Monthly Archives: June 2016

Xavi Restaurant

Recently read about a new restaurant in the old First Course space on 56th and Chicago in South Minneapolis called Xavi.  It’s been open 1 week today.  Nothing like a mid-week new restaurant visit to mix it up a bit.

The hubby arrived before I did and was seated in a half booth/ half table location that faced the kitchen.  I thought it was nice space – though at times it felt awkward to be facing the area where all of the workers were gathered.  They definitely had extra staff on hand to train and continue to get used to the cadence of diners on the different evenings of the week.

When I arrived, there was an almost empty dish of pickles and pickled red peppers that the hubby had been noshing on while he waited.  Just fine by me as I’m not a pickle person.   Currently there is no alcohol served as they await the final licensing, etc.  They will start serving beer and wine on July 1st.  If that is a must for you, suggest you wait until then.  As for us, I had a diet coke and the hubby was sipping on lemonade.

The overall look and feel of the restaurant was good.  I liked the lighting and the color for the most part.  The one thing that was a little odd was the location of the bathrooms.  They are right in the middle of the restaurant between the kitchen and the bar.  I did visit one of the restrooms and I just hope the lock never breaks or someone doesn’t forget to push the lock button.  The potential for major embarrassment is high – those at the bar facing the kitchen might get an eye full.

Anyway, onto the food…

We both started with the Mushroom Broth as a first course.  The broth came with mushrooms and a few pork dumplings.  It was very good and had a variety of flavors.  It was savory, but every so often it had a hint of sweet.  It seemed a bit like a French Onion soup base but a bit sweet.  It was a good soup choice for the first day of summer – not heavy.

The hubby then went with the red wine braised short rib with shishito peppers, and lemon polenta.  I wonder if they were able to actually braise it in red wine given their liquor restriction until July.  The meat was very good and a nice combintation with the polenta.  It was served with a lot of peppers.

I went with the monkfish with saffron couscous, pea shoots, slow roasted tomato and preserved lemon.  The fish had a nice crispy top, I would have preferred to have a bit more of that flavor throughout.  I’m not sure I had ever had monkfish before.  It was a lot meatier than I was expecting.  I did have to use the knife they brought with it.  The couscous and tomatoes were awesome.  I had to put the block on the hubby with the couscous or he would have eaten it all.  I thought the dish worked well, but I might have put the couscous with the shortribs and the polenta with the fish.  Just seemed like it was a better combination.

Given we were “all in” on the restaurant, we gave the desserts a try.  He went with the chocolate hazelnut trifle and I went with yuzu poundcake with shiso and blueberries.  My dessert was like a strawberry shortcake.  Very refreshing on a summer evening.  The hubby thought his was ok, but not great.  Definitely had a lot of chocolate for chocolate lovers.

The staff was very attentive and the manager/owner visited our table several times.  I hope this restaurant does well.  Not sure we will rush back as there are so many restaurants in the cities to try, but I would give it a try if you like the menu.

Happy eating!


Linden Hills on a Sunday Morning

The hubby and I decided to hit the Edina Art Fair today after postponing Friday and Saturday due to rain.  A trip out on a Sunday morning requires a brunch stop of course, so we headed to Linden Hills.

If you haven’t ventured to this area in awhile, you are missing out!  There is of course the new Upton 43 which I posted about in January.  There is also Patisserie 46‘s sister cafe, Rose Street Patisserie, which opened in the past couple of months.  Also in the area are other great restaurants such as Tilia, Harriet Brassiere, Naviya’s Thai Brasserie, and for dessert, Sebastian Joe’s ice cream.

We stopped in for brunch at an oldie but a goodie, Zumbro Cafe! We got there at a decent time and were immediately seated at a two top near the window.  I ordered a vanilla latte which arrived quickly in all it’s full-fat, warm yummy goodness.  The hubby ordered the Huevos Zumbrosos which included spicy red beans,grilled tortillas, house-made salsa and sour cream.  I had the Smoked Bacon and Gouda Frittata with roasted potatoes and toast.  The potatoes were fabulous, my only complaint was there weren’t enough for me to have (and share with the hubby who loved them too).  All in all it was a fabulous breakfast and a great start to our Sunday morning.  The staff at Zumbro is fantastic.  I watched while the owner or manager helped an elderly gentleman to his feet after his breakfast (pretty sure this guy is a regular) and then he helped him to his car.  Fantastic to watch the care and respect shown to all customers – young and old.

After Zumbro, we headed over to the Linden Hill’s farmer’s market to take a peek at what that was like.  Lots of food booths as well as a couple of food trucks.  You could do some damage if you lived in the area and had access to this market every weekend.

We then ventured into Rose Street Patisserie to take a couple of pastries home for later in the day.  Great 2 story space and fabulous looking desserts and pastries.  The hubby got a piece of lemon pound cake and I went with a brioche injected with creme fraiche and dusted with sugar.  Both were quite tasty.

After leaving the Linden Hills area, we headed to the Edina Art Fair where we managed to help a few artists finish the show with fewer items to take back with them.

If you are looking for a fun neighborhood, Linden Hills is the place to go on a Sunday morning.  And if you are looking for a good art fair, 2 weeks until the Stone Arch Bridge Festival.

Happy eating!