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Hello!

Welcome to A Weekend Affair, where we celebrate none other than, the weekend. Here you'll find my adventures in travel, food and fun in the city and beyond. Cheers!

Restaurant Week in MPLS

Restaurant Week in MPLS

It's officially Restaurant Week here in Minneapolis - it's practically a holiday around here... a chance to explore new or revisit your favorite foodie hot spots in the Twin Cities. I'm documenting my picks for the week, what favorite spots did you revisit or discover? Let me say that these choices are in no particular "favorite" order, rather the order visited. All great choices and I'll return to all!

#1: Haute Dish

If you can help it, always plan something for Monday night - it's an easy way to make you feel like you've extended your weekend when you have something to look forward to!

Haute Dish is no new restaurant to the North Loop, in fact they just celebrated 5 years - but it's been a while since I had visited so opted for the homey comfort food here. Plus, I love that their bar always has a great selection of whiskies and bourbons and a cozy vintage atmosphere.

 
I love this place for the small, well done portions. It's fun to have a wide selection of small plates to share and sample across the table. Their unique takes on classic entrees are so unexpected - they take something so basic (hotdish) and make you feel like you're eating filet mignon.

Steak & Eggs
steak tartare, egg in a hole, bloody mary oyster shooter
Char Cuts
house made charcuterie with traditional garnishes

Tartare had great flavor; served with an oh-so-buttery cube of toasted brioche with a cured egg yolk sitting atop that was no less than perfect... The bloody mary oyster shooters, stir 'em up and shoot 'em back, yum.

The charcuterie was a perfect sampling of head cheese, kielbasa (my favorite of the mix) and foie gras sausage. And it came on a cute little pig platter!

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Mac N’ Cheese
taleggio, king crab, celery, truffle oil $16
Pumpkin Stew
prawns, king crab, curry

Let's be honest, who can resist a decadent mac and cheese?! Breadcrumbs, truffle, crab... do I need to say more? Probably not, but I'll rant quickly about how creamy, rich delicious it was... 

The pumpkin stew I think took the crown... it was a great blend of spiciness from the curry mixed with big chunks of crab and shrimp. Oh, and how festive, it came in a tiny pumpkin... the love and time it must have taken to carve all those little pumpkin bowls!

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Flavor Country Burger
with everything, no temps or substitutions ever! 
Tater Tot HauteDish
porcini, short rib, green beans, “tots”

I have to admit, I am a sucker for tater tot hot dish... I grew up on that stuff! I had never actually ordered the "HauteDish" in the past, thinking it would be more of a traditional Minnesota dish. Man, was I wrong. The tots were perfectly shaped oversized bites of whipped potatoes with a buttery crispness on the outside, I almost mistook them for cheese curds. Take that and mix it with a "fall apart" short ribs, super delicate string beans, tiny porcini mushrooms and a splash of gravy and oddly enough, it does remind you of the classic Minnesota dish, but so much better! I couldn't get enough. This one is served on their regular menu all the time, so you don't have to get in on restaurant week to try it!

The famous Tater Tot "HauteDish"

The famous Tater Tot "HauteDish"

You might call my husband a burger snob... so when he said this was one of the best burgers he had ever had, I knew it was going to be good. Smoky flavor, bacon, american cheese - no toppings out of the ordinary but just a very well prepared burger, he was a happy camper.

I am not typically a dessert girl, but the Buttermilk Tart with bourbon, candied walnuts and caramel sauce was calling my name. It was so good and gone so fast that we didn't even get a shot of it...just take my word for it.

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I complimented the meal with the Minnesota Mule (their take on a Moscow Mule), properly served in a copper cup. My favorite part is the candied ginger they garnish with. To say the least, our table was full and satisfied walking out! Great reminder of how delicious this neighborhood spot is.


#2: Pig Ate My Pizza

For as big of deal that pizza is in our household, it's a bit embarrassing to say that we had never made it to Pig Ate My Pizza... It is in Robbinsdale, which is probably why it took us so long to get there; sounds pathetic, I know, but we don't leave our city bubble if we don't have to. 

