Just a good deal

I have no connections to Cities 97, other than that I listen to the station regularily. With that disclosure, I highly suggest that you join their Frequent Listeners Club. Part of that club is a Dining Deals gift certificate program in which you can buy gift certificates at a significant discount.

Thanks to this wonderful program, my girlfriend and I ate at a French influenced restaurant in St. Paul called A Rebours (Mpls St. Paul | CitySearch | City Pages). Wow.

I had never heard of the place until my lady friend signed up for the gift certificate, but she couldn’t stop raving about it. So we set our date and jumped the river to St. Paul (we’re both on the west side). Upon entering the relatively empty restaurant on a Thursday night, I noticed two things, there were two middle aged men eating alone and that the music was very trendy. They probably don’t relate.

As we sat, the atmosphere was warm, but felt a little empty. Everything seemed subtly trendy. A fitting image for a place with a name that translates to “against the grain” or “against nature.” But aparently restaurant goers are “against A Rebours on Thursday nights,” as the restaurant stayed empty during our stay from about 7:45 to 9:20.

But all this, the two men, the music, the emptiness and warm atmosphere, it all was drowned out when my marinated flank steak with three-chilli rub arrived. My first bite was a surprise, as the rub made the edges quite spicy–just as the waitress had warned, but I had so quickly forgotten. But the spice faded and the deep but refreshing flavor took over as I worked through the meat. I was so happy with the dish, I’d go back again at full price for that meal. I indulged in a glass of red wine, too (I’m not quite a snob yet, so I don’t remember what kind), and it all went very well together. I left the restaurant–which was emptier than before–feeling pretty good about life, even though the relatively slow service kept me from making the dry cleaners before close.

The moral of the story: If you don’t care about getting your dry cleaning in time, sign up for the Cities 97 frequent listener’s club. It’s worth it.

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