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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
  • Email: dina@turtlebread.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 WinnerBest Overall
  • Diners' Choice WinnerFit for Foodies
  • Diners' Choice WinnerNeighborhood Gem
Diner Reviews
  • "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
  • "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
  • "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
  • "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
  • "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
  • "Comfort food done well. Good price. Nice space. What else could you want?"
    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
  • "Power went out while we were there during one of the epic storms of the summer. It didn't stop us or many other from having a great time."
    Dined on 6/21/2013
  • "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 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
  • "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
  • "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
  • "We had the Valentine's Day menu, and both entrees and other courses were divine. My husband enjoyed the beef tenderloin, and I loved the vegetarian meal that included kale, polenta, mushrooms, and brussels sprouts. My husband was surprised at how delicious the Root Celery soup was, too! The meal ranked in my top 2--alongside duck with curry chutney and Caesar salad from The Strip Club. We have been to Cafe Levain a few times before and enjoyed our meal, but the Valentine's Day meal was above and beyond what we'd expected."
    Dined on 2/14/2014
  • "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
  • "Great food, great wine, great service. Mussels were amazing! !!"
    Dined on 2/8/2014
  • "Onion soup never disappoints, especially during this brutal winter! Our server took our menus before the soup arrived and said she would bring them back later so we could decide on our main course. We finished our soup and after waiting for about 10 minutes, we pushed our plates to the edge of the table to make it very obvious that we were done, but it still took her an additional 10 minutes to come to back with menus. We finally ordered and my chicken was cooked beautifully with a nice, crisp skin, but the potato/veg was a little too salty. I only took a few bites though and had it boxed up since the long wait made me lose my appetite. Even though the service was so-so, Levain is still one of my favorite places. I'll be back."
    Dined on 2/8/2014
  • "Perfumed napkins that rubbed off on hands and face detracted from a potentially nice meal. Nicely prepared "typical" café food and attentive wait staff in a warm setting."
    Dined on 2/6/2014
  • "We enjoyed Cafe Levain a lot. The food was wonderful, service very good and overall a pleasant surprise. We'll be back."
    Dined on 2/1/2014
  • "Excellent dining experience but i wish there were more vegetarian options but the food, service and ambience are all excellent."
    Dined on 1/31/2014
  • "Excellent food and very good service. Some veggie choices though vegans might find some challenge. Great spot."
    Dined on 1/25/2014
  • "Had a wonderful Sunday supper! For $25/person, it's hard to underestimate the value of this 3-course meal (with a couple of choices for the courses, too.)"
    Dined on 1/19/2014
  • "Very nice restaurant for date night. Friendly server, great food and atmosphere. Only complaint was the hostess was not friendly and seemed surprised/upset that we did not already know the restaurant owner also owns the pizza place and bakery next door, even after we stated it was our first time here."
    Dined on 1/17/2014
  • "We had such an amazing food and service experience the first time that we organized a business dinner in Cafe Levain's semi-private space. My husband was very disappointed. The beef was tougher and didn't 'fall off the bone.' The dessert was not good -- so much so that he and others didn't even finish it. With one 'hit' and one 'miss,' we're not sure if we want to spend the money to give Cafe Levain another try… For now, we're gun shy."
    Dined on 11/12/2013
  • "Was visiting Minneapolis and discovered this wonderful restaurant - the food is amazing and the space welcoming. We liked it so much we went back a few nights later just before we left."
    Dined on 1/11/2014
  • "3-course Sunday supper was excellent Scallops were cooked perfectly, can't go wrong with the short rib or the burger! The service is outstanding"
    Dined on 1/5/2014
  • "Although the menu is not extensive, the choices are all excellent. We found the salads to be very nice. My wife loves mussels and she was not disappointed by her choice. I usually order the spare ribs, but opted instead for the spare rib burger, it was delicious with a nice side of frites. We had a nice carafe of red wine with our meal, but passed on the short dessert list. The wait staff is attentive and I feel that this is a place to go for high quality food without taxing your budget. Only complaint; seated at a table for two along the wall. As two or three other couples arrived, we were all seated in a row along the wall and felt a little cramped. It seemed we could have been spread out a bit as the restaurant was empty at that time."
    Dined on 1/3/2014
  • "We had been meaning to make our way here for quite some time and snagged a pretty last-minute table on New Year's Eve. I assumed they would have a prix fixe in addition to their regular menu, but planned to order a la carte since everything sounded so good. The prix fixe menu with wine pairings swayed us when we arrived, however, and we are so glad it did. Succulent scallops with a pistachio cream that I could dream of for months to come, a large portion of short rib with mushrooms as meaty as the beef, and wines that paired delightfully with each course. We will definitely be returning!"
    Dined on 12/31/2013
  • "Coming early helps relax and less noisy. Seemed a little rushed by waiter but then it was NY's eve"
    Dined on 12/31/2013
  • "Great cozy neighborhood restaurant with a lot of character. Excellent food where they don't try to do too much on the menu. My wife an I will keep coming back!"
    Dined on 12/22/2013
  • "First time at this restaurant and I will be back. The food was awesome and Jennifer our server was one of the best I've experienced in the Twin Cities. I'll be back!"
    Dined on 12/22/2013
  • "This was our first time at Cafe Levain and we could not have had a better experience. The food was delicious and reasonably priced. It is truly a neighborhood gem! We will definitely be returning."
    Dined on 12/1/2013
  • "our server Jennifer was wonderful as always! she made me feel very special on my birthday! thanks Jennifer! look forward to seeing you again soon!"
    Dined on 12/12/2013
  • "I stumbled upon this restaurant on Open Table as i was looking for something new to try. This had amazing reviews and after trying it myself - i agree with them all. Fantastic Find, Amazing food, neighborhood gem. I can't wait to go back!"
    Dined on 12/6/2013
  • "Took my girlfriend here to celebrate how awesome she is and she said it was the best meal she's ever had and that means a lot because she's pretty picky. The service was excellent, food fresh, hot, prompt and delicious. Highly recommended. Keep up the great work."
    Dined on 11/23/2013