I’m not sure I enjoy anything more than dinner out with my hubby. We kept it casual last Saturday and went to Bulldog in Lowertown St. Paul. We had a fantastic time eating great food and enjoying each other’s company.

Erik had never been to Bulldog and this was only my second time. He ordered a beer flight and a reuben (one of his favorites). I ordered a vodka/soda/cran/lime cocktail and a buffalo chicken sandwich (one of my favorites). They put blue cheese crumbles on top of cheddar on my buffalo chicken, need I say more? The french fries were fresh cut and perfect texture/flavor. This place has definitely won me over, did I mention they have french fries on their appetizer list prepared 7 different ways?!

We will definitely be going back to Bulldog. Our entire bill was only $44 plus tip and I thought that was pretty good considering I had 2 cocktails and a meal and Erik had a beer flight and a meal.

I should point out that Barrio next door was pretty busy. I guess everyone else had a different experience than I did (see previous post). But hey, I wish them the best of luck, I want restaurants to thrive in St. Paul so more come…and as I mentioned, I would be willing to try Barrio again if someone convinced me it was worth a second chance.

Sometimes I get kind of embarrassed whipping out my camera to take a picture of the plate of food in front of me. So on Saturday I tried to be discreet and used my blackberry to snap a couple pics.

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Hopefully these photos speak for themselves because they represent why I absolutely adore Cafe Lurcat.

It is a gorgeous space with the most beautiful chandeliers you’ve ever seen, the best-tasting french fries you’ve ever had and a “close your eyes after you take a sip it’s so good” Ruby martini. The salted caramel ice cream was not too shabby either.

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Hopefully these photos speak for themselves because they represent why I absolutely adore Cafe Lurcat.

It is a gorgeous space with the most beautiful chandeliers you’ve ever seen, the best-tasting french fries you’ve ever had and a “close your eyes after you take a sip it’s so good” Ruby martini. The salted caramel ice cream was not too shabby either.

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I went out to eat way too much this weekend and that’s not a good thing for two reasons:

1. It’s way too expensive (though admittedly it is a really nice treat)
2. I started on Weight Watchers again on Monday and it’s hard to be dining out while dieting

So for this post I’ll pretend like I am made of money and the food I ate over the weekend was calorie-less.

On Friday evening, I met up with my friend Kristin at Al Vento in South Minneapolis. We had a great time and really delicious food. Al Vento is a quaint, little place with a nice patio surrounded by flowers and herbs in planters. They have half price bottles of wine daily from 4:30 – 6pm and $5 martinis. We ordered a bottle of Pinot Grigio but I couldn’t resit the strawberry rhubard martini. The martini photo below says it all, delicious and refreshing and presented with a delicate edible flower that was grown in a planter 5 feet from our table.

Kristin and I shared the Sicilian stuffed mushrooms with pine nuts and a red sauce, they were delicous. Kristin often makes stuffed mushrooms but said these were awesome. Kristin ordered parpadelle with walnuts, spinach and Donnay goat cheese as an entree and I had a couple bites. It was really rich but great and the left overs were brought home to Kristin’s boyfriend, Tim (I call him Timmy) and he really liked it as well. I’ve since learned that Donnay goat cheese is local and organic, from a family farm in Kimble, MN.

Kristin is a sucker for sweets and desserts (did I mention she runs marathons and can eat anything she wants???) so she ordered one scoop of the homemade blueberry gelato. It was gorgeous, and though she thought it was good, she thought it lacked a bit of flavor.

Overall, I couldn’t have asked for a better way to spend my Friday night. I was with one of my best friends, drinking wine and martinis and eating delicious food. That is what I call Friday night perfection.


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I went out to eat way too much this weekend and that’s not a good thing for two reasons:

1. It’s way too expensive (though admittedly it is a really nice treat)
2. I started on Weight Watchers again on Monday and it’s hard to be dining out while dieting

So for this post I’ll pretend like I am made of money and the food I ate over the weekend was calorie-less.

On Friday evening, I met up with my friend Kristin at Al Vento in South Minneapolis. We had a great time and really delicious food. Al Vento is a quaint, little place with a nice patio surrounded by flowers and herbs in planters. They have half price bottles of wine daily from 4:30 – 6pm and $5 martinis. We ordered a bottle of Pinot Grigio but I couldn’t resit the strawberry rhubard martini. The martini photo below says it all, delicious and refreshing and presented with a delicate edible flower that was grown in a planter 5 feet from our table.

