Archive for the ‘Outdoor dining’ Category

It was so beautiful out this weekend. So Beautiful! It’s October, but it feels like June. Or July, Or even August. Eighty-degrees? Seriously. It was so nice we enjoyed a impromptu dinner outside at Ginger Hop on Saturday night. We started with the Crab Cakes and Sweet Potato Fries (for the Daughter) and then we each tried a curry. Maybe it was the patio, but the whole meal was delightful. We’ll be back….

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I met a couple dear friends for dinner on Monday night at a neighborhood favorite, Al Vento. I’ve been there a number of times for both dinner and brunch and I’m always happy to return. Monday night was no exception and a real treat. Not only was the company fan-tabulous, but the food was absolutely amazing.

We started with two Bruschetta, including the Olive Tapanade and the Sweet Corn Relish. I passed on the Olive option in exchange for more the Corn. And it was a great choice. The corn was so fresh I half expected to see a corn field behind the restaurant. And there was just enough red onion to give it a kick.

For my entree, I chose the Halibut over Cauliflower Corn Risotto with an Heirloom Vinagrette. Again, the corn. And I was so, so happy with my choice. The Halibut was prepared perfectly, crisp on the outside and creamy on the inside and surprisingly hot when it arrived. The rest of the plate accented the fish nicely and I am still dreaming of that Vinagrette today. We passed on dessert, although their tiramasu is just stunning and quite authentic. (I sort of speak from experience…)

It was a lovely meal, with lovely ladies, on a lovely patio, on a lovely fall evening. I wish we could do it every week…. Ah…..

That’s it for me for the week. We’re heading Up North to the South Shore for a few days….  lots of great food up there and you can read all about it next week. Happy Weekend to you!

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This past weekend was absolutely beautiful. The sky was blue, the temperature hovered around 70 degrees and there was no rain in site. On Saturday we went for a bike ride to the playground. On Sunday we took a long walk through Minnehaha Park and stopped at Sea Salt for a scoop of Sebastian Joe’s Ice Cream. But the line was out the door. And we were impatient. So we wandered through more of the park and started heading toward the DQ on the way home. That line was also out the door. And around the building. Oh well, we’re still impatient. But by the time we got home we still wanted ice cream, so I popped into the car (again, why didn’t I take the scooter?) and drove across the river to Izzy’s and picked up two pints  Yum. Izzy’s! I got the Salted Caramel and Chocolate Dulce de Leche. (And did you know they updated the flavors they have available every three minutes!) So not only did we fulfill our ice cream craving, but we also have a stash in the freezer for the next time it hits. Which I’m sure will be soon. Really soon.

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Husband and I got away last Friday for a quick (and late) Birthday Dinner. We went to Al Vento. It’s close to the house, they have a great patio and their food is really, very good. We started with the plate of four Bruschetta (eggplant, asparagus, black olive tapanade and white bean).

Then we moved on to the Smoke Salmon Crostini. We’ve had it before and again it didn’t disappoint.

For entrée’s, Husband chose the Hanger Steak with mashed potatoes and asparagus, I chose the Fettuccine with Hangar Steak and Asparagus. So, yes, they were similar, but they were both delicious. I’m sure the Fettuccine was made in house. And surprisingly, the dish had a kick to it!

Usually I stop there. I usually skip dessert. But it was my Birthday, so I went for the Tiramisu. Husband had a Bailey’s and Coffee. The Tiramisu was perfect. Just enough liquor, just enough chocolate, just enough marscapone. It was delightful. And then I was full.

And happy.

Go spend an evening at Al Vento. Summer is nearly over and their patio is a treat.

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I had to get out of the office the other day, so I ran over to Surdyks, grabbed a tasty Turkey, Brie and Pepperocini sandwich, a side of Beets and a natural soda. But instead of heading straight back to the office like I usually do, I took a right turn halfway across the Hennepin Avenue bridge and found a picnic table near the Nicollet Island Pavilion. What a view. The sandwich wasn’t too bad either…

If anyone ever wants to join me, grab a sandwich, send me a text, and find me along the river. Summer is short here, let’s get outside.

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Husband and I celebrated our fourth wedding anniversay last night with a quick dinner at a neighborhood Bistro, Al Vento. Obviously Daughter was with us, so we ate early and we ate quickly. We started with a bruschetta of Sun-dried Tomatoe Pesto and White Beans as well as the Smoked Salmon Crostini with Marscapone and Berry Compote. Both were amazing. (Even Daughter had some of the white beans.)

For my entree I ordered the Halibut with Roasted Vegetable Salad and Tomato Vinagrette. Not so amazing. The Halibut was nicely prepared and good, but the vegetable salad was more like a pile of unchewable greens with a few cherry tomatoes mixed in. Husband ordered the Hanger Stack with Truffle Potato and Red Wine Demi. I stole a bite and it was phenomenal. Yum.

Al Vento also has great deals. They offer 1/2 price wine every day from 430 – 6pm. Every Day. And on Tuesdays they offer date night, which is 3 courses for $20. Go there. Drink wine. Eat Crostini. Enjoy.

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It started to feel like fall this past weekend, so we figured the crowds would be sparse at Sea Salt. I know that’s not good for their business, but as a neighbor and a regular of the Best Seafood Restaurant in the Twin Cities, it meant that we wouldn’t have to wait in an hour long line to order and wait another 45 minutes for our fish tacos. We wandered over to the park, and sure enough, no line. We were in heaven. And then we heard that we still have a month before Sea Salt closes for the season. Could we be happier?

I ordered my usual, the Shrimp Po-Boy. Husband ordered the Marlin Tacos, and together we devoured an order of the Shrimp Cocktail. Again, they did not disappoint. The Po-Boy was loaded with shrimp and just enough hot sauce for me to notice. The shrimp were fresh and along with the cocktail sauce there was a large pile of horseradish. The taco’s, in husband’s words, were “pretty good.”. They looked great, full of fresh fish, cilantro and Sea Salt’s own sauce.

I always get a little blue at the end of summer, but just knowing that we have another four weeks of fresh fish and seafood will make the transition a little easier.

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