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5 Best Bets for Restaurant Week in the Twin Cities

It's that time of the year again when restaurants across the Twin Cities put together a variety of budget-friendly prix fixe menus. This time around, MSP Magazine's Restaurant Weekhas added a few newbies to the roster of RW regulars, giving you the opportunity to get out and try something new without breaking the bank.

We've scoured the list of participating restaurants and put together a pretty solid guide to places you should check out -- especially if you don't dine out much or find yourself at the same table in the same joint every date night. Restaurant Week is the perfect excuse to break the trend.

See also: The Third Bird gives comfort food the highbrow treatment

5. The Third Bird, 1612 Harmon Place, Minneapolis One of Restaurant Week's first-time participants, this Loring Park restaurant has been earning high marks since opening a few short months ago. This is the perfect opportunity to get in and see what the hype is all about. Enjoy a full three-course dinner for $30 featuring your choice of Caesar salad or beef tartare, a beautiful, wild sockeye salmon or a creamy black truffle risotto, and a cherry pavlova or a creme brûlée.

4. Public Kitchen & Bar, 229 E. Sixth St., St. Paul For those of you looking for a new option over on the other side of the river, look to Public Kitchen & Bar. This newly renovated Lowertown location is serving up modern American cuisine to accommodate an array of palates and preferences. Highlights from their Restaurant Week menu include braised lamb shank empanadas, a cassoulet-style dish with duck confit, pork belly, and giant white beans, and for your sweet tooth, a delectable maple cheesecake.

3. The Foreign Legion, 105 S. Fifth St., Minneapolis Noticeably absent from this fall's list of restaurants are chef Russel Klein's Brasserie Zentral and longtime Restaurant Week participant Meritage. Fret not, however, because Klein's newest establishment, the Foreign Legion, is on the list and they're offering up a pretty fun approach to Restaurant Week. Fifteen dollars gets you two picks off an extended list of delicious eats, including a chef's selection of cured meats, cheeses, a green apple grilled cheese, and a kaffeehaus caramel-creme.

2. 128 Cafe, 128 Cleveland Ave. N., St. Paul Heading back to St. Paul, we're looking at the 128 Cafe. A little over a year ago the restaurant underwent a change in ownership, and if you haven't been back since then, now is the time to get reacquainted. For Restaurant Week they're busting out the options. Select from four starters and four entrees, including a grass-fed beef tartare, a creamy mushroom soup, grilled mackerel with kim chee fried rice, or the 128 Cafe's classic baby back ribs.

1. Kyatchi, 3758 Nicollet Ave., Minneapolis If you're looking for something a little different and haven't had a chance to hit south Minneapolis's newest sushi spot, then Kyatchi is your Restaurant Week destination. Appetizer options include a konbu-infused salmon or a fresh seaweed salad, while entree offerings run the gamut from a sashimi or veggie bowl to one of the special Japanese-style hot dogs.

There are a lot of other strong options on this year's list -- longtime favorites Haute Dish, Saffron, and Vincent, for starters. But there are also a few more new options located out in the 'burbs, such as Coalition in Excelsior and McCoy's Public House in St. Louis Park. So get out there and let your adventurous self take over. Restaurant Week runs from October 19 to 24, so make your reservations ASAP!

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