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Minneapolis-St. Paul Fine Dining Lunch

MSP - Accessible Fine Dining: Go at Lunch


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MSP - Accessible Fine Dining: Go at Lunch

MSPD | Nov 14, 2007 10:39 AM

With the number of comments in the past several weeks regarding MSP fine dining places and limited budgets, I've been thinking alot about the tactic of using lunchtime to enjoy the cuisine of the Cities' top chefs. In the mere ten minutes I used to scan website menus, I was shocked at some of the absolute steals that I found. Example, although pretty high-end for lunch, a local grass-fed ribeye with asparagus, potatoes, blue cheese and red wine reduction for $17. Or a hanger steak with Danish blue cheese gougere, horseradish sauce and asparagus for $13. Or scallops with Provencial vegetables, garlic custard and roasted red pepper for $13. I routinely spend $10+ for a burger, fries and diet Coke at a run-of-the-mill bar and grill.

I know it's not practical for everyone, and parking can be an issue (and can add $2 to the tab if you plug a meter). Those excuses are valid in my case as well, but scanning the list inspired me to want to take better advantage of these fine dining bargains. I can certainly get into and out of Sapor or Fugaise on my end of downtown with easy parking.

Anyway, here's a quick list. I encourage people to add their own. (Not the $1.95 banh mi from ABC Vietnamese...the idea is budget access to fine dining, not budget dining).

I just pulled a couple sample items from what are generally regarded as the top restaurants in town and tried to find a couple outside of downtown Minneapolis. Keep in mind, most of these are seasonal menus and just snapshots as of their websites today. Also, most of these places offer some kind of gourmet cheeseburger for $10-12, which I find reasonable as long as it's top-notch:


Potato Leek Soup with Ham, Truffle Oil, Chive Foam $9
Scallops with Provencial Vegetables, Garlic Custard, Roasted Red Pepper $13
Skate with Haricot Vert, Fingerling Potatoes, Caper-Brown Butter Sauce $15


Duck Confit Salad with Poached Egg, Manchego, Spinach, Mizuna, Lemon Poppyseed Vinaigrette $12
Minnesota Grass Fed Ribeye with Asparagus, Blue Cheese, Yukon Potatoes, Red Wine Reduction $17
Seasonal Soup $8


Two Course Lunch $12.50
Salt & Pepper Walleye Tempura, Pappardelle Pasta Puttanesca, or Ploughman’s Lunch
Affragato Dessert
Seasonal Soup $6
Traditional Nicoise Salad $13.75
Vincent Burger (ground beef, braised short ribs, smoked gouda) $12.75


Today’s Soup $4.25 (bowl)
Smoked Turkey Risotto with Autumn Vegetables and Cranberry Relish $10.25

Sapor Café

Soup $5.50 (bowl)
Hanger Steak with Danish Blue Cheese Gougere, Horseradish Sauce and Asparagus $13.00
Potato Tart with Truffle Vinaigrette, Green Beans, Poached Egg and Anchovy-stuffed Olives $11.50


Ceviche Classico $8.75
Torta al Pastor $10.50


Pork Hot Pot with Braised Pork, Tofu, Shiitake Mushrooms, Thai Chilies, Ginger and Cilantro $15


Chicken Soup with Matzo Balls $6
Steak Frites $15
Soup and ½ Sandwich Pair $9


Nabeyaki Udon Soup $9.75
Tonkatsu Teishoku (pork cutlet) $9.00

Edit to add link to a great thread TDQ started a while back on a similar, related topic (everyday food at high-end places) that I had forgotten about:

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