Permanently Closed - Cafe Levain
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Café Levain offers both French and American cuisine. Its menu includes homemade pasta dishes along with duck confit, braised short rib and grilled fish entrées. Each entrée comes with fresh bread and your choice of sides such as a root vegetable salad, white beans, kale or seasoned fries. Because the chef seeks to use fresh ingredients from local farmers, the menu at Café Levain changes seasonally. Its menu also includes a variety of beers and wines to pair with your meal.
At Café Levain, you'll enjoy fine dining in a casual environment. Its homey ambience features wooden tables and chairs, soft lighting and fresh linens covering each table. This restaurant is open for dinner only.
Celebrating date night with my husband. I thought the shortribs were fantastic and I'm a fish gal. My husband really enjoyed the chicken, wonderful roast flavor. I also enjoyed the red wine that was featured on saturday, 7/16. Our waiter said he would jot it down for me but he forgot. It was from bordeaux. My husband enjoyed the different beer selection. Smaller. regional breweries.
Never disappointed either with the quality of food or the level of service. The menu is not huge (that's a good thing) yet it's modified frequently so as not to be boring or predictable. My wife and I are most appreciative of the well informed wait staff whose level of service is second to none.
A favorite spot, but haven't visited in some time. Everything about the experience was just fine, great food, great service, price level we expected. We had made a reservation as a celebration of our wedding anniversary, and we got a lovely corner table and our server, a great, experienced guy, was aware of my wife's gluten free needs. The only mild downer was to see such a small crowd out to a great place. Thursday night and all that, but very few people.
A great way to enjoy good food with great wine or beer. They bring farm to table to the next level with their own creative creations of meat and fish dishes. Certainly worth a try if you're a foodie and you may be surprised and become a regular! I'm certainly coming back!
My husband and I were on vacation and staying in the southwest section of Minneapolis. Having no idea where to eat, I checked OpenTable. The reviews for Cafe Levain were very good. We were a little concerned by the repeated comment that only a few tables were occupied. But the menu looked interesting and the prices were reasonable, so we tried it. We were so happy we did. The food was outstanding! The menu is limited, but there were a couple of entrees that appealed to us. We both ended up ordering the barramundi; it was delicious. The woman who waited on us could not do enough to please us. When asked why the restaurant was so empty, she said that in the warm months people are looking for outdoor dining, which they did not have. The only negative was the ambiance. The dining area opens up to the kitchen.
Cafe Levain lost its chef several months ago and we were curious about how they were doing without Chef Adam Vickerman at the helm. Have to say the food was still delicious. I had the crispy skin chicken breast which was mouth watering. My husband had the beef tips and a side of potatoes. He practically licked the plate! Our server, Brad was knowledgeable and helpful with suggestions. We did overhear the table behind us had some issues with receiving the wrong food. They made a bit of a deal about it which is unfortunate. But all in all, in my opinion Cafe Levain hasn't really missed a step. We love the fact that it resides in our neighborhood and will be back again for sure.
Amazing food and great service. But there are 20+ tables and only 3 were full at 7:30 on a Friday night. Not much buzz or ambience as a result.
My husband and I went for a birthday celebration and hearin friends rave about their burgers. When we arrived, on a Friday night, there was one other table occupied. The server immediately told us that they had a new chef and the menu was completely different. They didn't even had the old burger on the menu, which was replaced with a patty melt. My husband decided to go with the patty melt, me with the shortrib dish. We started with a green tomato tartare which was different and quite tasty. Next the food.. The burger was pretty good, albeit extremely greasy and cheesy. A gut bomb if you will. Served on a mountain of delicious fries. The short rib was subpar. The strangest presentation, with whole peas and peanuts on it. It tasted like a rookie crockpot pot roast. The service was good, the atmosphere... Left much to be desired. Needless to say, a disappointing dinner. We will sadly not be returning.
The Sunday dinner is a stunningly good deal
Very casual place but great food! Service was impeccable and if you want to be adventurous, ask the Sous Chef, Maggie! She's a great add to the team.
