May 282012

Cuisine: Fusion
Restaurant Features: Bar
Location: Minneapolis, MN (warehouse district)
Address:428 Washington Ave N. Minneapolis, MN 55401 (612) 375-1971

  • Lunch: (Monday – Friday) 11:30am – 2:00pm
  • Dinner:  (Monday – Thursday) 5:00pm – 9:00pm (Friday – Saturday) 5:00pm – 10:00pm
  • Closed on: Sunday and  Major Holidays

Links: Sapor Website * Sapor on Facebook * Google Map

Atmosphere: Sapor is located on Washington Ave at 5th Ave N, in the Warehouse District of Downtown Minneapolis.  The restaurant is divided into a dining room on one side and the bar on the other.  There are a handful of rectangular tables that can easily be combined for large parties.  In the evening the lighting is very dim but it seems like it would be rather colorful in the daytime.

The bar area also has a handful of tables as well as seating around the bar.  It is cozy and casual with richly painted walls and bistro prints.

Menu: The Menu at Sapor changes frequently.

Items offered at lunch include Burger ( Sourdough Bun with Worcestershire, Onion Ring and Pickles – Choice of French Fries or Salad ), Falafels (with Feta, Greens, Tomato, Ginger-Yogurt Dressing and French Fries Salad or Sandwich),  Torta Milanesa (Breaded Pork on Ciabatta with Chipotle Mayonnaise, Avocado, Tomato, Lettuce, Piparra Peppers and French Fries), and Bacon Burger ( Brioche Bun with Roasted Garlic-Tomato Aioli, Roasted Sweet Peppers and French Fries).

Salads currently offered at Sapor include Romaine Salad (with Creamy Garlic Dressing, Parmesan and Croutons), Strawberry-Avocado Salad (on Artisan Greens with Honey-Goat Cheese Dressing ), and a Soup du Jour.

Small Plates include Panucho (Black Bean-Stuffed Handmade Corn Tortilla with Pepita-Poblano Salsa and Guacamole), Beetza (Roasted Beet Pizza with Caramelized Onion, Goat Cheese, Spinach and Honey Citronette), and Southern Style Macaroni and Cheese (with Sharp Cheddar and Bacon).

Full Plates include Drunken Beef (Hanger Steak with Chinese Black Bean-Ginger Vinaigrette, Canton Noodle Cake, Snow Peas and Bean Sprouts), Thai Grilled Shrimp (with Mint, Mango, Grapefruit, Jicama and Peanut Sauce), Asparagus-Mascarpone Ravioli (in Lemon-Parmesan Broth with Preserved Mushrooms), and Massaman Lamb Curry (with Yukon Potatoes, Haricot Verts and Jasmine Rice).

Desserts also change regularly but may include Salty Caramel Pannacotta (with Shortbread Cookie), Churros (with Mexican Hot Chocolate), Coconut Cream Pie (with Macadamia Nut Crust, Bruleed Bananas and Caramel Sauce), Almond Cake (with Grapefruit Curd and Berries)

Price guide: Small Plates $7-13 Full Plates $14-21 Desserts $7

Happy Hour:

  • Happy Hour 5pm-7pm   Monday-Saturday
  • $4 and $5 Bites and Bar Features with special pricing

What we ordered: My companions and I started with the complimentary dinner rolls with herbed butter.  Pretty standard but welcome when you’re hungry!

A few of us tried the Southern-Style Macaroni and Cheese ($9) small plate.   This dish contained penne pasta coated with a sauce made with sharp cheddar which had several bits of smoked bacon mixed in and melted cheese on top.  The flavor of this mac n cheese was very good, but the noodles were a little on the dry side so it wasn’t as smooth as I usually like it.  I’d still eat it again, however.

One of my companions ordered the Sweet Potato Puree  soup, which looked good but I did not try.

Several of my companions and I ordered one of the evening specials, the Panko-Crusted Pork Tenderloin ($18) served over angel hair tossed with pesto.  The pork tenderloin was tender while the crispy golden brown panko breading was perfectly crispy.  The pesto was light but flavorful and the angel hair was the right choice to accompany the pork without overdoing it.  The corn that was sprinkled on top gave it a summer sweetness that complimented the savory of the pesto.  Very good, several of us ordered this.

Another companion or two ordered the Marscapone Ravioli ($17) in Lemon-Parmesan Broth with Preserved Mushrooms.  I was lucky enough to try one of these raviolis and it was incredibly delicious! There were six round pockets filled with creamy marscapone that had the faintest hint of sweetness.  The broth was light and savory, and very flavorful.  The asparagus and mushrooms brought a lot of texture to this dish.  Wonderful!

Some of my companions ordered the Thai Shrimp ($19) with Mint, Mango, Grapefruit, Jicama and Peanut Sauce.  This was a very light, summery dish with the fresh fruits, while the peanuts added an interesting element to the texture.  The shrimp were perfectly sauteed and the entire dish was tossed in a light creamy sauce.

Service: Our party of 13-14 had an advance reservation for 8pm on a Saturday evening.  The restaurant was busy with a couple of other large parties.  Our server did a nice job keeping up with our large party while leaving us to socialize and enjoy the evening.
Overall Impression: I had heard good things about Sapor Cafe and Bar and it lived up to them all.  The menu is small but contains a variety of cuisine that changes frequently; you might not know what dish you can expect from visit to visit but you know it will be delicious.
Sapor Cafe and Bar on Urbanspoon

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