It’s Summer Restaurant Week! And that means there are scads of restaurant meals around town that you can get at a value. Seriously, when was the last time you could count on a multi-course meal for $45 or less?? You can this week. Let’s take a look at who’s cooking what that sounds tasty for me.
I feel like I have to shout out the Blue Plate restaurant group for what they have chosen to do with their Restaurant Week. As frequent participants, they could have just done the same old proven menus, but instead they’ve invited Michelle Courtwright to bring her Fig & Farro plant-based menus to all of the Blue Plate restaurants participating in RW.
Fig & Farro was the vegan restaurant opened briefly in the former Figlio space in Uptown. Focusing on the climate impact of meat, the eatery hoped to offer a finer dining experience for vegans and vegetarians. Since its closure, there have been a few pop-up dinners, but this is the first week-long series, and the first takeover of a RW promotion, which is cool. Fig & Farro menus are available at 3 Squares, Freehouse, The Lowry, Edina Grill, Longfellow Grill, Highland Grill. The menu includes Buffalo cauliflower, a Beyond Meat patty melt, mushroom ravioli, and a fresh berry tart. Lunch runs $20 for two courses, dinner is $25 for three.
Welcome All Saints to the RW party! This is one of the best patio situations in town, so think about getting your reservation on for that. Then, for your $40 dinner, you can choose those salt and pepper mushrooms which are unreal. I personally endorse those mushrooms. Then maybe the pappardelle with mushroom bolo if you want to stay on trend, or the pork chop which is a worthy hunk. I’d go panna cotta for finishes.
Hope Breakfast Bar in St. Paul is here this summer! This is a $25 brunch situation that will help you have the certified best day ever. I don’t know how you’ll choose between the German chocolate or carrot cake mini pancakes to start. But I’d go in for the jalapeño and veggie sandwich on an everything bagel to balance the sweetness of that donut basket that finishes the meal.
Momento in the former Pazzaluna space in St. Paul is up for the challenge. For $25 lunch or $45 dinner, you get a whole bunch of fresh options: Wasabi pea tempura cauliflower, personal pizzas, steamed mussels with heirloom cherry tomatoes and grilled ciabatta, shrimp pasta, steak with chimmichurri and more.
Get some island vibes from Pau Hana in the south metro. The $40 dinner might have your table loaded with ahi egg rolls or the shoyu short rib musubi (which I am dying to try). Opakapaka (Hawaiian red snapper) and Uncle Adam’s fried rice might just edge out the Duck Bahn Mi Pizza for me. But I travel in packs, so I’m getting a bite of everything. Mahalo.
The Uptown Lobby at the Grenada Theater is ready for you, have you been? They are doing a $45 three-course dinner, with a little snack on the front. Choose among a Manchego cheese and chorizo stuffed popover, quail Scotch eggs, and a watermelon gazpacho to start. Then it’s either slow roasted pork with Brazilian black beans, a little paella, or a Bastion country boil with langoustines and white fish. There’s bunuelos filled donuts to finish.
BEST OF THE REST
If you eat a three course lunch for $25 at Baldamar, not only will you not have to go back to work (legally), but you probably won’t have to eat much for dinner. I’d go Caesar salad, blackened tenderloin steak tips, and key lime cheesecake as a way to tag out for the day.
You can ladder right up to Bastille Day by doing the $40 dinner at Barbette. Start with Escargot a la Burguignonne, which makes snails fancy and delicious. Then choose the petite steak frites, which comes with beans too, and cap it off with strawberry creme brulee.
PICNIC ALERT! Broders Cucina Italiana is allowing their RW menu to-go, which means you can pick it up on your way to a lakeside meal al fresco. And the fact that you can get three dinner choices for $25 means you’ll probably want to do a pick six so that you don’t have to choose between gazpacho and Caesar salad, risotto with sweet corn or the cheese manicotti, olive oil cake or the triple berry crostata.
Bullvino’s Churrascaria in St. Paul is here for your all-you-can-eat needs. Dinner is $35, and that’s for all the appetizers and all the meaty treats you can flag down. Lamb steak, pork ribs, chicken, sirloin, garlic beef, and more are all included. Get your reservations for this one soon.
You know who got the assignment on the summer vibes? Copper Hen on Eat Street. Their $35 dinner feels easy breezy with a watermelon feta summer salad, a pulled pork sammie with rhubarb BBQ sauce and half corn cobs, and then banana bread for dessert. You can take it to go, if you need to go sit on a porch somewhere.
Estelle in St. Paul seems to be calling to me with that corn and tomato panzanella salad on the $45 dinner menu. Although, how do I deny some shrimp in garlic butter? I’ve had that Cassarecce Genovese, with bright green basil pesto, and I’m in. Candy Bar for dessert, obvs.
Who doesn’t love a summer lunch with a wine pairing? Mason Jar Kitchen in Eagan will take your already robust $20 lunch and give you a three glass wine pairing add-on for $15. That means wine with your MJK salad, wine with your farmstead burger or turkey apple brie sandwich, and wine with your cupcakes for $35 total.
Stockyards Tavern & Chophouse is leaning into the chops for RW. Bring a group so that you can enjoy your insanely priced three course $25 dinner, and get bites of chicken fettuccine, pan-seared salmon, St. Louis spare ribs, harissa glazed chicken skewers, and 6 oz. prime sirloin.
Twin Cities 400 Tavern continues to woo you RW devotees with good stuff. Either the $20 lunch or $25 dinner comes packed with big sandwiches (burgers, fried chicken, pulled pork), worthy entree salads (that Cobb tho), fish and chips, a quinoa yum yum bowl, so much! And then, they are running drink specials as add-ons, from $4-$8 for certain cocktails, beer, and wine. They see you.