In downtown Minneapolis, there is a little known lunch spot. It is only open Monday through Friday from 11am - 1pm; the menu is quite limited, as is the seating. However, there is no need for a reservation or a big withdrawal at the ATM because as I said, it’s a little known lunch spot and it’s incredibly affordable.
I’m talking about the Gourmet Gallery at the Art Institute International Minnesota. A “dining lab” where students in their final quarter of culinary school are able to practice in real life situations. The hosts, servers, and chefs are all students aiming for that “A” grade.
I was lucky enough check out the Gourmet Gallery last week with a friend of mine and was quite impressed. We were seated quickly, our waiter was very personable and comfortable making recommendations and the food was very enjoyable.
I ordered the Gnudi: Spinach ricotta pasta, toasted pine nuts, wilted spinach in a parmesan brodo (broth).
I have never tried gnudi before, but it’s very similar to dumplings or gnocchi (without the potatoes). The parmesan brodo was a bit salty for me, but gave the dish more depth in flavor. Surprisingly, these little gnudis were quite filling!
My friend got the Pork in Adobo: Braised pork, rice, avocado, La Perla tortillas, crème fraiche and cilantro.
I tried a bite of her dish and the pork had just the right amount of smokiness from the adobo and I liked how it was served with local La Perla tortillas.
I would definitely return for lunch to try some of the other menu items (menu found here). Everything was so affordable. Our total bill, including 2 drinks, was $16 – that’s $8 a piece! Surely beats a skyway burrito or sub sandwich.
If you get a chance, check it out for yourself:
15 S. 9th Street
Minneapolis, MN 55402
Open: Monday - Wednesday, 11am - 1pm