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I want to eat a whole fish

Also may not be what you are looking for but just ate the aji horse mackerel at Masu last week. You eat sashimi and ceviche style. Then they fry the bones, tail and head for you to devour in ponzu sauce. Very delicious!

Trattoria Tosca - Linden Hills

I live in NE Mpls, but would really be happy if I had a neighborhood restaurant such as Tosca to walk to. I visited it for the first time this past week.

Hubby and I started off with the scallops (2) which were perfectly cooked. It came with a sunchoke puree. I have never had sunchoke before which I found to be sweet. What really brought out the dish was the bacon (what doesn't?!) I just wished there were more bacon lardons (I believe there were three). Saltiness of the bacon played off well with the sweetness of the sunchoke and scallop. We also had the kumquat salad with goat cheese which was very nice.

We went to the pasta course. The two dishes we had were night and day. The first was a thick noodle with a ragu. Hubby wanted to try it because he never had heard of the type of noodle before. I found it to be dry and there was a spice that over powered the dish (maybe oregano?) However, the lobster gnocchi was AMAZING! Huge chunks of lobster meat with light, pillowy goodness. This dish was a home run!

For meat course we ate the strip and the tile fish. Steak was well executed, to the perfect doneness. The risotto like farro with mushrooms was a bit rich but absolutely delicious. The tile fish was scrumptious. It was my first time trying tile fish. It was a meatier fish than I expected. Fish was mild but held up extremely well to the bold and richness of the sauce.

Lastly, we intended only to take a few bites of the creme brulee but instead shoveled it down.

All in all a great meal. Chef Ian Gray came and talked with us after the meal was over. He hails from Cafe Lurcat and Levain. I think the only distraction that was glaring was the fact that the restaurant is attached to Turtle Bread. The musician (clarinet) who sat in Turtle Bread would play a few notes and then silence. It became a bit distracting.

I do recommend to all chowhounders. I will definitely be back!

Restaurant Week! [February 26 - March 2, 2012]

Hubby and I went to Cafe and Bar Lurcat for restaurant week - in part due to the larger selection of choices on the $30 menu. We had been there a few times when it first opened and were not impressed. The service was poor, the food was ok. I remember it being incredibly expensive for the quality.

When we were seated, I realized my server was Jonna, formerly with Masu. She expertly navigated us thru the menu and provided us smart suggestions which made us very happy. We started with the crab cake and apple/cheese salad. The crab cake was DELICIOUS! Lots of crab, little filler. The mustard sauce that accompanied it was incredible. The apple/cheese salad was good – but did not hold a candle to the crab cake. Jonna told us we need to try the bacon jam with the pork tenderloin. So happy she did because it was one of the best things I’ve had in a long while. We also had the barramundi which was delicious but a bit salty for my taste. One recommendation – get the roasted cauliflower. AMAZING! Both entrees did not come with a vegetable, so the side dish was perfect to split. We ended with the chocolate cream cake and date cake with oatmeal stout Izzy ice cream. What impressed me is the portions were the same as if you were to order of the regular menu. We were absolutely stuffed and we left feeling we got our money’s worth and more.

Any one else have experiences to share? It is only Tuesday. I am looking for another place to try!

The Bachelor Farmer - who has been and can comment

Thanks splatgirl. Great honest opinion - enough to take my husband for a visit.

The Bachelor Farmer - who has been and can comment

I just saw that RIck Nelson selected Bachelor Farmer restaurant of the year. What am I missing here? I posted above regarding my experience. My friend and I swore we would not come back - but now my hubby wants to check it out. I continue to hear mixed reviews from others. Some just love it, others don't. Those who love it - can you provide more detail on what, how, why your meal was amazing? It seems getting several starters as the meal may be the right way to go. Thoughts?

Gorkha Palace New Menu

I love, love, love the Palak Paneer here. Just writing about it makes my mouth water. I look forward to the new menu, but I hope they don't take away too many items. Did they let on as to whether this was happening? Thanks for the info!

30th Birthday Party Ideas!

It was the whole space - and you don't pay a fee. There was no dollar amount you had to meet (At least this was the case this past May). We had a few appetizers at the bar and then moved to the larger room for family style dinner. Jon the owner was extremely accomodating.

