Do you have a running list of "must eat" spots, but you never seem to find an occasion to visit them? Well bust out your pens and get ready to start crossing things off. MPLS/St.Paul Magazine's Restaurant Week is upon us (now through October 25) and the menus at this year's participating places are chic and cheap.
Reservations are recommended for most and you can find the full list of restaurants here, but we have a few favorite picks.
Barbette - 1600 W. Lake St., Minneapolis
The lunch at Uptown's charming casual French bistro sounds stellar. For $10 you can start with your choice of cream of cauliflower soup or a Bibb lettuce salad; followed by either a classic comforting beef Bourguignon or elegant galette of caramelized onions and butternut squash. For dessert they're doing a seasonally appropriate pumpkin cheesecake with pumpkin seed brittle.
Scusi - 1806 St. Clair Ave., St. Paul
Family-friendly Italian restaurant Scusi in St. Paul is doing a hearty $30 dinner with first course options of speck with robiola and fig, crostini with artichoke dip, or arancini with red pepper sauce; lobster lasagna with tarragon and fennel, rigatoni with eggplant and ricotta salata, or steak with roasted potatoes and creamed spinach for the main course; and pumpkin mascarpone torta, affogatto with Izzy's salted caramel ice cream, or caramel apple spice cake for dessert.
Masu Sushi and Robata at the Mall of America - MOA, Bloomington
Make it a cheap date night at the MOA with a movie and $15 dinner. Masu's menu includes an option of either miso soup or seaweed salad as an appetizer; big ol' bowl of Tonkatsu curry ramen with poached egg or a Firecracker roll and chef's choice of nigiri; and tempura ice cream with wild blueberry puree for dessert.
Corner Table - 4257 Nicollet Ave. S., Minneapolis
Foodie favorite Corner Table in Kingfield is offering dinner only, but the $30 menu is flush with options. Choose from mushroom soup, beet salad, or pork belly with chow chow for your first course; braised brisket with polenta, pistachio-crusted cod with curried cauliflower, gnocchi with squash and sage, or a meaty take on classic cassoulet with white beans, pork belly, sausage, and duck confit as your entree. For the final course they're offering creme caramel, chocolate crémeux, or signature sweet potato donuts.
Haute Dish - 119 Washington Ave. N., Minneapolis
Iron Fork's 2012 winning chef Landon Schoenefeld created a $30 dinner menu for this special occasion that showcases several of the restaurant's most popular refined and re-invented Midwestern comfort dishes. Start with a steak house style salad, steak tartare with a Bloody Mary oyster shooter, or selection of charcuterie; follow with the Flavor Country burger, Tater Tot HauteDish, or German-style roast chicken. Side choices for entrees include the seafood pumpkin panang curry stew, pork and beans, or truffle mac and cheese with taleggio cheese and king crab.
Sea Change - 806 S. 2nd St., Minneapolis
Sustainable seafood restaurant Sea Change is offering a special menu for lunch that includes a crab cake BLT, but our pick is the $30 dinner. The appetizer is an heirloom tomato dish with ricotta cheese, peaches, and black olives. The entree course is a choice of either Arctic char with white beans and artichokes or chicken with country ham, gratin, and collard greens. They're doing a date streusel tart with house made honey ice cream for dessert.