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Victory 44 (Mpls Restaurant)

otc

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http://www.victory-44.com/vhome.html

Newer restaurant in mpls that I had the pleasure of going to twice in the last couple of weeks when I was in town for christmas and new years.
It is a small restaurant with a rapidly changing menu and no waiters (the chefs also take orders and serve to keep costs down). 1-2 word descriptions of the dishes are written on chalkboards and erased when the dish is sold out.

The first visit, we went through a group of shared plates (I'm going to forget the details as it was before christmas). Had a charcuterie platter with several excellent pieces of meat (all made in house)--cured pork loin, liver sausage, head cheese, mortadella, and a few others that were quite tasty. With that were some fried oysters that were pretty interesting (not usually an oyster fan).
Then there were 3 more substantial items
-French Toast with Foie Gras. French toast points with some sort of peanut/hazelnut-butter sauce and slices of foie gras torchon.
-Pork Loin done sous vide. I can't remember what vegetable landed on the plate but there were a few blue cheese tater tots with it.
-Little bay scallops and ravioli. Excellent scallops and a few pieces of ravioli with a filling that I can no longer identify.
Finally there was a dessert tray that included a pre-dessert (really just more dessert...). I'm not usually a restaurant dessert fan but I liked almost everything that came out on these trays. I am a big peanut butter fan so the peanut butter bacon cookies and the peanut buttery sauce that came on another dessert were awsome.
With the meal, I was drinking Surly Smoke on tap--it is definitely not a normal drinking beer but I thought the super smokey flavor was great with all of the cured and flavorful meats.

I went back again on Sunday for their $5 burger special. This is the opposite end of the restaurant's spectrum...they serve their "Perfect Burger" with bacon fat fries and apparently also make a phenomenal reuban (if you are into that kind of thing). Instead of lots of small plates (I think they also do a 5-course tasting menu), it is a tasty meal on one plate--and only $5 on sundays. The burger was pretty good (my parents had eaten the burger on a non-special night and it sounds like it might have been a bit better) and the fries were worth the $5 alone.

Having the chefs do the table service was nice--while a good restaurant should have waiters who can talk about the food, it is a nice conversation to have with one of the actual chefs.

Here is an article with a food photo (as I took none)

If you are in the area, it is definitely worth stopping in. Prices are surprisingly low (the french toast easily had more of the foie torchon on the side than a more expensive foie-only appetizer in chicago would give you) and waits were short when I was there.
 

Sazerac

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You had me at French toast with Foie Gras. God DAMN.

I'm on Orbitz now.
 

Cary Grant

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V44 is doing some very good food. We've been twice, once when they were crowded and service suffered. The other time for Sunday brunch/lunch. It's hella far away from me (far east side) and I went with some trepidation knowing their other project is the abject failure that is The Kitchen in Stillwater.
 

Sazerac

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Any other recommendations for Mpls? I'm going there to visit my brother next month and would love to get to know that fantastic city again. (I went to uni there and remain a dedicated fan of Nye's.)
 

Cary Grant

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What're you looking for? Price? What part of town will you be in primarily?

The Twin Cities is a very good foodie town from gritty like Hell's Kitchen for breakfast to La Belle Vie if you wanna drop $500. There's good hole-in-the-wall Mexican in South St. Paul... good Pho along university at $4 a bowl... several good sushi places, old-worl steak and cocktails...
All up/down hennepin a number of good spots... many good locally-sourced spots... Lyn-Lake neighborhood is coming along. Great wine bar in Stillwater (Domacin)...
 

Sazerac

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Downtown Minneapolis, mainly. My brother has a bar in St. Paul, so whenever I'm on the East Side I just eat there.

Price range should be on the more gourmet end. I love hole in the wall joints as much as the next guy, but I want to impress the wife.
 

Nil

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Travail Kitchen & Amusements - Run by former Victory 44 chefs. I've only been once but I liked it a bit better than V44.
Piccolo - Small plates, really good.
Saffron - Middle Eastern food. The chef competed on Iron Chef.
112 Eatery - Downtown. Probably my favorite place in the Cities in this category.
Heartland - Locally sourced/farm direct food.
Restaurant Alma
Cafe Lurcat
Vincent - Haven't been, but it has a good reputation.
Bar La Grassa - Same as above.

That's about the extent of my knowledge of the "fine" dining here in the Cities. I tend to go to ethnic places 90% of my time, so it's a bit limited.
 

Cary Grant

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^^Some good recommendations.

Saffron is excellent.
Alma is always very good.
112 is where the chefs tend to eat after hours... used to be anyway.
Heartland moved this year to downtown St. Paul- I don't think it's as good as the old location... still nice.
Vincent- I don't get the love of this place. I've had some very average food and service.

For impressing, certainly think about La Belle Vie. http://www.labellevie.us/the-restaurant.html
You can order off the full menu from the lounge which is how most go. Or do the dining room for the whole smack. The tasting menus run about $120-150pp with the wine flight.
the maple fois and the goat cheese tart


You might also do Red Stag: http://www.redstagsupperclub.com/ Also big on local farm-to-table. I hear the Friday Night Fish Fry is good.




Sazerac- what is your brother's place? PM me if you want. I work in St. Paul.
 

spertia

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I've only been to Mpls once (couple of months ago), and I had dinner at an "upscale" place called Cosmos. No idea what the locals think of it, but I really enjoyed the experience. Cool modern decor, great service, inventive menu.
 

Cary Grant

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Cosmos- used to be where the "hip" hang out. Nice space, food is good. You'd spot the NBA players there from time to time...

Haven't been in some while myself.
 

Sazerac

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My brother runs Tom Reid's. It's a hockey pub with good soups on the weekdays.

And thanks, all, for the recommendations. I moved away from there eighteen years ago, but in the last few years everyone seems to be talking about how great Mpls is. Good to hear the food scene is picking up, too.
 

Nil

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One of the better parts of the burdgeoning Mpls food scene is that nothing is expensive. La Belle Vie is at the top end and even that isn't bad compared to other cities out there. It makes eating well when going out quite affordable.
 

Cary Grant

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Originally Posted by Sazerac
My brother runs Tom Reid's. It's a hockey pub with good soups on the weekdays.

And thanks, all, for the recommendations. I moved away from there eighteen years ago, but in the last few years everyone seems to be talking about how great Mpls is. Good to hear the food scene is picking up, too.


Heh- was just there a few weeks ago. Big Wild hang-out.

I forget who, Food & Wine or Saveur or somebody named the three or four best food cities outside of New York and Portland and Minneapolis made the list.
 

Cary Grant

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Happened to be in the neighborhood and had lunch at V44 yesterday. Again, they're doing some really good work. The menu (chalk board) is basically all small plates that you mix and match... had the standard house "bacon fries" as usual, a really nice butternut squash soup thta did a great job of straddling Indian and Thai influences and finally their take on trotters.

They're definitely a bit into the gastropub/experimentation mode but the flavors and preps were good and price was reasonable.
 

otc

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I was sent a video today of Victory 44 I think I will be back in town sometime soon and I will definitely hit it up again.
 

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