downtown minneapolis restaurants

A Weekend Trip to Minneapolis from Sacramento

Cafe Lurcat in Loring Park

Elizabeth Weintraub and Amy Kamenick at Cafe Lurcat in Minneapolis

In another life my husband and I used to live in Minneapolis, where I am originally from. You can pick up the Minnesota accent in my speech still, even though I have lived in other states, including that place south of us known as Orange County, which is a state onto itself. My sister and niece live in south Minneapolis, and since we haven’t seen them for a while, we decided to combine the opportunity to see several bands we love playing in town on Saturday with a visit to see my family for the weekend.

It’s only a 3-hour direct flight on Delta from Sacramento to Minneapolis. Even if you don’t have family in town, it’s a cosmopolitan city with plenty to do and see. You barely have time to settle into your seat, enjoy lunch and you’re touching down at Minneapolis / St. Paul International Airport. Although, I have to add that I was astonished that Delta does not serve champagne, so no Mimosa for me. It dawned on me that I probably fly Hawaiian Airlines more than I do Delta.

The Crosstown traffic was bearable but I-35 was backed up, and adorned on both sides of the freeway with newer “sound” walls. I recall when I-35 wasn’t there and people used to live along First Avenue without the freeway, and now those houses are razed. It’s always strange going home because home is never as you left it, even when you live there all the time. Things change, you get used to it, and memories fade.

Vincent A Restaurant

Baked Petrale Sole at Vincent A Restaurant

I had tried to find a nice restaurant for dinner with my sister and a friend from Adam’s days at the Minneapolis Business Journal, Amy. We settled on Vincent A Restaurant, on 11th and Nicollet. The waiter served me a Manhattan with a plain maraschino cherry which, surprisingly, was not an Amarena. You expect more from a top-rated restaurant. My doubts were erased when the baked petrale sole arrived, accompanied by Morel mushrooms, pickled ramps and green beans. The sole was absolutely delightful, especially when pared with the IGP-Var Domaine de Triennes, 2013, a crisp Provencal Rose.

The dessert, a butterscotch caramel, was like unwrapping a salted caramel and savoring it as the candy melts in your mouth. Splashed down with a 20-year Tawny.

Because we were still on California time, the night was young in Minneapolis. We walked over to what used to be the Loring Cafe: a quirky, eclectic restaurant near Loring Park with softwood floors and an interior that used to look like a rummage sale. It is now Cafe Lurcat, still expensive, but featuring a better wine list and outdoor seating. There we met a couple of 6-degrees-from-Kevin-Bacon friends, including a guy in town from Napa. The photo at the top of this page is of Amy and me at Cafe Lurcat in Loring Park.

In case you’re wondering, we have house sitters caring for our home in Land Park and the 3 cats that occupy it. That arrangement, plus in-flight WiFi, is what lets this Sacramento Realtor sneak out of town every so often.

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