30th Birthday Party Ideas!

Go to Honey - the food is catered by Gingerhop. Dance floor, music set up, bar. We did our grooms dinner there for 40-50. Reasonably priced, cool vibe. I highly recommend it!

$15 half Pigs head Sample Room

I recently read a post regarding wine enthusiasts - with a shout out to Sample Room. Tonight, my hubby and I dined at Sea Change. (very good - especially the Rainbox trout). After the meal he wanted a change in scenery and a glass of wine - so I suggested Sample Room. We took a seat at the bar and the guy next to us was eating one of the specials: half of a pigs head - sucullent and delicious - only $15. We were offered a taste - if our bellys were not already full we would have caved in. According to the chef it is slow roasted, similar preparation to prime rib. The pig is from Fisher Farms. It has been on the specialty board for a month and the chef is considering putting it on the menu. The skin looked so incredibly crispy - just writing this makes my mouth water!

Granted, I did not try it. I only smelled it and salivated from afar - but $15 for pigs head? Seems like an incredible deal. The bartender and chef said not many people know about it, but it does go out fast. The diner next to us works in the restaurant business and came to Sample Room after hearing about this dish. All he could do was rave about it. Hubby and I are coming back this week to try. Any of you hear about this?! Tried it?!

The Bachelor Farmer - who has been and can comment

I agree with chadradchad. I personally was not impressed, however I had the special - pork tenderloin and pork belly - which had no texture or flavor. Popovers were good. I also got the beet toast which was a great way to start. I'm glad I tried it, but there are a dozen more deserving restaurants that will win my patronage over Bachelor Farmer.

seeking list of best,most interesting NE Minneapolis restaurants

There is a very long list of restaurants in NE. I have lived here for 6 years and still trying to make it to every bar and restaurant!

Here are my favorites:

- Gorkha Palace for Nepalese and Indian. Good momos.
- Adelitas for Mexican - the kitchen is open late night on weekends.
- Chimborazo - Ecuadorian. Much reviewed restaurant on this board.
- La Colonia for Ecuadorian/Colombian - the spicy salsa is absolutely addictive. More items to choose from than Chimborazo.
- Pizza Nea - casual but more intimate than Punch.
- Sample Room - I love this place when you want to meet friends, drink and nibble.
- Anchor Fish and Chips - because they are delicious
- Jax Cafe for brunch - I love the chicken salad
- Brasa for the meat. Lately I prefer take out vs dining in.
- Masu for the noodles - pork belly ramen is my hubby's fav.

Have fun exploring!

Jax Cafe
1928 University Avenue, Minneapolis, MN 55418

Pizza Nea
306 E Hennepin Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55414

Sample Room
2124 Marshall St NE, Minneapolis, MN 55418

The Anchor Fish and Chips
302 13th Ave NE, Minneapolis, MN 55413

Gorkha Palace
23 4th St NE, Minneapolis, MN 55414

best breakfasts in/near minneapolis??

Sunday brunch buffet at Jax Cafe. Only available on Sunday from 10-2pm. You have to call in advance for a reservation. Price is steep, $20 per person but great for a special occasion.

Jax Cafe
1928 University Avenue, Minneapolis, MN 55418

Where to take a non-Westerner for the most "American" food experiences? Must be baby-friendly.

Malts and Burgers: One of my favorite memories growing up was visiting the Malt Shop for a butterscotch malt. Convention grill is also a great choice. I would also add Bridgemans near Hiawatha to the mix. If you are just thinking ice cream, izzys or sebastian joes.

BBQ: If you are at the Mall of America, why not Famous Dave's? Nothing is more American then a chain restaurant. Plus it is located above Lego Land for the kids. Also Market Barbecue is fun and good food.

Other ideas:
- Victors 1959 Cafe for decent Cuban fare
- Hazels Northeast for the turkey commercial
- Ideal Diner in NE for pancakes, eggs and bacon - no flashy business. Just simple, but greasy food.
- Monte Carlo - take them to the oldest restaurant in Minnesota. Its a classic. Last time I was there, a family with 3 kids was seated next to me.
- Mickey's diner for breakfast, then go to the Children's museum which is just down the road!

