Tag Archives: cafe

King’s Wine Bar – Minneapolis

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When driving through the Kingfield neighborhood of Minneapolis, I came across Kings Wine Bar. Since we don’t really have a good wine bar in our neighborhood south of the river, I just had to take Rob here for a nightcap after dinner one night.

We loved it. It kind of reminds me of a neighborhood café you’d find in Paris. You know, the kind where they have full-service: beer, wine, food and coffee. I imagined sitting here for hours sipping a coffee while meeting a friend, blogging or just reading a good book. In the evening, the place is dimly lit, creating great ambiance.

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I guess that the trouble with going there for a nightcap is that food must be ordered in order to serve alcohol. It’s a requirement as part of their liquor license for locating in a residential neighborhood. While it would be nice to just stop in for a glass of wine from time to time, I totally get it. If people didn’t eat and just drank all night, they could be loud, obnoxious and disturb the other neighbors.

Since then, we’ve gone back a few times. In fact, I’ve taken girlfriends here for dessert after our dinner nights out, too! On one occasion, Rob and I put in an order for mac & cheese with our wine and the tried the dessert special.

MAC & CHEESE  full $10 || half $8 add bacon $2 || add broccoli $2 || mushrooms $3

MAC & CHEESE

Dessert Special: Butterscotch Budino

Dessert Special – Butterscotch Budino

Since Rob absolutely adores butterscotch, we were excited about this dessert. Unfortunately, we were disappointed. No biggie though, everyone else who has been there with me has enjoyed the desserts there.

It’s a Wine Bar! What about the wine?

There are four beers on tap at any given time which are often local or craft brews. But many other beers are offered in the bottle or the can.

The wine list is pretty extensive for a little neighborhood wine bar. I mean, how many of you can walk to one in your neighborhood and order a bottle of Sancerre or Amarone? There are over 20 wines offered by the glass and over 100 by the bottle. They offer a hefty pour of Port, too!

But despite all of these offerings, this place is in no way stuffy. In fact, the people who work there are kind of quirky. I like that. A lot.

Still, the food shouldn’t be overlooked! {You have to try it if you want some wine or beer, anyway.} We wound up here when my mom was in town. She wanted to try a Café Cubano and my google search yielded Victors 1959 Café. We decided on it for breakfast/brunch. However, it was Memorial Day and the wait seemed like it would be hours for such a small place. After driving around, we happened upon Kings and having been there before, we knew it would be a good choice.

GRILLED CHEESE mozzarella, cheddar and gruyere with tomato soup

GRILLED CHEESE – mozzarella, cheddar and gruyere with tomato soup

And while I thought it was tasty {exceptional bread, possibly from Patisserie 46 next door?!}, I was quite envious of my mom’s and Rob’s orders. How could I know they’d make an exceptional burger?

KINGS BURGER caramelized onions, gruyere cheese, bacon, pickles and shallot aioli $11

KINGS BURGER – caramelized onions, gruyere cheese, bacon, pickles and shallot aioli

Burger of the week? Blue cheese or mushroom sauce?

Burger with Blue Cheese Mushroom Sauce

I can’t find this burger on their online menu now!!! How annoying is that? I considered this a top burger in the Twin Cities and I *think* Rob agreed. That day, there was a burger and beer special. A burger plus a beer for just $10. That’s a pretty good deal in our area. I wonder if I it was a specialty burger or if I could order it again.

And you know how I mentioned that we enjoy the Port here? I don’t think we’ve ever patronized this place without one of us ordering a glass of Port. I can’t think of many other places where that is the case. But that day that we were there with my mom, our server, Lori, told us that when she was in a band that performed in Portugal and loved her experience stopping at all the vineyards where you could enjoy Port and tapas with the beautiful view. We loved her passion and you must know that is now on our travel bucket list!

We love that in the Twin Cities, Kings Wine Bar is not well-known, or at least we hadn’t learned of it until I drove by the place. But there’s so much going on there! One time there was a doggie parade in the neighborhood. And they offer brunch and date night. It’s just one of those places where I find myself drawn to dine. I feel content here.

Now you know why I chose Café Ena for dinner one night. I knew Rob enjoyed Kings as much as I did, so trying another place across the street was difficult.

What is your favorite Wine Bar {or place to drink wine if you aren’t near one!} where you live?

Cheers~
Carrie

R.I.P. Pardon My French

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Oh Pardon My French, how we loved you!

You were where we took out-of-town guests. Why? It didn’t matter what time of day, we could come and get omelets, sandwiches, your wonderful tartes flambées or just have coffee or wine. We could sit as long as we wanted. Pass the time. Catch up.

And the pastries. Oh, the pastries!

Although they were twice the size of what you’d actually find in overseas, those pastries still gave this francophile a taste of France.

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On Saturday, I saw the following posted on Facebook by Pardon My French, a bakery café and wine bar in Eagan:

Thank you to all our loyal and valued customers. Due to circumstances that are outside of our reach we are closing and we were just notified of the situation less then 48hrs ago. We would like to honor any gift card that is out there and would ask that you please come in and redeem it by 4:00 P.M. Sunday 1/13/13. Sorry for the inconvenience we would not have sold any cards knowing that we were closing.

