Eating Out: Cafe Vin

A couple of our closest friends invited us to dinner at Cafe Vin, popular for their spot-on classic French cuisine. We'd driven by the place a hundred times and we're eager to finally step inside. When we entered I couldn't help but feel transported. The atmosphere was very provincial and pared down, warm and intimate.

The menu is about twenty five items long (a great sign) accompanied by a few rotating desserts like salty caramel ice cream and tarte tatin.

We ordered a couple appetizers (Calamari $7.45 and Price Edward Island Mussels $11.95, although we did strongly consider the Frog Legs $7.95) and a bottle of wine while we reviewed the entree choices. I scanned that one page menu over and over. There were so many things I wanted to try!

While still weighing my options we dug into the crisp, salty calamari and we slowly disassembled each and every mussel. Both were glorious! We sopped up every last bit of the shallot, wine and garlic liquid we could with baguette slices. The flavors were perfect and the simplicity was authentic.

It came time to place our entree orders and I decided on the dish that was making my mouth water the most. I ordered the Pistachio Pork Tenderloin accompanied by fingerling potatoes with lardon and a cleverly sweet saba and orange reduction ($18.95). My other half ordered the Braised Beef Short Ribs accompanied by haricot vert and roasted red potatoes with an appropriately tart balsamic glaze ($21.95). We ordered another bottle of vino to accompany our meal.  When the meal came the smells were incredible. The air was filled with the scent of oranges wafting up from my plate. All four of us cleaned our plates and sat back in our chairs chatting about what we enjoyed most about our respective meals.

When the server came around with a dessert menu we all had a chuckle, thinking we couldn't possibly make room. After reviewing the choices we eventually gave in and ordered a French staple, tarte tatin.  We all indulged in the intensely flavored pastry just a little bit.  It was the perfect ending to a fantastic meal.  I would go back again and again and again...

Rating: A

Cafe Vin, 5555 Xerxes Avenue South, Minneapolis
(612) 922-0100


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