I don't find any messages here about Le Cordon Bleu, the chef school in Mendota Heights whose ads are ubiquitous on local TV. It also runs a restaurant for lunch and dinner (Minnesota Room) that I visited with a large group the other night (located just off Pilot Knob Rd north of 494). While it is student cooking backed with French instructors and thus is probably a bit hit and miss, we found it a very good meal and unbeatable for the price.
What you get is five courses for $21 plus beverages and tip. This is no pile-it-on midwest fare, but a genuine French style presentation and appropriate portions. There are choices along the way and a vegetarian alternative (crab the other night) for those requesting it.
To give a sense of what one gets, in addition to an introductory talk by the head chef for the evening: the "Amuse Bouche" was a smoked scallop salad; the second course a choice of cornish hen or veal cheek, both with deliciously done risotto; sorbet to cleanse the pallet; a choice of thick veal chop or NY strip steak (really!) with asparagus; and to finish, a fine chocolate terrine. The wine list in my small sampling seems to be mediocre, but the assistant instructor, a French woman who was helping serve, keeps a few bottles off-list that are worth asking about.
Reservations required, at least for dinner, I believe.
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