I was seriously stunned and saddened. We were on our way to a party and I was trying to figure out how I could get to PMF on its final day. It had been a while since we’d been there.

But we couldn’t make it. And I hadn’t even had a chance to write a Restaurant Impression. So this good-bye will have to be it.

Good-bye, Wine Bar – one of the few with reasonably priced wines…

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Good-bye to the breads that went beyond your usual French baguette…

Good-bye, peasant bread with the cheese baked inside that my husband so adored…

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Good-bye, Prosciutto Déjà Vu Sandwich…

If I ever have one like it again, my déjà vu flashback will bring me back to you.

Good-bye, side of greens dressed with that sweet vinaigrette…

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Good-bye, Haute Ham…

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Good-bye, sandwich case with all of the others I had been meaning to try…750

Good-bye, chocolate truffles and macaroons…

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Good-bye, cookie case that I always overlooked because of the pastries….756Good-bye, Éclairs, Napoléons, Fruit Tarts, Opéra Cakes, Caramelise and Triolgie Chocolate Cakes…

You were hits at every party to which we brought you…

752Good-bye to one of my favorite non-chocolate desserts – the Strawberry Napoléon

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Farewell, Pardon My French.

Merci Beaucoup.

We will miss you.

Acadia Cafe – Minneapolis

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Last night we went to a concert at the 400 Bar in Minneapolis. If you haven’t heard of Shovels and Rope, you need to check them out! We’ve been listening to their music ever since we heard them on 89.3 The Current. I was more excited to go to this concert than I have been to see one in a long time! They didn’t disappoint.

In any case, a friend of ours recommended that we have a couple of drinks and/or dinner at the Acadia Cafe beforehand. It’s just kitty-corner from the 400 bar, so we could park once and walk over.

Acadia’s motto:

No Crap on Tap!

As a beer snob, this appeals to me.

The tap beers include a nice selection of local (Home), other domestic (Away) and international (Far Away) craft and unique brews. There’s even a cask ale. At least one of us will order the cask if there is ever one on tap! Of course, these taps change, so they keep them handily listed on the chalkboard on the wall:

The have a large selection of bottled beers, too.

We ordered a round of Pumpking Ales by Southern Tier, because it is one of those beers that when you find it on tap, You Must Have It. Our local liquor store sold out of it by the bottle well before mid-October. So this was a treat.

For food, we started with the cheese curds. Rob likes to order these whenever they are on the menu anywhere. Then he likes to give them a thumbs up or thumbs down. {Also know as “MMM!!” or “meh”.}

Cheese CurdsBeer-battered in our very own kitchen with fresh tap beer and secret spices!” $5.75

They were pretty good! I liked the “spices”, but couldn’t quite place what they were. No matter. I wouldn’t be screaming, “Season It Already!” here.

Rob ordered:

The Acadia Grilled Cheese – “A yummy combo of garlic and cheese. We spread our house-made aioli on toasted multi-grain and melt three cheeses – cheddar, Swiss & parmesan – with fresh tomato.” $6.35  or add bacon for $1.

I took more than a bite. This was pretty good as far as grilled cheese goes. It seemed only one side was toasted though. I could have done without the bacon Rob ordered and he could have done without the tomato.

As for the fries? They are described as “soaked in a vinegary bath overnight”. But really, they just tasted overcooked. Rob said they may have made his Top 10 Worst Fries list, which I didn’t even know existed. Then he went on to finish off the cheese curds. 😉

I ordered:

GLBT  – “Just a little twist on your straight BLT. This comes with our house-made guacomole.” $7.40

I love the clever name of this sandwich! But that isn’t what made me order it. It was The Guac. And I was underwhelmed. I could barely taste it… until I took the sandwich apart and took a bite of just the bread. The multi-grain sandwich bread they use here is pretty good, though. The side salad I ordered instead of fries wasn’t a show-stopper, but better than your average iceberg lettuce salad.

Overall, I would say that the food was good. Nothing mind-blowing, but worth it if you are coming in for the beer. {Yes, we sampled more than just one!}

What I loved about the ambiance of this place was that it really reminded me of an artsy café, where you’d get a cup of coffee. It was a little dark inside and the clientele was a bit alternative and eclectic. I like that. I also like the fact that unlike many bars that serve this number of tap beers is that there are NO TVs! Sure, as a Packer fan, it’s obvious that I do like watching sports from time to time. However, sometimes I’d just like a little conversation when I’m out with my husband. Sometimes, I’d rather he not be staring at a TV screen all night, ya know?

Acadia Cafe has it’s own line-up of live music and DJs as well as nightly specials. For example, right now Mondays are 2-for-1 bottles of beer or half-priced bottle of wine night.

We will be back… to try different food, to sample more craft brews and to enjoy the ambience.

What’s more, is when we crossed the street to the 400 Bar, we expected to encounter CRAP ON TAP. But such was not the case. They had a few good brews over there, too. Not too shabby of a night if you ask me!

Do you have a favorite neighborhood café? If so, what makes it unique?

Cheers~
Carrie