Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Babalu's in Minneapolis

Last Friday, I took my wife to one of our favorite Minneapolis restaurants, Babalu's. It's a date destination. The atmosphere is romantic and fairly quiet (at least in the early evening). The cuisine is described as Latin-Caribbean. I've never been there later than 7:00 pm. I hear the live jazz is outstanding later in the evening. The bar and restaurant areas are separated by a dividing wall. The bar lighting is low and lit with creative colors that set the mood. One wall is dominated by an artistic light display that is very inviting.

The food is some of the best you can get. The Babalu chefs always add something to the plate that is unexpected but never unpleasant. I had the seared tuna with giant asparagus. The asparagus arched over the tuna like those enormous swords over Baghdad. Under the tuna and asparagus was a two-color sauce (yellow and red) that was lightly sweetened. There was also avocado and cilantro bedded beneath. The meal was completely satisfying.

We asked our waiter about his accent, and he said "guess". My wife grew up in Spain, so she's pretty good at detecting various Latin accents. He was really surprised when she correctly guessed Puerto Rico on the first try. Apparently, most people say Cuba. The service was what you would expect- outstanding.

The average entrée price is about $25. My wife had a mojito drink. I had a diet coke. She said the mixed drink was really well made.

If you're looking for a special occasion restaurant or a great date destination, I highly recommend Babalu's.

800 Washington Ave N.
Suite 102
Downtown Minneapolis
Minneapolis, MN, 55401

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