BEST RESTAURANT FOR APPETIZERS - 2006
Cafe and Bar Lurcat
1624 Harmon Place
Minneapolis, MN 55403
The coolest place in town, the prettiest snacks around—Café Lurcat raises the bar. With its wide-angle view of charming Loring Park and its spare, dramatic 21st-century Deco interior, Café Lurcat serves an eclectic selection of noshes, nibbles, snacks, and apps to match its refined menu of grown-up drinks (real Martinis) and more than 200 wines. Sure, Lurcat has great people-watching (and people-phone-number-requesting), but there's a strong argument to be made that appetizers are Lurcat's main charm. Take the warm cheddar cheese puffs, served snug in a thick white linen napkin, these airy pockets of melting cheese are both retro-cocktail party and damn good. Delicate panko-coated calamari is flaky and tender (not a bit chewy) and delicious dunked in a tangy chili-citrus sauce. This place takes crab cakes seriously—fat patties of crab meat, deftly seasoned, pan-fried dark and crisp. The salads are smart: The frisee one is classy and expansive, made rich with poached egg and tart with Sherry wine vinegar. If it's a show you seek, order the seafood platter—a tiered fantasy of Gulf shrimp, Maine lobster, mussels, and oysters. Deliciously whimsical two-bite mini-burgers, marvelous French fries with silky Bearnaise—all tongues considered, this place is a kick.