My favorite part about starting the Minneapolites blog has been discovering all the killer deals around the city. To be honest, I use the blog as a resource just as much as I write for it! I’m a sucker for happy hours no matter what the deal, but cheap date nights are really the gold mine of discoveries. A couple years ago, my husband and I drove by King’s Wine Bar in southwest Minneapolis. Alex mentioned that one of his friends had recommended King’s, boldly stating that it was he and his wife’s favorite neighborhood hang. My best finds come through personal referrals from friends and family, so I knew I wanted to give it a try. But to be honest, I rarely get that far south in the city, so it took me over a year to finally give it a go.
It wasn’t until I heard about King’s Tuesday Date Night that we made the trek down to try it out. $45 for two includes a variety of small plates to share and wine pairings.
I was a little nervous about leaving the house at 6:45 pm on the reputable date night with no reservation (I tried… not allowed), but we took the risk. I was pleasantly surprised as I peeked my head in and saw a couple window seats waiting for us. I think it’s a safe to bet you’ll have little-to-no wait time with a party of two at this date-friendly gem.
The menu was full of enticing options (including tater tots, quite tempting), but we came for the Date Night special. And with that, our server was off and we were left to enjoy the classic wine bar ambiance.
Our first course arrived quickly, with our wine tagging along a few minutes later. Our server must have been distracted by other diners, or really confused when one might enjoy their wine. We had a few more goofy incidents with a lack of eating utensils, then an abundance of utensils. But I couldn’t complain. He promptly amended each mistake and was tentative thereafter.
Each of our five small plates surprised me with flavor and versatility from the chef. We asked the server if the date night was a rotating menu. “No, each Tuesday the cook tries something a little different.” I was pleased with the offerings on our particular date night outing.
1) Asparagus & Spring Onion Soup with house-made miso – a green, slime-like soup that satisfied the Asian craving I didn’t know I had. I will say this was a little difficult to share fairly and with manners as we both double dipped our spoons into the bowl for more. Luckily it wasn’t our first date.
2) Bruschetta with cold lamb’s tongue and smashed chickpeas, topped with crisp asparagus spears.
4) Eggplant and burrata salad with wakame (the star of the dish) and back vinegar. Never in my life had I experienced burrata, a soft Italian cheese with fresh creamy flavor. It melted in my mouth.
5) Baked Macaroni with brussel sprouts, pancetta, onion, and sundried tomatos. An earthy flavor with more depth than I’ve been accustom to in my macaroni.
6) Crepes – need I say more? A soft, sweet creamy roasted grape filling covered with powdered sugar heavily dusted on top.
It was fun to sample each course together while sipping our wine and anticipating the look and taste of the next plate to come. By the time we sipped our last of the wine and smeared our fingers against the plate for any last cream cheese grape filling, the lights were dim with candles enticing us to stay for one more glass of wine. As tempting as it was, the meal left us completely satisfied. Each taste bud getting a chance to enjoy the evening. We were ready for the check.
As I think about some of our other favorite date nights in town, this was not the cheapest, but it fares wells when it comes to dining quality, experience, and overall romance. I think this has “anniversary dinner” written all of it. We’ll be back!
A quintessential neighborhood wine bar: charming, romantic, and informal.
The service seemed a bit disjointed, as if the hostess, bartender, waiter, and chef were all on different pages. I never felt forgotten or mistreated, just a little confused by the miscommunication.
Each course came out on a classic white dish, allowing the food to really shine. The plating was straightforward with no adornment.
The flavor profiles were adventurous and tasty.
Value for Dollar
A fair weeknight price at $45 for dinner (and wine!) for two.
But don’t take my word for it…
King’s Wine Bar
4555 Grand Ave S
Minneapolis, MN 55419