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  • Cafe Levain

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Cafe Levain
Cafe Levain

Cafe Levain Details

  • Dining Style: Casual Elegant
  • Website: http://cafelevain.com
  • Phone: (612) 823-7111
  • Hours of Operation: Dinner: Tuesday - Thursday: 5:00pm - 9:00pm, Friday - Saturday: 5:00pm - 10:00pm, Sunday: 5:00 pm - 9:00 pm. *Please note that on Sundays, Cafe Levain offers our Sunday Supper prix fixe menu ($25, or $20 for vegetarian option) along with a selection of a la carte items. Our regular menu is not available that evening.
  • Payment Options: MasterCard, Visa
  • Cuisine: French
  • Dress Code: Casual Dress
  • Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
  • Additional Details: Bar Dining, Beer, Chef's Table, Counter Seating, Farm to Table, Gluten-free Menu, Non-Smoking Restaurant, Personal wines welcome (corkage fee applies), Wine, Wine Bar
  • Private Party Facilities: Cafe Levain offers a number of options for special events in our restaurant. We've hosted wedding ceremonies and receptions, holiday parties, birthday parties, fundraising galas and more! First, we have a chef's table area that may accommodate anywhere from two to 35 guests. This area is adjacent to the kitchen and offers a bird's-eye view of our cooks hard at work on the line. For those hosting larger events, we do allow the option of renting the main dining area - which seats about 75 guests comfortably - as an alternative or in addition to the chef's table.
  • Private Party Contact: Dina Carpenter (612) 823-7111
  • Special Events & Promotions: Cafe Levain has helped guests plan for and execute events including wedding ceremonies and receptions, corporate event parties, non-profit fundraising galas, birthday parties and more.

