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Michael Florey's Profile

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What does Cheap Eats mean in Minneapolis/St Paul?

The Ribeye Pho at Ngon Bistro is $12, is delicious, and it is a huge pile (bowl) of food.

The Munchies People's Choice Awards: Minnesota

I find Surly's brews to be unnecessarily bitter and out of balance. Summit's products are fresh (and refreshing), balanced and smoooth, without being too light or flavorless. Perhaps when I was in my twenties Surly would have seemed cool, but now I just don't want a brew that blows my head off.

The Munchies People's Choice Awards: Minnesota

Surly may have a nicer place to visit, but Summit makes better beer/ale.

Minneapolis St. Paul Magazine Best Restaurants 2015

Yes, many of these restaurants are "doing the same thing." I would argue LBV and Meritage are offering more classically French dishes, but there are way more similarities than differences overall in the list. I guess that just doesn't surprise me. We live in the middle of the country. We're not going to have a bunch of day-caught seafood places or ceviche restaurants. And the Twin Cities are not big enough to support super high-end Indian food or Thai food, etc. (Ngon Bistro in St. Paul comes close re: high end fusion food.) We live in a place with easy access to great meats, dairy and fresh vegetables. And that's pretty much what the best restaurants serve.

ISO date night spots

I would add Ngon Bistro in St. Paul to the list. The food is surprisingly good -- both Vietnamese and Midwestern options -- the wine/beer/cocktail list is excellent, and it is lovely inside.

Do Local Chefs Read Chowhound?

I know for sure that some chef's do. But it is even more typical for the person who is the "Front of House" or "General Manager" to track CH commets about their place.

Quiet Night Out Downtown Minneapolis

Cooper Pot Indian Grill at 5th and Hennepin is quiet, and the food is very good.

Best chili in the Twin Cities?

The grassfed beef chili at the Cheeky Monkey is superb. Great flavor and lots of lean beef. It is seasonal though -- they only make it in the cooler weather.

Elk Meat - Recommendations/Experiences?

I have purchased Elk tenderloins at the Heartland Market in Saint Paul in the past. They are a bit expensive, but delicious. You might call them and ask about sourcing.

St. Paul's Grand Ave.

The Barbary Fig. There is nothing else like it in town, and the food is superb. Healthy, homemade Mediterranean comfort food. The hummus is the best in the Twin Cities.

Also the pastries at Chez Arnaud are very good.

Need a restaurant for Monday, June 30

You might consider Zentral. The cocktails are superb -- a very creative list. The roast chicken for two is comfort food on steriods. An entire chicken is roasted with a mixture of foie gras and ground brioche (breadcrums) stuffed under the skin. It comes with a side of Kasha Varnishkas, veggies, and a small salad. It is not inexpensive ($52), but it is a TON of food that easily feeds two adults. And the depth of flavor is sensational.

Red Stag is also a fine choice.

Looking for delicious, inexpensive food within a 1-2 mile radius of Surdyks

Just over the bridge at 5th and Hennepin is Copper Pot Indian Grill. Very good if you enjoy South Indian food.

Minneapolis Marriott City Center, not to miss places walking distance from here?

Brasserie Zentral. Had dinner there again last night. The food is just plain great. Very interesting and thoughtful wine list. Also a cool bar with very good beers. Just a few blocks from CC.

Feeding and entertaining 10 teen girls in Minneapolis/MoA area

I would second Key's Cafe in the Foshay Tower for a good downtown option. I have two teenage daughters, and they go there with their friends all the time. Be aware there is a bar, but it is removed from the main dining area, and it's typically a pretty calm crowd. On Saturday morning the MIll City Farmer's Market is super-fun. Great food, live music, artisan products -- a real scene. Also check and see if the Twins are in town. Target Field is downtown and is a spectacular stadium with great food options. You can get cheap tx at Stubhub because the Twins are not very good!

In the MOA area you could visit Pizzeria Lola -- really, really great pizza. Also don't forget Saint Paul. It is not that far from MOA. Cossetta in Saint Paul is a teen favorite hangout, and has an amazing array of Italian food (2 restaurants) plus deli, sweet shop, gelatto, etc.

June in MN is awesome. Have a great visit.


