On this months edition of DiFfErEnT DiSh, it was my turn to surprise and treat Nellie to a special date night. After all, we were celebrating our first year of marriage (5/25/2013). I wanted something classy and fun, yet I wanted it to be unique. So I dug around a little bit and found a new Twin Cities hotspot that I felt would be the perfect place. So I put my plan in motion by calling in a reservation for 5:30PM that night.
Nestled in a vibrant nook Downtown Minneapolis is where this trendy gem is located, Cafe & Bar Lurcat. Conveniently our anniversary landed on a Sunday this year and it seemed too perfect that this restaurant offered a special date night that aligned. So weekly on Sundays they offer a really great deal for couples; a three coarse meal for both and their selection of a red, white or bubbly. All of this for only $50!
When I placed the reservation, I also made a note to inquire as to the dress attire which they readily offered up as clean and casual. So the queen and I both cleaned up but dressed in our street attire. As we often do, we were running a good 10 minutes late, so I called in to ensure that we would not lose our place and the hostess was very charming and sweet. It was no problem and soon there after we were arriving. Parking was a snap and though they don’t have a ton of free parking slots, there were plenty of pay meters available and that really doesn’t bother me much.
After getting the entrance doors mixed up we eventually found our way in and were warmly greeted. We were then escorted through the restaurant from one side to the other and sat at a cute table for two. It was impressive how large the interior was and how the space was used. There almost appeared to be three main dining spaces and an outside patio. I recall Nellie and I discussing how great it would be to reserve one of their rooms for a large party or celebration. It was a beautiful interior that gave a welcoming and modern yet rustic feel to it.
A service staff member ensured that our waters were filled and that our server would be right with us. Good service so far! Our table was right next to a large window which seemed to be a theme for the wall facing the street. This feature gave great natural lighting and also a sweet view of Loring Park and the surrounding area. Across the room was an open kitchen where you were able to see many different artisan chefs busily working and preparing their work stations. Seeing all that they were doing, made you feel like the food was going to be really great.
Soon our server for the evening greeted us and made sure that we knew a little about the place. Quickly we decided upon the date night special and he proceeded to walk us through the menu recommending a few dishes in particular. See the picture collage a little further below to see the options that we selected. We decided against a bottle of wine and instead Nell wanted a Red Sangria, yummy! He took $15 off our tab and just charged us for the drinks separately, not bad. Shortly after taking off to fulfill our order in their POS system, his assistant delivered to us a basket of hot fresh-baked baguette style bread. It really was some of the best I have had.
We found it rather unique that servers at the Lurcat also had their own assistance to help keep service at a premium. It was much welcomed and together they made a great team at delivering our food, keeping our glasses full and table clean. Each course had an incredible amount of flavor and pleasant textures, some would say that it really was cooked to perfection! As we chatted and shared each of our dishes with each other Nellie and I were able to reminisce on our first year of being married. With our successes and shortcomings, we together realize that it is things like ‘Date Night’ that keep relationships going.
By the time we were wrapping up our dinner at around 7:15PM, the place had quickly filled out with couples, some coming as double-dates. Everyone seemed to be in a really good mood, perhaps it was the good deal, maybe the wine or if not that then hopefully cause they were all spending a little time with their significant other. The Sunday special for couples is the way to go. For a first-timer to the Lurcat, it provides an affordable way to experience a top-notch gourmet restaurant and for those that frequent it allows a great way to unwind without breaking the bank.
Soon it was desert time and we both ordered what we wanted and enjoyed the sweet and chocolatey end to our date. This gentleman paid the tab and thanked our wait staff.
Cafe Bar Lurcat – Recap:
- Food – 5/5 stars
- Decor – 4/5 stars
- Music – 3/5 stars (**note this score reflects my wife’s opinion, neither of us recall it being significantly note worthy, chill background music that allows conversation between couples flow**)
- Service – 5/5 stars
- Price – $$$
Till next time, this was DiFfErEnT DiSh – May 2014!