a burger, because you know you want to.
PRICE: $35 | APPROX DISCOUNT: 30%
Oysters, Crab Cakes, Mahi Mahi, Etouffe…. it’s all good at the Oceanaire. A 3-course menu for restaurant week that features their top selections from each category, and although I was a touch sad that more seafood wasn’t available, I’m still gonna enjoy some fresh seafood at this iconic Downtown Minneapolis seafood restaurant.
DOWNTOWN ST. PAUL
PRICE: $30 | APPROX DISCOUNT:Week's Menu
I have NOT yet eaten at Vieux Carre (though hoping to this week), but their New-Orleans creole menu, mixed with midwest seasonal flair sounds super intriuging, and for $30, makes it cheaper than the other choices. All I know is I’m eating Salmon, Short Ribs, and dessert.
AND it’s a damn cool place for music and drinks. The Artists’ Quarter used to be my fav so I was stoked to see these guys clean it up and reopen in the same spirit of the old spot.
RECOMMENDED: Connie Evingson plays on Tuesday, so try for then. ($8 cover at 8pm)
TEMPTED BUT NOT ON OUR LIST:
Citizen Supper Club in St. Paul is on my list of places to eat, with former chef of D’Amico from when they were real good, but all you get is essentially a free appetizer ($5-6), so passing on the deal.
– Here's the Deal –
71 Selections for Restaurant Week, but only these 7 really get in the spirit of "giving and trying" to people. Make reservations, these places will fill up fast.