The finest pistachios available in the U.S. are Bazzini's. You can buy them at The Golden Fig on Grand Avenue in STP.

Brasserie Zentral

April 21 opening for sure.

Brasserie Zentral

Went to the Zentral soft opening tonight. Truly exceeded expctations. The space is intimate, comfortable and classic. The food was superb and inspired. The open kitchen is full of joy and precision. The wines are hors classe and work seamlessly with the food. The staff polished, mature and kind. Just loved the experience.

Who's firing out the best food right now?

Belle Vie (Lounge)
Bachelor Farmer

Many other fine choices but those 3 are hors classe right now.

What are your favorite restaurants in Paris that don't cost a fortune or take months to get a reservation?

The Alain Ducasse restaurant "Aux Lyonnais" fits those criterion. Very reliable and comfortable.

Mar 11, 2014
Michael Florey in France

Lyon Dinner

I have one night free in Lyon to have dinner. I am currently considering:

Potager des Halles
Table de Suzanne
Restaurant Thomas

Anyone have any preferences as among those 3? Other similar places that are better that I am missing? Any help much appreciated.

Mar 06, 2014
Michael Florey in France

Going to be in Minneapolis for our 2nd Wedding Anniversary. Restaurant recs?

Lounge at La Belle Vie or Bachelor Farmer. Either one would be superb for an anniversary dinner.

ISO Rabbit

Clancey's is the place to go for sure. Their rabbits are superb.

Outstanding Soup

The soups at Lucia's To Go in uptown are excellent.

I think the best soups in the TC's are at Restaurant Vincent. They tend to be more along the lines of vegetable velotés, and less meat based. But they are exquisite.

The house soup at Barbary Fig is made from scratch with a lamb stock. It is very yummy.

Dinner and football? - 12/29/13 - Nicollet Mall

I am not convinced there is a Sunday night game on the 29th. But if there is, and it turns out to be The Beloved vs. the Packers, then you might take the light rail down to Chris and Rob's Chicago Taste Authority. It is near the 42nd street Light Rail stop, and shows the Bears on a large screen. The dogs and beefs are decent.

Dinner downtown before Hollidazzle

There is a Key's Cafe in the Foshay Tower. Very large and easy for families.

Fine Dining in St. Paul?

Meritage is tops for sure. As good as ever.

Also would second Joan's In The Park. Nice atmosphere and the food is surprisingly good. The desserts are killer - my wife loves them. The wine list is a little bit of a weak link, but the corkage is very reasonable. I would go to Solo Vino or Thomas Liquor and get a nice bottle of CHampagne and bring it ot dinner!

So here's a challenge...

Mid-Town Global Market is a great suggestion. My kids actually will eat the camel burger at Safari. (It's superb.) Buon Giorno or Cossetta's are nice for Italian with a large crowd. Boca Chica or El Burrito Mercado would work for Mexican. All of these places have large dining areas and are frequented by families.

Small (tiny) wedding dinner in Downtown Mpls

I would consider Masa on Nicollet Mall. It is Mexican, but not Tex-Mex. The food is very good, plenty of veggie stuff, the cocktails are killer, and if all else fails the kids can eat chips and guacamole. The space is lovely as well.

Zelo would also work. It is Italian. The food is never A+, but it is almost always B+, and the menu is large. Plenty of pasta and pizzas for the kids. The Walleye MIlanese is good, and the sausage lasagna is really good.

Wine bars

I don't think there is really a first rate "wine bar" in the Twin Cities yet. There are several places that offer nice food, but the wine selections top out at "pretty good." Nobody has really done anything special.

The LBV lounge is a wonderful place to get a drink (cocktail or wine), and the food is great. The rabitt bolognese is superb. It is not a "wine bar" though. It is an awesome bar attached to an awesome restaurant.

Rincon 38 is tapas -- super fun and the food is excellent. Wines are nice.

We also had a good experience with the (mostly) Mexican/Spanish food at Bin Wine Bar in Saint Paul. The wine is pretty good -- not great.

La Belle Vie tasting menu/wine flight

Fair point. I guess I'd rather have a glass of Champagne to start, and skip the dessert wine at the end. (Dessert wines are really high in alcohol.)