Restaurant week is scheduled to run from Sunday, October 20 to Friday, October 25, with 36 restaurants participating in Minneapolis, St. Paul, and a few outlying suburbs. How it works: Participating restaurants offer a multi-course menu (with some options) for $10-$20 for lunch and $15-$30 for dinner. And just a friendly reminder: reservations are recommended at all spots on this list, especially if you're headed there for dinner.
But how to know if you're getting a deal or if you're just being strong-armed into three courses that you would never even order a la carte? We've parsed the list for you and come up with our best bets for getting the most out of restaurant week: places that give you options for each course, and also seem like they give you your money's worth. You can also see all the restaurant week menus here and judge for yourself.
Have a great meal at one of the restaurants on the list? Get a bum deal? Let us know in the comments, so we can all benefit from your restaurant week triumphs (or tales of woe).
1) Corner Table: A perennial restaurant week favorite, Corner Table offers three courses for $30 at Corner Table, filled with your choice of the housemade products that the restaurant is known for: mushroom soup with sage and crispy garlic, pistachio crusted trap caught cod, and more. Or go double pork belly with the crispy pork belly app and the cassoulet entree. Just be sure to order the sweet potato doughnut for dessert.
2) Red Stag: Hit up Kim Bartmann's Northeast supperclub for lunch and get two courses for $10. Choose between a reuben sandwich with house-cured corned beef or a wild mushroom risotto with truffle oil, and then finish with a roasted apple galette. (The Stag's got dinner, too, but lunch is the sweetest deal this time around.)
3) Saffron: As they've done in the past, Sameh Wadi's Middle Eastern restaurant is not only offering a $30 three-course menu, but also an optional $15 wine pairing. For the starter, pay the extra $3 and get the parsnip and lobster "bisque" (though we can't tell you what those quote marks mean). For the entree, pick between entrees from Greece (stewed lamb), Morocco (vegetable couscous), or France (bouillabaisse). Finish up with a roasted banana cake or vanilla panna cotta.
4) Heidi's: Before they close this iteration of Heidi's at the end of the year, it's a good time to pay a visit to Stewart and Heidi Woodman's Uptown restaurant. They're offering a somewhat inscrutable three-course dinner menu for $30—soup or salad; salmon or lamb; and rum or blueberry ice cream—but that's the same kind of descriptions you'll find on their normal menu (where the rum ice cream alone goes for $10).
5) Sea Change: Restaurant week offers a good chance to try out the sustainable seafood and precise plating at this downtown restaurant, located inside the Guthrie Theater. While Sea Change is offering both lunch (two courses for $20) and dinner (three courses for $30), dinner actually seems like the slightly better option, with more creative platings (dinner's appetizer is an heirloom tomato salad with peach, ricotta, and black olive versus lunch's Caesar salad). Just please promise us that you'll get the crisp skinned arctic char and not the chicken breast (tasty as it sounds) for your entree. It's called Sea Change, after all. Sea.
6) FireLake Grill House: New to Restaurant Week this time around, FireLake Grill House is offering a seemingly unbeatable lunch deal: three courses for $10, with four choices each for appetizer and entree. We're not sure how they're managing it, especially with appetizer choices like a smoked duck and flageolet bean soup and entrees like pit smoked duroc pork and a prime rib popover dip. If you're out by MOA, this would appear to be the lunch deal of all time.
7) Dakota: This downtown jazz club often runs under the foodie radar, but it's kitchen has been turning out creative and well-receive plates. For restaurant week, head to the Dakota at lunchtime for a $20 three-course meal of a beet terrine (with chevre mousse, pickled beet gel, sunflower tuile, pistachios, and microgreens), a braised lamb shank (with duchesse potato, carrot puree, brussels sprouts, and parsnip), and house made cookies. Dinner is $10 more and subs in a sweet potato tarte tartin at dessert time.
· Restaurant Week [Mpls.St.Paul Magazine]
· Where to Eat for Minneapolis/St. Paul Restaurant Week [Eater MPLS]