My Apologies...I completely forgot to post the write up of our trip...This dates back to last March. Ariel Ok...it's been quite the trip, and we return home tomorrow. I am not looking forward to going back, as this city's culinary scene blew me away. Great food, properly priced and extremely hospitable service will be missed. As promised, here's a breakdown of where we ate, what we had and a few lines on each place. First evening in town, after the 7hr drive from Winnipeg was @ 112 Eatery - Roasted Spicy Nuts and Marinated Olives placed on table, as well as Ciabatta-style Bread - Pate Bahn Mi - Crispy Veal Tongue with cold Noodle Salad - Foie Gras Meatballs on Tagliatelle - Cauliflower Fritters Bahn Mi and Veal tongue were sublime, expertly preparated. The Foie dish was a revelation...i would have never thought that Foie and Reggianno worked together so seamlessly. Cauliflower fritters were also delicious. Service was very relaxed and very attentive, some of the best in the trip. We headed to Solera right after that and were truly dissapointed. We were actually mad when we left due to the overpriced food and the chain-like atmosphere. Oddly enough, my brother and I got flashed by a pair of drunken customers at the bar. Did not enjoy it. The next day we went for lunch @ a Crepe joint on nicollet which only had room for 6, and barely enough room for a dishpit and a makeshift kitchen, all in the open. I had a perfect whole wheat crepe w/gorgonzola, sausage, tomato and creme fraiche, while my brother had a ham and gruyere crepe. Later on we headed towards Calhoun square to hit up Penzey’s for some spices. Found some lovely bay leaves, nutmeg and Szechuan peppercorns. Went to Pho Tau Bai for dinner that evening. - Fresh Spring Rolls (Pork and Shrimp) - Pho Tau Bai (Flank, Tendon, Tripe, Meatballs) - Bahn Mi (Fried egg, Pate, Charcutes) - Vietnamese Coffee Every item was insanely fresh and truly delicious. A bargain at a mere $26. The Broth in the Pho was out of this world. The next morning we had a hearty and delicious breakfast at Hell’s Kitchen, conveniently 4 blocks away from our hotel. - Fingerling Potato + Corned Beef Hash w/sunny side up Eggs - Over easy Eggs w/Bison Sausage and Rosti Potatoes After spending the remainder of the morning in Ikea, we headed back towards Calhoun Square for a snack of oysters and calamari @ Stella’s Fish Café. Frozen Mignonette served with the oysters was a great twist. Went back to the hotel after Stella’s, then headed out again for dinner at Saffron, where we had: - Hummus + House baked bread - Lamb’s Brain w/Tomato Confit - Eggplant dip w/Piquillo Peppers and Pomegranate Molasses - White Anchovies w/Preserved Lemon + Radish - Grilled Haloumi w/Black Onion Seed and Tomato Jam - Sheep’s Milk Feta w/Fennel, Oregano + Pink Peppercorn - Beef Kubbeh, Cucumber Yogurt + Mint - Winter Greens, Lemon and Olive oil - Beef Carpaccio, Truffled Brown Butter Vinaigrette, Hazelnuts - Chocolate and Hazelnut Cake, Brown Butter Ice Cream, Caramelized Banana and Tamarind Caramel Wine: Montes Alpha Pinot Noir Arak Turkish Coffee This was defintitely the most enjoyable meal of the trip. Every dish we ordered was spectacular, especially the brains, grilled haloumi and the greens. I recommend this restaurant to anyone who travels to Minneapolis for a true taste of refined middle eastern flavours. Our waiter was knowledgeable, passionate and very attentive, which just made the night for us. Woke up late the next morning, and picked up a quick coffee at Dunn Bros. Headed to the Walker art Center for a tour of the exhibitions, then went for lunch @ Town Talk Diner. - Sourdough Onion Rings - Pulled Pork Sandwich, Parsley Garlic Fries - Truffled Mac ‘n Cheese, Ham and Peas Onion Rings and Pulled pork were delicious, and the fries as well. The Mac n Cheese lacked a lot of truffle flavour, and the cheese sauce was not what I expected…it tasted processed, and I’ve had better Mac N Cheese than that from a box. Homemade Iced Tea was great. Off to La Belle Vie for Dinner that night in their lounge. Tasting Menu - Gougeres - Seared Scallops w/Meyer Lemon and Fennel - Lobster and Salsify Soup, Lobster Foam and Black Truffle - Skate Wing + Rock Shrimp w/Brown Butter Vinaigrette, Caper Emulsion - Grilled Lamb Tenderloin and Braised Shoulder w/Celeriac Puree, Sunchokes, Arugula and Moroccan Spiced Jus - Chocolate Gateaux, Milk Chocolate Panna Cotta, Cava Sorbet, Mascarpone Semifreddo Wines: Oloroso Sherry, Charles Heidsick Champagne, Napa Meritage, Late Harvest Monastrell Food was excellently executed and very refined. The Lamb and Dessert were my favourites, and the wine pairings were great. Service, on the other hand, rather inconsistent. I wasn’t expecting to get served as well as if we had sat at the restaurant, but it really put a damper on the evening. One particular sour note was the runner that delivered most of the courses to our table. He carried the plates not in steady hand, but with his arms slightly swinging, as if he was strutting with plates in his hand. As a cook, it hurt… Went for a walk around downtown later on that night, for a drink at Bradstreet Crafthouse. - Pimm’s Cup (Pimm’s, Tanqueray, Watermelon, Mint, Strawberry, Cucumber) - Bradstreet Cocktail (Jameson, Egg White, Lemon, Jasmine) Food - Sea Bass Ceviche (Green Curry, Crispy Skin, Watermelon Espuma, Basil) - Grass-fed Beef Sliders w/Local Cheddar, Homemade Ketchup + Pickled Onions Impressive décor and lovely drink selection. The Pimm’s Cup was a great choice with my Ceviche. Lunch on our last full day in the Twin Cities was at Brasa. - Chicken and Pork Platter, Guacamole, Collard Greens w/Smoked Turkey - Pork and Beef Platter, Corn Grits w/Cheddar, Collard Greens w/Smoked Turkey - Cornbread w/Honey Butter Another delightful meal….after all that fine-dining of the prior night we were craving some comfort food, and honestly, I can’t thing of anything more comforting than braised meat, grits, greens and cornbread. Another place I recommend to everyone that goes to the Twin Cities. Our last night was spent @ Barrio, where we picked a bunch of things to share off their menu. - Crab Empanadas w/Avocado and Salsa Verde - Barbeque Pork Sopes w/Habanero Pickled Onions - Diver Scallop Ceviche w/Orange, Grapefruit, Cilantro and Avocado - Queso Fundito w/Roasted Poblanos and Chorizo - Pork Carnitas Taco w/Serrano Chile Salsa - Grilled Skirt Steak Taco w/Roasted Poblano Rajas - Churros - Tres Leches Cake Highlights of the night were the Queso Fundido (Gooey melted cheese and beers…how can you go wrong?) The Ceviche and The Tacos. Churros were really great, but the Tres Leches cake was dry.