Kristin and I shared the Sicilian stuffed mushrooms with pine nuts and a red sauce, they were delicous. Kristin often makes stuffed mushrooms but said these were awesome. Kristin ordered parpadelle with walnuts, spinach and Donnay goat cheese as an entree and I had a couple bites. It was really rich but great and the left overs were brought home to Kristin’s boyfriend, Tim (I call him Timmy) and he really liked it as well. I’ve since learned that Donnay goat cheese is local and organic, from a family farm in Kimble, MN.

Kristin is a sucker for sweets and desserts (did I mention she runs marathons and can eat anything she wants???) so she ordered one scoop of the homemade blueberry gelato. It was gorgeous, and though she thought it was good, she thought it lacked a bit of flavor.

Overall, I couldn’t have asked for a better way to spend my Friday night. I was with one of my best friends, drinking wine and martinis and eating delicious food. That is what I call Friday night perfection.


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My girlfriend Libby and I had a fabulous girl’s weekend last weekend. Our guys were doing their own thing all weekend (horse races, beer, poker and more beer) and we did ours (happy hour, pedicures, shopping, cooking).

Friday evening started out with a much anticipated happy hour at Barrio in St. Paul. I was super excited to check out Barrio in lowertown St. Paul becaused it is a close 3 mile drive or bus ride from my home in South Saint Paul and I like to support businesses going in downtown St. Paul because it is known to be quite a ghost town in terms of any nightlight.

Unfortunately, Barrio was not a good experience. Here are the details:

Barrio’s website hours said Friday was open from 11am – 2pm and that happy hour was M-F 4pm-6pm. Libby and I got there promptly at 4pm only to have a woman inform us that they didn’t open until 5pm. That wasn’t a huge deal, but seemed odd to me that they wouldn’t have some information on their website about different hours for their St. Paul location or perhaps it was special hours for the opening week?

The highlight of the evening was heading over to Bulldog to kill time while we waited for Barrio to open. That place is awesome, they had great happy hour specials and great service. I will definitely be going back to Bulldog.

5pm came quickly so we paid our Bulldog tab and headed back to Barrio (next door). The hostess asked us if we would like a table, I said “sure, we’re here for happy hour” to which she (very rudely) replied, “we don’t have happy hour until Monday”. Is it just me or do you agree that it’s weird to not have specials available until the week after you open? I thought so and I thought it was annoying that their website (again) had incorrect information. Libby and I were not the only ones who came for happy hour because the couple behind us also asked about happy hour.

I hope I don’t sound like a cheapo here but I have had enough bad experience trying out a new restaurant that now I like to check them out during happy hour when drinks and appetizers are discounted rather than dropping $100 on a meal that is disappointing.

Anyway, back to the details:

– Waitress was awesome, no complaints there

– Libby ordered a $9 blackberry mojito, it was not good, way too sweet!

– I ordered a chelada beer cocktail called a bloody chipotle beer and didn’t like it. It basically tasted like watered down beer with a tiny bit of tomato juice and way over-spiced.

– Enchiladas and tacos can be ordered a la carte so I ordered a chorizo potato (I think the potato part convined me) and Libby ordered a chicken enchilada. Both good, but a bit over-priced.

– We also shared a “small plate” of mushroom quesadillas. They were horrible! They were so salty that neither of us could finish more than one slice. Ew.
The total for all the above was $40, which doesn’t break the bank but also wasn’t worth it. I think I was mostly disappointed in the lack of correct information on their website. There has been a bunch of local press about Barrio opening in St. Paul and buzz on Twitter and it just really surprises me that there wasn’t a special section on their site calling our different St. Paul hours and specials.
A couple good things I’ll say about Barrio is that the decor and atmosphere is cool as hell. It has this semi-dark, romantic, almost goth feel with sexy candelabras and cool Mexican masks on the wall. The second thing is that the presentation of the food was really lovely.

If I was convinced by someone who had a really good experience then maybe I would give Barrio a second chance. So if that person is you (who had a good experience) shoot me an email at eatdrinkpretty@gmail.com and let me know!

If you are still reading this post, thanks, you’re a trooper for keeping with me this long!

Some pics from our Barrio experience, as I mentined above, no complaints about the presentation.

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