Getting there

  • Cross Street: 48th St E
  • Parking: Street Parking
A word from Cafe Levain
After three years of operating as the well-known fine dining Restaurant Levain, Café Levain was launched in 2007 as a French bistro with a full menu of comfort food done right.
Foodspotting photos
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Awards voted by OpenTable diners
  • Diners' Choice WinnerNeighborhood Gem
  • Diners' Choice WinnerRomantic
Diner Reviews
  • "Everyone enjoyed their food immensely, without breaking the bank. Great choice for a romantic date or meeting a group of friends."
    Dined on 7/19/2014
  • "Very good meal, well prepared and presented,, very goo service, highly recommend."
    Dined on 7/19/2014
  • "Cafe LeVain celebrated Bastille Day with some wonderful French specials. I had the boullibase which was fantastic & my husband had the cassoulet which included pork belly, chicken & chicken sausage. There was also mussels & creme brûlée which I highly recommend."
    Dined on 7/15/2014
  • "The "Sunday Supper" (Three courses for $25) is an insanely great value. Every dish we had was superb."
    Dined on 7/13/2014
  • "Great food. Very personal service. Our server had worked there >10 years and took great pride in the restaurant."
    Dined on 7/13/2014
  • "They gave us the best tabel in the house made our night very special great food! Not for picky eaters tho. But it was truly amazing!"
    Dined on 7/3/2014
  • "Have dined here several times, always great food and service. Reasonably priced. Very well selected wine list."
    Dined on 6/21/2014
  • "Cafe Levain is a treat. Just remember, the menu is limited to five or six entrees on any given night. But ooh-lah-lah, what fabulous entrees they are. Never had a bad experience here."
    Dined on 6/21/2014
  • "Fantastic experience. We split the chicken and short ribs. Both were amazing. The chicken had cracklingly crisp skin, yet was still juicy. The short ribs were infused with flavor and rich without being overly fatty. For those who appreciate the little things about good food (technique, ingredients), give it a try."
    Dined on 6/20/2014
  • "Sorry to have to report a disappointing meal. We've had several outstanding meals in the past. Hopefully this was an aberation. I'll start out with the praise--the French onion soup was superb. The green salad was good, but not outstanding. The ribs were good, but we thought the updated preparation was not as good as the previous recipe. Then the halibut--very bland fish, with a vegetable and lentil combo that was very spicy and not to my taste at all. The spring vegetable melange was very disappointing. The same spicy preparation for the whole dish. The vegetable melange last summer had several vegetables, all with a different preparation, all scrumptious, and all worked well together. I hope they will bring back that special dish."
    Dined on 6/15/2014
  • "I entertain a lot of out-of-town visitors who occupy important positions in academia and industry, and Levain is my favorite place to take them. Perfect balance of informal and elegant, great chef who relates to the diners, cool owner who is devoted to the place, superb staff who really know their menu (including superb wine list, which boasts many hard-to-beat wines below $50), compact menu that still manages to touch all the important bases, fair prices. And it has good capacity, so you can almost always get a table on short notice! I don't know another restaurant in the Twin Cities that matches the above description."
    Dined on 6/11/2014
  • "The steak wasn't great but everything else was. Melt-in-your-mouth plate of short ribs, and yummy chicken. Onion soup is good, but big enough for two. Neat ambiance and very pleasant service."
    Dined on 6/7/2014
  • "Wife and child went early before the late night crowd. The food was excellent as always the the service team was great, especially attentive with a 18 month old at the table"
    Dined on 5/30/2014
  • "Discovered Levain abt 28 months ago. Every visit, winter and summer, food/flavors have been a standout. Service is friendly and attentive, but not intrusive. "
    Dined on 5/24/2014
  • "It never disappoints. The menu is small and does not vary a lot, but the food is pitch perfect, beautifully, deliciously prepared. We love the ambience as well - understated but sophisticated. "
    Dined on 5/24/2014
  • "Levain is a very good restaurant. The food is interesting, well-prepared and very, very good. We have been twice lately to the Sunday evening prix-fixe. Great value and wonderful wine pairings."
    Dined on 5/11/2014
  • "the chicken was de-lish! i can't wait to go back soon!"
    Dined on 5/10/2014
  • "Cafe Levain is one of my favorite restaurants in town. i believe they have the best burger in town and the food is consistently very good. There may be better places and places by far more expensive but i would always recommend them."
    Dined on 5/10/2014
  • "It was quiet the evening we went. Our server was very good and our meal was too, however my wife's chicken was maybe a little over cooked. Small menu, I assume it changes regularly. Chef does have imagination! Open kitchen too. I would return!"
    Dined on 5/9/2014
  • "Among the best, most consistently excellent comfort food in MSP. "
    Dined on 5/3/2014
  • "It was Sunday and what better than to do the Sunday Supper tasting menu! Our 2 friends had the vegetarian option for $20 and my husband and I had the scallops with butter beans and ham hock which was delicious. The scallops were perfectly seared on the outside and almost creamy and decadent on the inside! The menu comes with a first course (spring greens with poached egg or cream of asparagus soup), main course and dessert. The dessert was creme brulee also quite delicious! We decided on the wine pairing with each course and that topped off the meal. Chef Adam always has us coming back!"
    Dined on 4/27/2014
  • "We so enjoyed an exquisite evening at Cafe Levain the other night. The staff was gracious, our food was fabulous and the ambience was lovely. With so many new great restaurants in Southwest Minneapolis, Cafe Levain is still at the top of our list. "