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None the less, it's a good thing I can say that we can add it to our running pizza list - and it's up there! As many of you know, Pig Ate My Pizza is brought to you by the folks at Travail (in their old space). The small pizza joint has a cozy "at home" feeling; it's filled with community tables built of barnwood and there are funky nods to pigs everywhere. I especially liked the vibe from the wait staff. Everyone seems to wear many hats, pitching in where needed and all seemed to be very easy-going; I love that one of the guys casually took a seat next to us while letting us know what our ice cream choices were.

Although tempted to order one of everything... we opted for one classic pep/sausage and one "Diana Ross" (Supreme) because I couldn't resist the creative name.

I want to make an educated guess and say we had the Neopolitan crust; light, fluffy and a perfect crisp from the woodfire oven. 

Man, those pepperonis alone are awesome, I wish they covered the whole pizza. But honestly, I can't say which pizza I liked more - I bet you there isn't a bad one there. The italian sausage and fresh herbs are phenomenal - and the sauces, although different, both tasted like a classic spaghetti sauce, which I loved.

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To top it all off, they make their own soft serve - simple and delightful, we opted for the vanilla bean and peanut butter (peanut butter was the favorite). 

This one definitely makes the list of "favorite pizzas" - can't wait to go back for more! I recommend you get your butts out there - for both the experience and the 'za.

 

 


#3: Borough

Like many others, I'm a huge fan of the craft cocktails and Parlour burger at Bourough's underground bar, Parlour. Although I've visited many times for cocktail and apps downstairs, this was my first time dining for a full meal upstairs at Borough. 

First off, I love the atmosphere of this place - yes, it's totally trendy... but I'm a sucker for the table-side windows overlooking Washington Ave and the candlelit atmosphere that you get while sipping a good cocktail and eating a well prepared meal.

I'll get straight to the point and give you the run down. Squash soup: I love it. Served only with the garnishes in the bowl, grapes, duck prosciutto and a breadcrumb covered ball of farro, then the small carafe of soup is poured over top - nicely done, Borough. The fall vegetables were a hit at the table too - roasted pumpkin bread? Yes please!

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Salmon with a coconut ginger sauce (which I could have drank...) and venison with wild rice were the two mains. The venison was so good that my husband was convinced it was not venison... that says something. 

Again, I don't typically order dessert but I wasn't about to say no to this. I love pear desserts in the fall - this one had rye, burnt sugar and ice cream along side it, yep, that's a winner. Everyone else at the table was a chocolate fan: lemon curd goodness with the thinnest slice of chocolate on top. 

Once again, we leave happy and full. This place is ALWAYS busy it seems - and for good reason, but if you're not in the mood for a full fancy dinner, there is always the Parlour burger downstairs that can accompany your old fashioned. ;)

#4: Bradstreet Crafthouse (the new one!)

I loved this place as it existed in the old Graves Hotel downtown (now Loews), so I was excited to check out the newly anticipated location and menu! Whew, their cocktails are still JUST as good and they spared the amazing lobster mac (I could go on about that for days...). But of course I wanted to try something new in lieu of restaurant week. 

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I'll give a shout out to the Old Fashioned that I started out with (per recommendation), that Black Walnut Liqueur really did it for me.

We did a bit of mixing and matching from the featured Restaurant Week menu. The starters were great! Cauliflower fritters (not what I was expecting) were simply coated with chickpea batter and served with a yummy dill sauce - simple but delicious, and maybe half healthy... I loved the chicken meatballs as well, coated with a sesame sauce. 

Neither one of us could resist the salmon... very different from the salmon at Borough the previous night, a lighter take with an avocado tahini. The salmon was done PERFECTLY in case you were wondering. 

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All in all, I think they hit a home run. I already loved this place for their cocktails, but it's definitely a great pick for an intimate fun date night - not too fancy but a chic atmosphere with great menu recommendations!
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