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BEST RESTAURANT WHEN SOMEONE ELSE IS PAYING Minneapolis 2003 - Aquavit

Readers' Choice: Manny's Steakhouse

We periodically get e-mails from readers looking for our advice for a last-meal-on-earth-type scenario (the company's closing down, and they're out for a last hurrah; they're selling the house and moving to Madagascar and want a last bit of luxury to remember America by). Invariably, we tell these readers: Go to Aquavit! Have one of the tasting menus! Why? Well, recent tasting menus were six courses long and included things like, for the vegetarian menu, a nettle and turnip soup with potato mushroom dumplings and truffle salad. Or, on the non-vegetarian menu, things like a sashimi plate with sea bean salad and blood orange vinaigrette. Or arctic berry-crusted venison. (The cost? $68 for the fish and meat menu; $55 for the vegetarian one. Each can be paired with appropriate wines for $27 per person. And there's always the option to add oysters, caviar, or both.) Invariably our readers go. Invariably they write back: It was a miracle, it was a marvel, it was magnificent. Then they run out of synonyms for ecstasy, and fade away. Meanwhile, we sit here and wait patiently, so patiently, for a reader to finally invite us along for the ride.

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