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Restaurant Week Summer 2011 offers great deals at 45 eateries

Porter & Frye is one of four new participants in Restaurant Week this summer.

Porter & Frye is one of four new participants in Restaurant Week this summer.

Mpls.St.Paul Magazine's Restaurant Week, which happens several times throughout the year, always offers a great opportunity to visit an old favorite restaurant that might usually be reserved for special occasions, or to venture into new territory and try out a place that has piqued your interest. Participating restaurants offer a reduced price on several different meal options, highlighting items that will give diners a good sense of their signature culinary style and specialties.

This year there are four new participating restaurants, bringing the grand total to 45 across the metro area. Read on to see who's new.

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Aji Japanese Restaurant in downtown Hopkins has several deals available. Their lunch offering for the week is an enticing all-you-can-eat sushi and salad bar (with miso or onion soup) for $10. Dinner guests can choose between two different three-course meals or the Chef's choice sushi platter (all of which include dessert) for $30.

The south metro comes up a little short on good restaurants, but the new outpost of Wayzata's Blue Point Restaurant in Bloomington hopes to reverse that trend. An updated, contemporary version of the original location, Blue Point boasts of having the "freshest seafood and raw bar" in the area. The ravioli with duck confit and chevre, caramelized fennel and local honey is an option on both the lunch ($10) and dinner ($30) menus.

If "confit" sounds a little out of your league, fear not. Hubert's Sports Bar & Grill's new warehouse district location is offering downtown workers a $10 lunch menu, which includes the choice of one of three starters and one of four entrees, all of which are firmly in the hearty bar food category. Deep fried Juicy Lucy, anyone?

Urbanites also have another upscale option in Porter & Frye, a white tablecloth restaurant located in the Ivy Tower. Operating on the higher end, the $20 lunch menu includes an entree choice of a Canadian walleye po'boy with sauce gribiche and sweet potato chips or a warm frisee salad with lamb bacon, roasted mushrooms, caramelized onions, truffle vin and a red wine-poached pheasant egg.

Of course, the list of participating restaurants still includes such favorites as The Oceanaire, Cafe Lurcat, Cosmos, and Meritage as well--restaurants that consistently top critics' best-of lists. If you haven't had the opportunity to sample some of the Twin Cities' finest dining, Restaurant Week is your chance. Reservations are available on the event's page on Mpls.St.Paul Magazine's website.

Mpls.St.Paul Magazine's Restaurant Week Summer 2011
July 10-15, 2011

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