112 Eatery (Minneapolis)

I had one of my best meals at 112 Eatery while in Minnesota recently.

The place feels very casual, but the food here while not necessarily cutting-edge is quite good. In fact, very good. Every thing I tried during my two visits was executed remarkably well, and nothing felt like an afterthought.

For example, the lamb ribs were cooked perfect - tender, moist, with a nice crusty, slightly charred outer layer. But the highlight of the dish might have been the caramelized fish sauce that accompanied the ribs (or what the menu calls “nam pla caramel”). Intuitively, fish sauce and lamb wouldn’t strike one as natural, or even appropriate, complements, but this lamb and this sauce were like peanut butter and jelly. It just worked. The dish was also garnished with some togorashi crumble, which seemed more an indulgence to creativity than actual eating enjoyment, but that’s a minor quibble. Overall this was a fantastic dish.

Same could be said of other things that I tried there, like the cauliflower fritters (light and crisp, and not one bit oily or greasy) or the roast chicken.

And should you go, and if you come from LA, make sure to take a moment and try the butterscotch budino. Nancy Silverton’s butterscotch budino, no less!

112 Eatery
112 N 3rd St
(Between 1st and 2nd Ave.)
Downtown Minneapolis

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They’ve become a fixture on the scene. We don’t go as often as we once used to but it’s good to get old favourites when we do go: it’s the rare contemporary restaurant whose menu doesn’t change. I wrote up our last visit on the blog ( 112 Eatery…and Some Thoughts on La Belle Vie (Minneapolis) | My Annoying Opinions ). Somehow in all the times we’ve eaten there we’ve never gotten those lamb ribs–we usually don’t make it past their lamb scottadito.

On your next visit I highly recommend eating at Piccolo–in my opinion, the best fine dining restaurant in Minnesota by some distance. But it’s in south Minneapolis and may not be in easy reach for business travelers without a car (though Uber).

Ah, thank you for the rec.

I have easy access to transportation (not Uber or taxi), and so traveling a bit outside of the immediate downtown area is not a problem. It’s usually just a matter of time. In/around quitting time (5 p.m.) to about 7 p.m., it’s usually a bit difficult getting in/around downtown, esp. if one wants to exit the vicinity.

But I will keep Piccolo on the itinerary.

Borough might be worth a look in too in that area. Spoon and Stable is the best there (and the only one approaching Piccolo in my view) but it’s a hard get (though I don’t know about weeknights at the bar). Not too far away from downtown, Alma is very good too and would probably work with your time constraints. Don’t let anyone talk you into eating sushi anywhere here though.

That sort of (sometimes seemingly odd) fusion at 112 Eatery is a staple on their menu: they’ve had that nori crusted sirloin with ponzi for as long as I can remember (it’s what I ate when I was interviewing for my job almost 10 years ago).

Here’s my list of reviews for the Twin Cities (the “fine dining” places are in their own section):

Any thoughts on Butcher & The Boar?

It’s right down the street from where I stayed (and probably will stay in the future).

Haven’t been myself but have lots of reports from friends who have. It’s in the genre of meat-heavy, charcuterie and house made pickles places that are popular everywhere now. If you like something like The Publican in Chicago, you’ll probably like it. Probably best in a group. And I’m told the sausage section of the menu is the best bet.


Maybe this should belong in its own thread, but any suggestions for lutefisk? Cooked and plated, not frozen and take-home kind.

You’re on your own there. I’ve only eaten it once: at a traditional Scandinavian banquet around Christmas time at a local Lutheran college. I quite liked it (it was mild flavour-wise and I liked the texture) but the older Swedish and Norwegian people at our table insisted that it was of a much higher quality than is generally available commercially. Generally, Lutheran church dinners/lunches are apparently the safe places to get it.

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for people who may be visiting the twin cities in the coming months: you only have till march 11 to eat at piccolo. that’s their last night of service.

The sound is great! thanks for nice share about your meal.