Monthly Archives: January 2017

Grand Cafe – Closing

I just saw the sad news that a favorite restaurant is closing next week, February 5th.  If you have not tried Grand Cafe, you have 1 week.

I’ve had many great meals at Grand Cafe over the last 10 years.  We tend to go there more in the winter as it has such a cozy atmosphere that just calls out during the cold winter days.  We often would meet there after the hubby landed at the airport after a business trip.  I’d get there early and enjoy a glass of red at their tiny bar.

They had a great brunch including the hubs’ favorite, Eggs en Cocotte – poached eggs, puff pastry, Gruyere truffle cream, ham and sourdough.  I didn’t have one “go to” dish there, but everything was tasty.  One evening we were looking for a Sunday dinner option with my friend before she flew back to Arizona.  We tried one place that was closed and then ended up at Grand Cafe for Sicilian pizza night!  We absolutely loved the pizza that night – so much so that we got a second half after polishing off the first half.

I suppose all good things must come to an end, but I am very sad to see this one go.  If you are a Mpls reader, figure out a time to get there in the next week.  You won’t be disappointed!

Happy eating!

 

 

Red Rabbit

This past Friday we ventured out to Red Cow’s sister restaurant in downtown Minneapolis, Red Rabbit.  The impetus for the evening was a text earlier in the week from the blogger formerly known as RFO.  “Ok, for whatever reason I’ve been craving pizza – what are you guys doing on Thursday or Friday?”  While she gave several options, I went with Red Rabbit on Friday.

First thing to note, they do not take reservations.  This is not an issue for the three of us as we tend to go early and get the early bird specials.  However, by the time we left at 6:45, the entry way was packed with parties waiting for a table.  The good news is that the waiting area is very close to the bar.  So, grab a drink and wait if you go after 6ish.

The space is great.  Tall ceilings, brick walls, space between tables which is always a plus.  Nothing worse than having a dinner with someone and being so close to the other patrons that you hear their conversation better than your own.

The hubby and I arrived early and enjoyed a social lubricant prior to RFO’s arrival.  He tried the Zen and Now – matcha infused vodka, lemon, honey, mint, on tap… on nitro.  A great refreshing drink.  I ordered the Drunken Latte which was rye, averna amaro, branca menta, espresso, steamed milk, coconut whipped cream.  The drinks arrived and mine was super sweet and strong.  About half way through the drink, another latte arrived at the table.  The bartender didn’t like how the cream on top was for the first drink and redeemed himself with another one on the house.  This one was not nearly as sweet but still packed the same punch as the first.  Social lubricant indeed.

While we waited, we ordered a starter of Grilled Toasts with ricotta, local bare honey, and black pepper.  Two generous slices of toast arrived right before RFO sat down at the table. The creamy ricotta spread over the grilled toasts was out of this world.  Moment of silence at the table after the first bite – so good.  We ordered another toast with bresaola, lemon aioli, and arugula.  It was also very good, but didn’t touch the ricotta toast in my opinion.

We then ordered the main entrees.  RFO ordered the pasta croquettes – trofi pasta, pesto, triple cream.  She paired this dish with the Roasted Cauliflower entrée which was a head of cauliflower roasted and served with turmeric, pistachio mousse, rosemary and black olive oil.  It was fabulous and would be a great dish to share as a table.  She didn’t eat the entire dish – but had some great leftovers.

The hubby went with the grain salad which consisted of farro, rutabaga, pine nuts, fresh herbs, creme fraiche, and lemon vinaigrette.  For his entrée, he chose the tortelloni (“killer good”).  The pasta dish was served with swiss chard, chevre, roasted garlic, spiced hazelnuts, and rosemary.  He gave it a 5 out of 5 and thoroughly enjoyed the leftovers the next day.

I went with the cauliflower soup special.  Very good and always a nice addition to a winter meal.  I then went with the pasta dish of Bolognese pappardelle which was fresh pappardelle, house bolognese, and grated parmesan.  The dish was good – though I had Broder’s bolognese dish not that long ago and it is hard to beat.  My main complaint about the dish was how salty it was.  I drank a ton of water with that meal in part because of all of the salt.  I did have leftovers the next day and the salt didn’t seem as bad second day.

All in all it was a good dinner and I would definitely recommend Red Rabbit to others.  I would order something different next time.  I liked the space, the vibe, the gingham shirts of the wait staff and the fact that while there is an energetic atmosphere, you could still hold a conversation among your party.

Good meal, good friends, but no one ordered pizza.  Maybe next time.

Happy Eating!

 

 

 

2016 Restaurant of the Year…

Heirloom was the winner for us and our choice for NYE!  A close second was Upton 43, which was picked as the local paper’s favorite of 2016.  We had a great time with our friend, formerly known as Reservations for One (RFO).  A bottle of Prosecco, a cheese plate and great entrees closed out 2016 in style.  If you haven’t tried Heirloom yet, please go!  Their weekend brunch is great and their dinners are fabulous too.

2016 was the year of restaurant closings.  Sadly we saw our favorite go to restaurant, Cafe Levain close not long after their long-time chef departed for a non-chef position at a local co-op.  Also closed/closing…Heartland, Brassiere Zentral, Piccolo and many others.  Some of which were past “restaurant of the year.”  I hope we haven’t doomed Heirloom.  Though, there is a season for everything as they say and I know that the owners/chefs at these now shuttered restaurants will be back doing something fabulous in the not too distant future.

Plenty of new restaurants to try for 2017…so never fear.  We’ll see how early we pick NYE 2017.  April was the earliest a few years ago.  Trying a new place in February with RFO.  Doubt we’ll be able to call it that early, but stranger things have happened…especially throughout the year we just went through.

Here’s to 2017!

Happy Eating!