    Dined on 4/19/2014
  • "Our party of 6 had a delicious meal even though the menu is very limited. We suggest looking at the online menu beforehand. Tables very close together in center part of restaurant (my chair almost touched the person behind me) and as the place got busier, it was too loud for us to hear each other."
    Dined on 4/19/2014
  • "Café Levain is a favorite of ours, we go there often enough we know some of the staff by name ( Hola Kate!). The food is lovely with a changing seasonal menu, fresh ingredients and attention to local produce use. The staff is helpful and knows what they are selling. Although the atmosphere is casual, it is a restaurant where one can have a good conversation with table mates without having to shout. "
    Dined on 4/19/2014
  • "This was our second time at Cafe Levain. The food was good. But the Short rib, could have been better. It was not super flavorful either. I still like the feel of this place and we will give them another try. Everyone is entitled a slightly off night.."
    Dined on 4/18/2014
  • "I always enjoy my time at Levain but the one thing that slightly bothered me this time around was that we ordered the wine pairings with the tasting menu but the server never told us what we were drinking."
    Dined on 4/13/2014
  • "Great spot for a quiet dinner. Food was great, service was great. Loved the onion soup with the onion rings on top"
    Dined on 4/11/2014
  • "Comfort food done well. Good price. Nice space. What else could you want?"
    Dined on 4/4/2014
  • "Well-done seasonal food, with wonderful bread, of course. Nice and chill atmosphere, a great place for a small group where you can carry on a conversation along with a nice meal. Would have liked a little more variation on the menu (beyond ragu 4 ways), but everything was well made. Server could have been more attentive when we were wanting to order and pay, but otherwise was polite and competent. I would recommend."
    Dined on 4/4/2014
  • "My wife and I dined at Levain on a Friday night at 7:30 and it was EMPTY. At most, 5 of the 30 or so table were filled, the hosts were sitting by the coat racks bored, and it just had a very flat feel. Overall, our food was quite good, although we had the kale side dish (kale is one of our favorites) and it was inedible. We asked our server about it, and she said a number of guests have commented negatively about the smokey taste. She took it off the bill without our asking (nice), but it seems strange that Levain would have such a dish on its very short and limited menu. Our biggest issue was the emptiness; hard for a restaurant to control, but there was no buzz or warmth to our experience. I hope this was just an off night for Levain."
    Dined on 4/4/2014
  • "Food was well prepared and tasted great. Well done!"
    Dined on 3/14/2014
  • "The food was better than food that we ate in Paris on a recent visit there. Our meals were full of flavor and beautifully presented. We'll return soon."
    Dined on 3/7/2014
  • "We had a group of 6 - could not have asked for a better meal and service. Not too much, not too little - just right. Our second time at the Cafe - we'll be back. The food was excellent in every way and the service was impeccable. Nice job."
    Dined on 2/27/2014
  • "We hadn't been back to Levain in a couple of years and had heard good things with some changeover in the last year in the kitchen. The meal was excellent and service to match. Fish was prepared with attention to detail and accompaniments perfectly balanced. Great sides and wine list. Staff was very knowledgeable and attentive. The kitchen is open and fun to watch servers and chefs interact and do their magic. This crew seems to have it down pat. Great dinner spot."
    Dined on 2/21/2014
  • "I have now dined at Cafe Levain twice; both times for Valentine's Day. I was blown away by the complexity of flavors in all of the offerings from the soup to the beef short rib to the bread pudding. Plus, the Sunday nite $25 3-course meal deal is a real value for this level of dining. Highly Recommend you try it if you haven't."
    Dined on 2/16/2014
  • "Always a treat to be pampered at Cafe Levain- Great Service (Jennifer) & Vino & the Soup never disappoints! So lucky to have such a gem in the neighborhood! Thanks!"
    Dined on 2/15/2014
  • "A group of us had a nice 3-hour meal. Although Cafe Levain has a smallish dining room, with tables arranged quite close to each other, there is a bit of charm that comes with such closeness and it did not distract from our meal too much. Food was well received by all and the service staff was attentive. I enjoyed my French Soup very much and my steak was wonderfully prepared and a good sized portion too. Only suggestion: mashed or baked potato not French fries to accompany a steak of this quality. Overall, a very nice restaurant worth the visit."
    Dined on 2/15/2014
  • "I wasn't sure what to expect from a French restaurant on 48th and Chicago. We had the three course special. The Celery Heart soup was out of this world. A wonderful blend of flavors. Very surprised. As a result, my expectations were set high for the main course. I had the swordfish and my wife the beef. Both dishes used the same sauces. I was a little disappointed in that the delicate balance of flavors I experienced in the soup turned to a cacophony of flavors in the main dish. The sauce was better suited to the beef than the swordfish. The wine pairings were excellent, although I can't claim any real expertise in this area. The puff pastry dessert course was also quite excellent. Overall a very good dining experience. I will be back."
    Dined on 2/15/2014
  • "This was our first visit to Cafe Levain and we were very impressed. The food was unique and delicious with many flavors wrapped together."
    Dined on 2/15/2014
  • "The tasting menu was terrific. Some of the best food I have enjoyed ever. Swordfish was moist and tender. Flight of wine was moderate but large."
    Dined on 2/14/2014