Archive for the ‘Restaurants’ Category

shrimp dumpling and shark fin dumpling

We met a few (six) friends for Dim Sum this past Sunday. It was so much fun. And the Bloody Mary wasn’t too bad either!

pork dumpling and calamari ceviche

wasabi bloody mary

shrimp something, pork bun and fried spring rolls

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Salted Chocolate Cake with Chocolate Ice Cream from Lucia’s.

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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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Wild Rice

A few relaxing days in the beautiful town of Bayfield will do wonders for a stressed out soul. A meal at Wild Rice, located just outside Bayfield, will make it even better. We ate at Wild Rice the first time about six years ago and we’ve been dreaming of going back ever since. Imagine the best restaurant you’ve ever been to. Now imagine it in the north woods, deep in the thick of the forest overlooking Lake Superior with black bears and other wild life wandering by. Imagine a beautiful building, with huge windows, outdoor fireplaces and trees growing between walls. That’s Wild Rice. And I haven’t even told you about the food yet!

We went last Saturday night and we knew we wanted to have the full experience. We left Daughter with the grandparents, and showed up a bit early so we could enjoy a glass of wine in the beautiful bar. I had a glass of Cellar No. 8 Pinot Noir, and Husband had a martini. Shortly after we arrived the bartender delivered a bowl of cheese puffs, tiny cheese puffs, full of flavor and highly addictive.

There were a number of people in the bar, and everyone was friendly and chatting about the black bar that had been rummaging through the dumpster moments before we showed up. One woman even passed around her phone so we could see the photo she took of the rascal.

After we were seated, and had a moment to go through the menu, an Amuse Bouche of Golden Tomato Soup arrived. Just a bite or two and it tasted exactly like a sun-ripened yellow tomato should.

For appetizers we shared the Salmon Carpaccio, which came with truffled potato salad and creme fraiche, and the Mussels with Crawfish, Spinach and Tomato Broth. Both were delightful, but I preferred the Mussels. The tomato sauce was light but just hearty enough for fall.

For my entrée, I chose the Duck Breast served with a Wild Rice Crepe and Butternut Squash Puree. I honestly chose it because of the sides, but the Duck was really, truly amazing. It was perfectly prepared, with a crisp outside and tender inside. The crepe and squash were the perfect combination. Husband ordered a Bison tenderloin, which looked (and tasted, yes, stole a bite) amazing and so perfect for a September meal.

We couldn’t pass on dessert. Even after everything we had eaten. It’s just not possible to drive 4 hours and skip dessert. Husband let me chose, so I picked a platter with a Pots de Creme (heavenly), cinnamon shortbread (sharp and crisp) and a Brownie Bite (fine, but nothing compared to the other two). I was in heaven. We were almost fighting each other for the last bits of the Pots de Creme it was so good.

We rolled out of the restaurant fat and happy. On the way back to our hotel we joked about sending Daughter home with the grandparents and going back there the following night. And the following. And the following. But we didn’t. But we do know we aren’t waiting another six years before we make it back there. If you’re ever in Northern Wisconsin, or even Southern Canada, for that matter, stop by Wild Rice. It’s a treat, a real-live-won’t-dissappoint-you treat.

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Met a friend for a quick lunch out in the Suburbs yesterdat. We went to Kona Grill for Sushi. Not too bad, and  a nice break from a hectic day. What’s your favorite daytime escape?

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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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Anna and I have been waiting for the Tea House to open their Minneapolis location for nearly a year. And so finally last week, after a quick stop at the Textile Center, we stopped in for a delightful lunch.

We both ordered lunch specials and were treated to  a simple soup loaded with pork and tofu.

We then moved onto an order of the Juicy Buns. These were very similar to the first dumplings I had in NYC’s Chinatown. Our blonde, blue-eyed server gave us a quick lesson on how to eat them and for that I was grateful. Basically, you bite off the top (the twisty part), pour in some of the ginger sauce served on the side, and  then try to eat it as gracefully as possible without it slipping from your chopsticks and into the soup spoon you’re hopefully holding right underneath it. They were delightful and oh, such a mess.

Not that I was still hungry, but the Kung Poa Chicken I ordered was delicious and a huge serving. It was loaded with peanuts and some vegetables and became my lunch the following day as well.

I can’t wait to go back. Every time I think of the Juicy Buns my mouth waters. Yummmmmm……. who’s got time for a lunch date?

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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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Husband and I were craving Sushi last week during our Stay-cation. Actually, we’re rarely NOT craving Sushi, but not usually able to chose a restaurant in the middle of the day in the middle of the week and go there. Without Daughter. But last week we were relaxing and eating and generally enjoying ourselves, so we headed over to Crave in Edina for a light lunch. We started with the beautiful platter pictured above. It’s the Yellowtail Jalapeno Sashimi and the blend of spicy, tart, sweet was really amazing. I could have eaten the whole platter myself, but Husband probably would have killed me. We also enjoyed the Mexican roll (Tuna, Jalapeno, Avocado, Spicy Mayo) and the Chipotle Ocean (Soft-shell Crab, Yellowtail and Chipotle Mayo). Along with a glass of Torrentes, it made for a delightful summer lunch. Just the two of us, some wine, some Sushi. Yum. Wish we could do that every week day.

Today at paper&clouds: Jumbo Crayons

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I saw this article in City Pages recently. They compared the Tilapia Tacos at Sea Salt with the Tilapia Tacos at Tin Fish. They liked both, but decided Sea Salt’s were better. I can now say I agree. We live near Sea Salt and it’s become our favorite restaurant, hands down, no debate. We had never been to Tin Fish until yesterday so we biked there along the Grand Rounds parkway and stopped for lunch along the way. Husband ordered the Crab Cake, I ordered the Tacos and we shared the Shrimp Nachos. And they were all good, the nachos were really good, just not Sea Salt good. Actually, nowhere near to Sea Salt good. Not even in the same area code Sea Salt good. But the line was short (no line) and the food came out quickly. And the bike ride? It was great. (But the ride to Sea Salt would be about 10 miles shorter.)

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