Monte Carlo Bar & Cafe
219 3rd Avenue North, Minneapolis, MN 55401

Ideal Diner
1314 Central Ave NE, Minneapolis, MN 55413

Bar La Grassa or 112 Eatery

I recently went to both in one day. Drinks and an appetizer with work friends around 5. BLG for dinner with the hubby at 7:30. BLG is fantastic, the gnocchi alone is worth the trip. But I will always stick with 112. The foie gras meatballs, the sweetbreads and the most addicting scallops - I will always put 112 on top. If you want to catch up with your two friends, 112 is the perfect way to go - especially if you get a table on the second floor. Its just more intimate. If you have room for dessert, get the tres leches.

Not a good time at Greccos-St Croix Falls WI

Fowler - I was restraining myself when I wrote the post. You are right with the truffle oil. There were no specs. The potatoes were the only part of the evening that was decent. The night unfolded like a chapter from Kitchen Confidential - everything left in the back of the fridge was dumped on our plate. Remnants from open bottles were poured in our wine glasses. Had it not been for my husband, I would have sent back everything.

Jul 17, 2011
MNLawGirl in Great Lakes

Not a good time at Greccos-St Croix Falls WI

I wanted to like Greccos. It was our first trip to St. Croix Falls - starting with a tour and tasting at Chateau Vineyard. I did some research to find some enjoyable cuisine and the blogs seemed to point in to the direction of Greccos. The Chef worked at McCormicks and Schmicks, Bellanotte, and a stint at the Ritz Carlton in San Francisco. He should be able to prepare a good fish and meat course, right?

After some debate with my hubby, we went with a four course tasting with wine pairing vs selecting different entrees with a bottle of wine. We were told the menu changes weekly. We read about the Chef's food journey. Our server said to trust the chef. We immediately regretted the decision when the first pairing came out:

First course was a soggy salad with strawberries, feta and walnuts. This was paired with an extremely sweet white wine (so sweet and dense, I would classify it more as a dessert wine). Next up, white zinfandel. White Zinfandel? Who puts white zinfandel on a tasting menu? What would the chef pair with white zin? It would take close to 15 minutes before the fish pairing hit the table. Halibut over coconut rice. The fish was falling apart and completely unappetizing. We realized we were hoodwinked. What was going on?

Next was pinot noir. Alas, our meat course! I was praying the chef would redeem himself on this one course. Again, 15 minutes later, and wine glasses emptied, we were finally presented with filet mignon and truffled mashed potatoes. Potatoes were delicious. However, when we cut into the meat (which was in the form of two small meat nuggets), the meat was gray. The server looked down at our plate and apologized. She explained the chef usually prepares his meat medium/medium rare, but that Chef Grecco was absent and we were dealing with the stand-in. Things were starting to make sense.

Last course was a white dessert wine with pot de creme. It actually was very good (although technically not pot de creme), but not good enough to remove the dissatisfaction of the previous three.

The server, to her credit, recognized the sub-par execution and provided a glass of red zinfandel on the house and took $20 off the bill.

Start to finish, we were there for almost 3 hours for four tasting portions. We entered Greccos with a slight buzz from the wine at the Chateau. We left Greccos with a headache from the awful music (Sarah McLachlan!), semi-full stomachs and completely sober.

Jul 17, 2011
MNLawGirl in Great Lakes

Delicious Summer Specials dishes worth trying..

Anyone recently visit a restaurant that had a dish on the special or summer menu that was so amazing, it was worth a second visit? I am limiting the restaurant location to Minneapolis and St. Paul.

I know it is hard to actually revisit a restaurant when the special menu changes daily. But if it were a dish on summer seasonal menu - I would love to know the dish and the restaurant that is worth a special visit. I don't want to miss out on innovative dishes where the ingredients are at its peak!

For example - Bar La Grassa has staple dishes. But in the fall, it has this delicious prosciutto wrapped apple slaw salad with goat/bleu cheese which is absolutely to die for! But you can only get it when the apples are at its peak. I know come fall, I will make an extra trip just for that salad.

