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Nightingale: A first look

Ready to sing, Nightingale opens for late nights and small plates
Ready to sing, Nightingale opens for late nights and small plates

We wasted no time dipping in to the new late-night spot Nightingale just off 25th and Lyndale. Nestled between Tree House Records and Bulldog, the Nightingale fits right in with this Mother Nature-inspired block of businesses. The new restaurant features small plates, late-night food hours, and some swank cocktails.

The plush interior belies the space's former life as a little grocery shop. The leather booths are sapphire blue, mixed with cream chairs and dark wood; it's a soothing color palette. There are just a few kitschy touches -- metal, sea-urchin-shaped wall pieces and a reclaimed card catalog acting as a hostess stand.


Ready to rock all night
Ready to rock all night
The menu is sectioned out between Snacks, Bruschetta, Plates, and Sweets. Prices range from $4 to $13. Snacks include items like fried chickpeas with Za'tar, duck soup dumplings, deviled eggs, olives, and a pickle plate.

Our server recommended the bruschetta ($6). The toasted bread was topped with roasted oyster mushrooms, cut in half. Each half was topped with a sunny-side-up, teensy little quail egg.

Quail eggs clearly win the cute contest in the ovum world
Quail eggs clearly win the cute contest in the ovum world
  
The salt-and-pepper prawns for $12 were near the top of the plates prices, but the head-on shrimp were a hefty size in a generous batter. Served alongside a sweet chile sauce, they're filling. The crispy, fat batter hugs the tender, moist shrimp and works nicely as the perfect foil for a cocktail.

Look into my eyes. I will satisfy your hunger
Look into my eyes. I will satisfy your hunger

We sampled the Alabama Worley, a divine sip of autumn made with Maker's Mark mixed with a little cinnamon and brown sugar simple syrup.

The French fries ($5)  were fresh from the fryer, served with a creamy, garlic-spiked aioli.  

Thai inspired mega-wings
Thai inspired mega-wings

The wings are $8 for four full wings. They're tossed in a sweet ginger-soy sauce with scallions, and thinly sliced jalapeno give it a Thai-inspired zing.

Nightingale is open Tuesday through Saturday from 4 p.m. to 2 a.m. (food is served till 1 a.m.) and Sunday, which features brunch, from 10 a.m. to 2 a.m. Which means -- holy cats -- there's somewhere to go past 8 p.m. on a Sunday!  Music to our ears.

Nightingale
2551 Lyndale Ave.,Minneapolis

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