Café Levain’s Sunday Suppers … I dare you to say that seven times fast! Actually, if you indulge in the three-course treat, you will be too busy enjoying the simple but savory fare to bother with tongue twisters.
Upon the recommendation of a foodie friend, I made reservations for Café Levain’s “Sunday Suppers” while visiting the University of Minnesota campus with my son. I am often skeptical of prix fixe menu options, but Café Levain made me a believer in the concept that a good value can still mean a top quality dining experience.
My friend let the chef (a friend of her husband’s) know we would be dining with him that evening, and we were welcomed with a complimentary prosecco (with the non-alcoholic option for my high school-aged son), a nice touch to start the evening. The ambience was reminiscent of a Paris bistro, warm and cozy, with a simple yet enticing menu. I had browsed the menu on the website beforehand, and when I saw that a couple of the dishes I had hoped to try were options for the three-course special, I was sold.
I started off with the Mushroom Brodo, with an amazingly flavorful broth.
For the main course, my son ordered the roasted chicken and I had the short ribs. Both entrées were served over a potato puree with cider-braised cabbage, and the flavors of the entrées and sides complemented each other beautifully. Chef Adam’s recipe for Braised Beef Short Ribs with Port Reduction is on the Cafe Levain website. This dish has received rave reviews from numerous critics and food bloggers, with good reason.
While I should not have had room for dessert, I never say “no” to crème brûlée, and this one was definitely worth making room for. My son had the banana bread pudding and he usually says “no” to dessert, but did not leave a bit on his plate.
The service was attentive, the dining room casual and relaxed without losing a sense of refinement. For $25.00, the three-course “Sunday Suppers” menu was a steal! And the pours with the wine pairings (for a reasonable additional charge) were generous and well-matched. Whether Sunday, or any day, I highly recommend this hidden gem in South Minneapolis. I know we will return.
Ciao! ~ Kat