I always tell people they should go here and order the beef short ribs. It's a hidden gem. Now with the departure of the chef and our last meal being a disaster we will not be returning again. So sad. The french onion soup and service was good but that's it.
This restaurant is in my neighborhood and I had no idea how great it was. I thought it was too expensive but they proved me wrong! I also thought it was too much of a foodie place but it's not. A small menu but enough to choose from. Great for an impressive date night!
I had the barramundi (white fish) and my husband had the grilled ribeye and they both were delicious! His was huge and done perfectly and those frites with bernaise dipping sauce are my favorite! So good.... I had never had barramundi before and it was tender and flaky, not fishy at all... beautifully plated and I ate every bite. We had the creme brulee for dessert and it was one of the best I'd ever had! Super smooth with a crusty top.... everything we had there was really good and I was surprised at how reasonable the prices were! I think they've changed and gotten more reasonable as I was there a long time ago and it seemed more expensive. It wasn't that busy either so it wasn't super loud. Great cozy neighborhood restaurant with lots of charm and excellent food. I will definitely go back!
Overtime we have ever been to Levain it is outstanding! Great, creative food, wonderful service. EVERY TIME. I cannot believe more people have not caught on this great neighborhood gem!
We stopped in after the opera for Sunday supper package.
We ordered both choices for each part of the meal. The accompanying wines selected by staff were quite nice. The bolognaise pasta was lovely and rich. The Veg pasta left something to be desired. Not much more than mac n cheese with fresh peas.
Green tomato appetizer/salad was excellent, fresh and tart. Mussels appetizer broth sauce was very good with large succulent mussels.
Elegant and small French style restaurant in south Minneapolis neighborhood .
So nice to be at a restaurant that doesn't equate size with quality. The server was experienced, attentive but not overbearing.
There were 4 of us celebrating a birthday so we shared a number of entre s and appetizers. All very well prepared and presented. Only negatives would be that it is a bit loud but that does contribute to the overall ambience. Also beef tip appetizers- a bit too heavy on the bread. But I would still recommend this lovely spot.
The noise level was surprising for Levain, interfering with our hard of hearing member's
good time. The food was very good when it arrived.
Our favorite neighborhood spot happens to have AMAZING food in a cozy and comfortable atmosphere...it is an under the radar MUST !!!
The food is amazing, the servers are amazing. Try the 5 bean salad, the green tomato tartare, the chicken, the short ribs. You can't go wrong with what you order.
We were looking for fresh food, simply prepared and found it at Cafe Levain.
Everything we enjoyed was up to our standards and came with creative touches.
My husband requested the spicy peppers be omitted from his scallop dish and was
given that courtesy graciously. Overall, in spite of the noise level being somewhat difficult for us, we will likely return.
One of our favorite spots especially is we can sit at the bar and watch "the action" in the kitchen.
Run, do not walk if you haven't dined at Levain. The short ribs are a miracle of lightness and flavor (!), the chicken is braised cassoulet-style, and the malt icecream with agave crackle and raspberries simply delightful!
The food was great but our wait staff could have been more attentive. Took them 10 minutes to come and take our drink order.
Also, the ventilation system in there is terrible. We left smelling like grease/gas from their kitchen....bummer since we really enjoyed our meal!
Sit at the bar and watch them prepare the food and interact! Get the Patty Melt (big enough for two)! Thanks for a great night!
We were big Vickerman fans and weren't sure how Levain would be after he left. We tried it for the first time since he left and were not disappointed! Kudos to Harvey and the team for maintaining great food and tweaking it ever so slightly to a new menu. Great food and as always, great service! This is definitely our go to place that rarely disappoints.
The main course I had was not very good. I ordered rib eye and got sirloin. It lacked flavor, but the presentation was great. My wife's dinner and our apps were great
They were out of the steak frites which is what we both would have ordered. There was also a big gap between getting our first course and the main course.