Any suggestions?

Bar La Grassa
800 N Washington Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55401

Weekend eating recommendations

I want to throw Krazmarczuk in to the mix. The restaurant iis cafeteria style, laid back and displays delicious sausage. Plus, free parking.

Wilde Roast

Hey Chowhounders,

Has anyone been to the new Wilde Roast on St. Anthony Main? I used to go to the Hennepin location all the time and loved the intimacy factor of the space. I also loved the food and it looks like the menu has expanded. I just called over there to see if it has a patio and allows dogs, and it does! I would love to hear about your experiences.

My experience with restaurants on St. Anthony Main are pretty negative. The food is overpriced and service is rude at best. Just recently, I tried to get a sandwich at Pracna, and our server clearly did not want to be working. I asked if I could get the sandwich on wheat bread and she said absolutely no modifications because all the sandwiches are premade in the morning - but don't worry, they are still "fresh". My friends and I were so taken aback, we went to Astor Cafe to eat and drink.

Wilde Roast Cafe
518 E Hennepin Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55414

Arepas to purchase and bring home

Hi Chowhounders,

I recently visited Colombia and I am craving some arepas. Not necesarily the cheese or egg filled arepas but specifically the corn arepas that you can eat with cheese or marmelade for breakfast. I'm checking into Cosecha Imports and Midtown Global Market. Any other suggestions?

I definitely want to the Hola Arepas. I usually get my arepa fix at La Colonia, which I believe used to be La Gran Colombia on Central in NE. Very tasty - but it is served warm and more as an appetizer.

Midtown Global Market
920 E Lake St, Minneapolis, MN 55407

La Gran Colombia Restaurant
2207 Central Ave NE, Minneapolis, MN 55418

Hazel's Northeast

I really think Hazel's is a good breakfast/brunch spot in NE. I am not a personal fan of pancakes or french toast, but my friends rave about the banana french toast and cakes. I have had the omelets and black bean cakes - both were good, but not amazing. Not many places in NE serve breakfast every day - so it is a good find!

I have only dined at Amici twice, both were fine. One bonus with Amici is it delivers! So my hubby and I will get their pizzas or pastas delivered when we are extremely lazy. I think they only deliver during dinner hours.

Romantic seafood restaurant?

Slightly off topic, but I read that Oceanaire is moving out of the Hyatt and into the M&S Grill. It is more upscale than the neighboring McCormick and Schmick's. I wonder how they will do in the new spot.

New food truck sighting: Potter's Pasties and Pies

I have not personally tried the pastries, but Star Trib mentioned it along with other street vendors.

I will definitely get out there soon as I love me some meat pasties.

Tim McKee and Masu

I think Masu is suffering from lack of consistency since Tim Mckee has left. Aside from the sushi - the front of house, kitchen, even the cocktails are not consistent.

I still believe they are having serving staff issues. I will get a server who is constantly hovering around our table at the beginning and then completely disappears once the meal is ordered. It is funny because the last time I went, I ordered the curry ramen. It was ridiculously salty and all I wanted was to chug water but my carafe was empty! Another frustration is that dishes do not come out together. My dining partner and I may each order 4 different dishes, yet one will get a dish leaving the other to wait.

I will continue to go to Masu because it is in my neighborhood. But it may be awhile before I make my next visit. I do not want to forget Obento Ya - and I hope other chowhounders won't. Hopefully the next time I visit, the food and service will make me want to come back for more.

Tim McKee and Masu

My friend and I stopped in around 8:30pm, on opening night. The place was fairly packed - but we were able to get the last table in the bar. I was excited to try a selection from izakaya, sushi, robata, noodles. However my server informed us that the kitchen was out of tuna - both albacore and yellowfin. That meant most of the specialty rolls were out. Head of house told me they had a fairly big showing during lunch, when the tuna ran out - and then got slammed for dinner. Our server kept coming to our table telling us this selection and that selection of fish was no longer available. I'm sure they will make note of this when they make their next order. Good thing is they get the fish shipped every day. I was told there will be tuna tomorrow!

