Café Lurcat — March 13, 2010

16 03 2010

Café Lurcat
1624 Harmon Place
Minneapolis
www.cafelurcat.com

After viewing the menu online, I was skeptical but trusted Jim’s insistence that everyone was probably right – we had to give Café Lurcat the chance to enchant us. To celebrate my mom’s visit to the cities and mark her birthday with urban scene and sophistication, we figured the chic fixtures and stunning view of Loring Park would charm her if the food failed to do so. Instead, all the elements – exquisite food, gracious service and delicate lighting enveloping us inside the café – fashioned a breathtaking experience.

Apple, Chive & Cheese Salad

To begin, my mom and Jim each tried Lurcat’s specialty: julienne apple tossed with shreds of manchego cheese and chives. The apple was juicy and crisp, and while the cheese was light, the salad’s fantastic flavor came from the subtle notes of each component. My starter was the roasted chicken, garlic, paprika and orzo soup. The garlic flavor was distinct within the paprika-infused broth and nicely complemented the shredded chicken and orzo that gave it bulk. It would pair nicely with a salad for a lighter dinner, contrary to our waitress’ advice (but had I trusted my instinct and skipped out on the entrée, I would have missed half of the magic at Cafe Lurcat).

Each of us ordered something different for the main course. The birthday honoree had the sea bass marinated in miso, a thick portion of white fish with a caramel glaze next to a nest of mixed greens. Jim ordered pork tenderloin medallions topped with blue cheese and roasted onions and drizzled with a fig compote. My smoked arctic char came alongside chive spaetzle — best described as splattered potato dumplings — with drippings of butter flavored with hot peppers. The talking ceased once the entrées were served, at least until we had each selfishly savored enough of our own dish to politely offer a taste. Clearly, our table was in consensus: the food was first class, and we would not leave a morsel for the waitress to clear.

Smoked Arctic Char with Chive Spaetzle

On top of the ambiance and sensational fare, the service was outstanding. In my online reservation, I noted that we were celebrating a birthday. Everyone from the host to the waitress and various wait staff stopped by to wish my mom well, and presented her a lighted birthday candle atop 6 mini sugared doughnuts at the end of our meal. It was a thoughtful (and absolutely ambrosial) gesture to top off our evening.

Café Lurcat casts its love spell from its stone wall path to the candlelit tables in the open dining room nearly surrounded by floor to ceiling windows. But its allure is justified in the fine execution of American cuisine with a creative twist.

RATING (out of 5 ♠♠♠♠♠)
Ambiance/Environment: ♠♠♠♠ 1/2
Menu Selection: ♠♠ 1/2
Service: ♠♠♠♠
Food Taste & Presentation: ♠♠♠♠ 1/2
COMPLETE EXPERIENCE: ♠♠♠♠

Total bill: Special occasion … we’re not telling!

Bar Lurcat on Urbanspoon

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