BON VIVANT dining, magical evenings, and down-to-earth prices: It’s a numbers game in the Twin Cities, with two of the twin towns’ best choices for satisfying and affordable gourmet dining— one, as it happens, on each side of the river — sporting the unassuming names of their street addresses, three digits each.
What’s better than an evening at the urbane 112 Eatery, with its eclectic menu, unbelievably savory renditions of simple foods, terrific service, and the lovely glow of old brick and burnished wood decor in its two-level home in a historic Warehouse District building?
Maybe only the astoundingly good 128 Café, with its inventive and delicious takes on straightforward fare, friendly conviviality, and candlelit collegiality of cozy century-old digs across from the University of St. Thomas.
Both these chef-driven restaurants have drawn critical raves. If the Academy Awards included a category for Best Performance by a St. Paul restauranteur, it should go to 128 Cafe owner Jill Wilson, suggested Rick Nelson in the StarTribune. And the “fantastic food” served up by 112 Eatery’s chef Ian Becker, a regular James Beard nominee, is “as good as food gets in this town,” raved Andrew Zimmern (himself a celebrated chef) in MplsStPaul magazine.
112 Eatery | 112 N. 3rd Street, Minneapolis | 612-343-7696
1 Memorable Recent Dinner: A mix of appetizers to share, including sweet & sour crab salad, blue prawns with rooster mayo, and sea scallops with oyster mushrooms
128 Café | 128 N. Cleveland Avenue, St. Paul | 651-645-4128
1 Memorable Recent Dinner: The garlic-apple chutney-goat cheese thing, organic mixed green salad, and pan-roasted amish chicken with pistachio couscous.
Such a Deal: 3-course dinner special Sunday through Thursday–soup/salad, entree special, & dessert for $25