My friend got the jumbo shrimp robata and was not impressed - I did not get to taste it but I think had she picked a different seafood or meat, she may have enjoyed it more.

I got the beef udon - sliced short rib in a rich beef broth (the broth was much improved from my walk in last week) edamame, enokitake mushroom, scallion and udon. What impressed me before with the pork belly ramen (see my post April 9th) was the ramen itself. The ramen didn't get that slimy texture noodles tend to get when sitting in broth for too long. The problem with the pork belly ramen was the broth itself. It may have been over-reduced because it was extremely salty.

The beef udon was completely opposite. The udon was slimy, but the broth was rich, luscious even. The edamame provided great texture. Despite the slimy udon, I'll be back again.

My server was attentive, but it was clear she did not know the menu. My friend asked for suggestions with the appetizers and the robata, but the server really didn't offer much. I asked how the noodles were prepared and what was in the broth, and she was unable to answer. I know it is the first day and she definitely seemed flustered. I just hope Chef McKee schools his serving staff with the contents of the menu.

Tim McKee and Masu

No hot pot element - but again, he was just providing us a quick tasting. We also did not see the Robata in action. All he would tell me is that there will be 30 proteins on the menu. The menu will remain consistent, though there will be specials. I'm very excited for this to open!

Tim McKee and Masu

Anyone living in NE has been curious about Masu, which took over the old Let's Cook store on 4th and Hennepin. Much to my surprise, while walking to Whiteys on Hennepin, I see the door open for Masu with some of the chefs inviting us in! The space is large, and such a huge transformation from Let's Cook. The space is white, modern, simple with splashes of color here and there of paintings on the wall. There are 4 or 5 japanese games located near the bathrooms. This space to me seems to cater not just couples, but group of friends wanting to enjoy a great meal!

There will be four components to the menu: Appetizers good with beer and sake, sushi (Do you remember Asan from Origami? He's been missing in action for 2 years and he's the sushi chef at Masu) robata and noodles. I was extremely interested in the noodle portion. Chef McKee told us he did a lot of research and found a custom noodle shop in LA that makes noodles specifically for Masu.

He provided us a little tasting of dried squid with sriacha and mayo - as well as pork belly ramen with soft egg, seaweed and bonito flake broth (see picture). The squid is different, nothing I have seens on any japanese menu. It is a fun little snack to chef on while drinking sake. Chef McKee also provided us a tasting of the other 3 broths, curry, miso and the standard bonito for us to try. To my palate, the broths were a bit too salty, probably from the bonito. But I am very excited to see how he pairs the broth to the ramen, soba or udon along with the accoutrement.

Chef Alex Chase will be executive chef. Chef Chase has followed Chef McKee at Solera, La Belle View, Sea Change and Barrio. He also has worked at Vincents and Fuji-ya.

Assan, originally from Origami will work the sushi counter. I think this is just a huge asset to Masu. Anyone who has met Assan and tasted his food will know he is a class act!

The drink menu is created by Johnny Michaels. We tried the Happy Gummi (ginger and peach) and the Angry Gummi (wasabi).

Although there was no set menu at the time I viewed Masu, Chef McKee said much like Seachange, Masu will be serving only sustainable fish/seafood. He also told me there will be around 30 items for robata.

Grand opening is April 18th - make your reservations early! I am extremely excited about Masu. Chef McKee told me this was not a fusion restaurant but classic Japanese. It will be interesting to see how this restaurant will stand against the heavy competition in Mpls and St. Paul. No matter what - this is going to be a GREAT addition to NE Mpls.

900 Hennepin Avenue, Minneapolis, MN 55403

Let's Cook
330 E Hennepin Ave, Minneapolis, MN

Sea Change
806 Second Street S., Minneapolis, MN 55415

New Tim McKee Sushi NE Restaurant

Sorry - I meant to say across from Whiteys.

New Tim McKee Sushi NE Restaurant

Drove by Whiteys in NE - Hennepin and 4th - and saw a huge sign "Sushi&Robata - A new Tim McKee restaurant".

It said it was opening Spring 2011. Anybody know any information?

New breakfast spot

I am a fan of Victors 1959 Cafe.