The popular Café Maude at 54th and Penn Ave. S. has expanded across the street with the opening of the Armatage Room, 5416 Penn Ave. S., a multi-purpose space that operates as a wine bar Thursdays through Saturdays when it isn’t being rented out for private parties. The chalkboard menu offers mostly lighter fare – an assortment of charcuterie ($12) or cheeses (choose two for $12), olives, an antipasti plate, a pasta and a frittata. Seating is at four big tables, set up in two long rows – so be prepared to share a table with strangers.
We stopped in last night for a quick bite and enjoyed everything we sampled – hot salty frites with a spicy aioli ($5); homemade fettuccine with tomatoes and capers ($10); a perfectly turned frittata ($8) made with potatoes, chard, feta and olives, in the style of a Spanish tortilla.
Starting this week, they will be offering a prix fixe dinner that our server billed as “the best deal in town:” four courses including soup, salad, entrée, dessert, and three accompanying wines for $25. Seating is limited, and the Armatage Room is closed on some days for private parties (including this Friday and Saturday), so call ahead for reservations and more information. (Better to call Cafe Maude, at 612-822-5411; hours at Cafe Armatage are limited.) For the next couple of Thursdays (the 15th and the 22nd), the terrifically talented accordionist Patrick Harison will be performing.
For as long as I have lived in the Twin Cities, (about 35 years) I have heard lamentations about the lack of a really good Jewish deli. (Cecil’s is okay, but pretty limited. Ditto The Brothers Deli in the Minneapolis Skyway.) I haven’t made it out to Mort’s Delicatessen in Golden Valley yet, but early reports are very enthusiastic, and the menu looks impressive: gefilte fish, chopped liver, creamed herring, plus corned beef, pastrami and knishes from the Carnegie Deli in New York City. Plus lots of other classics: matzoh ball soup, beef brisket, lox and bagels and borscht. I’ll try to get there soon, but if you get there first, drop me a line at email@example.com (or post a comment) and tell me all about it.