On our arrival we were immediately told the kitchen had run out of two items on the menu! Food was delicious but ambience was lacking, for a Saturday night Valentines dinner the lights were on full and tables pushed close together. At the end of the meal we were informed the desserts were not up to usual standard as something had gone wrong in the kitchen, our creme brûlée was a curdled mess topped with an extra thick layer of sugar. One of our favorite restaurants in town and this was a disappointing experience.
A great spot and find! I would highly recommended to all.
Disclaimer: we live a few blocks away and really like the ability to walk to a casually elegant place with great food but also like having this as our local place. The atmosphere serves most needs from setting at the bar having appetizers and dessert to a nice long dinner. Parking can be difficult but we do not care as we walk.
We love levain & chose it to celebrate Valentine's Day. We sat at the kitchen bar and watched the chefs work. Wonderful evening all around. Great food, wine and company. My sweetie thinks the patty melt is one of the best around. The chicory salad was fantastic, as were the short ribs.
We went to Levain for a Valentine treat - before Valentine's Day. We had fine service and a satisfying dinner. I had a delicious salad of the moment followed by the always great (at Levain) moules frites. Husband had the astonishing French onion soup and a burger. We were happy all round. A nice glass of wine for me and beer for him completed the picture.
Lovely go to getaway that makes you feel like you're in Europe. Exceptional service from Jenn a few times and now a fine experience with Bradley. They know their stuff product and service wise. Always pace it to your needs. Yummy food and great value. Mussels. Ribeye. Always a consistent experience. So glad my friends (regulars) turned me on to Cafe Levain.
Cafe Levain remains a great dining option with outstanding food, wine and service at affordable prices. It's great for a weeknight or weekend, couples or groups. We go there regularly for business entertainment. It's especially nice if you want to hear and see your dinner companions! Quiet and not too dark.
Lovely winter night dinner for two. Nice selection and everything was executed well. Perfect balance of casual and sophistication. We'll be back.
Tasty hamburger, but fries were very salty. Service was slow.
We were the only guests the freezing Tuesday night we were there. We were very well treated by the hostess/waitress. We were pleased with our dinners and our shared dessert.
Short rib was delish and perfectly paired with a red Bordeaux.
Excellent service, wine list and menu! Right next to Turtle Bread with a warm, cozy neighborhood atmosphere. Fun to see the chefs and you can have a front row seat or sit at a cozy table for 2 or round table with a larger group. The wine tastings at Cafe Levain are always fun to attend even if you are by yourself! You are typically seated with others and it is a fun way to meet new people!
We were disappointed to arrive for New Years Eve dinner and find a "limited holiday" menu.
We were treating family members who had never been to Café Levain and they were excited to try the restaurant based on the menu options listed on the website. Upon arrival, we were all disappointed and I felt incredibly bad for recommending the restaurant to my in-laws. We were limited to trout, vegetarian pasta dish or short ribs - none of which appealed to any of us.
Overall the experience was fine but the disappointment over the limited menu options were a very bad first impression for my in-laws. While we did note on the website that menu options can change seasonally, when you limit the menu for a holiday, your customers would very much appreciate not being blind-sided with only three options upon arrival.
It was my birthday and I was looking forward to French inspired comfort food on a cold night. And while Levain's was warm enough, there was a lack of ambiance and the lighting seemed too bright. I had the short rib which was fork tender with a wonderful sauce and a side of mushrooms, onions and something else I am forgetting. However, someone really dumped in the salt which after many bites became all I tasted. My wife had the rainbow trout - same experience. If there hadn't been such a saltiness, the others flavors would have shined. Chefs - taste your food and if you are addicted to salt, have your sou chef taste it. I would give Levain another try, but would definitely say NO EXTRA SALT - give me a salt cellar at the table and I'll season it myself. The wait staff was sympathetic, but nothing was done. Maybe a complimentary dessert or something would have been nice to compensate for a not so prices we paid.
Permanently Closed - Cafe Levain is rated 4.4 stars by 585 OpenTable diners.