Renee Steve



Saffron

123 N. 3rd Street
Minneapolis

(612) 746-5533
Website


Date of Review
November 21, 2007

Good
Good


Entree Price:
$20 and up

Our Total Bill:
$95.08


Type:
Mediterranean/Middle Eastern

Reservations:
yes

Attire:
Casual/dressy

Parking:
street

Crumber:
Yes

WWGB:
Maybe for Happy Hour

Pepper: 5" silver
Renee's Side Steve's Side

  • Mirqaz Sausage red pepper confit and coriander $9.50 (shared)
  • Scallops - clams, artichokes and lemon-egg sauce $12.00
  • Haloumi Cheese - poached figs, frisee and sherry $5.50
  • Yogurt Cheese - beets, za’tar and extra virgin olive oil $5.50
  • Chocolate Ganache Cake - poached figs, spicy caramel ice cream, caramelized rice krispies $8.50 (shared)


We deviated slightly from our normal routine of going to a restaurant on Saturday. We decided to go on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving. I was a bit worried because Dara had just written about it in the City Pages, but it turns out there was not need to worry, we were one of two tables in the restaurant and there were only two couples at the bar.

I really liked my meal at Saffron. The sausage appetizer was interesting and very good. The scallops were done to perfection and the lemon egg sauce was a nice compliment. One change I would have made was only ordering one cheese. I was trying to decide between the two and the waiter suggested I get both, they were both good, but niether outstanding. The dessert was outstanding, probably one of the best chocolate desserts I have had in awhile. It had a nice array of components and they all went well together.

I am not sure if I would go back however, because it is on the expensive side and there many restaurants doing that price point better.


  • Duck Breast - goat cheese-majdool date tart, thyme and caramelized onions $24.00

Looking back on the experience at Saffron, I realized that the duck is an amazing treat and the chocolate ganache cake was similarly stunning. But these items come at a price: the ganache cake was a little too much, but the duck was still worth it. The duck was among the best I’ve had anywhere. The goat cheese-majdool date tart on the side of the duck entrée was a perfect accompaniment. I haven’t seen the mirqaz sausage anywhere else, so I can only imagine that it is made especially for or at the restaurant. That too, comes at a price. Portion sizes are on the small side. All this together makes me want to go back for the happy hour menu (only served at the bar) where the prices are small, but the kitchen should still shine.

I would not hesitate to recommend the place for the menu that you can’t find anywhere else, even though we gave it a good rating. The extras: a nice ambiance and attentive service make this a good dining experience despite the daunting bill. A note to the superstitious (or cautious): this is the same location as Caffe Solo and Jazzmine’s. Both had good menus, service, and ambience, but did not last long at this location. The 112 Eatery will pack in customers for a decade or more, but I fear that this location across the street will not support the same restaurant for nearly as long.

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