Renee and Steve

Review Restaurants in the Twin Cities Area

Renee's Side

Steve's Side

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Cafe Ena

4601 Grand Avenue South

Minneapolis



     •     Ceviche - A traditional South American ceviche with shrimp, crab, and squid in a cilantro sauce served with tortillas (shared) $11.95

     •     House camarones -- prosciutto-wrapped jumbo shrimp stuffed with brie cheese served with roasted red pepper mashed potatoes, sautéed asparagus and red peppers in a lemon caper butter sauce $19.95

     •     Lemon pie with ice cream $6


This is actually our second time to Cafe Ena. The first time we did not write our review right away and by the time we tried we could not remember enough to do it justice. So back again. I can see how real reviewers have a bigger challenge. My two experiences there were very different.


Both times we went without child, which is a real treat for us. The first time we went, it was nice outside so there were many people out on the patio and very few inside, we got a great booth, and had nice quiet...dare I say, romantic meal. The second time it was cold outside and we were seated at a two top in the middle of the room with large noisy parties on either side of us and child that cried off and on behind us, not the best experience.


The food too was radically different for us, I do remember what I had the first time and it was the scallop dish that was still on the menu or at least the basic premise of it was. It was amazing, I remember almost swooning over it. This time I had the shrimp which was not that great, the prosciutto overpowered the shrimp and it was a salty, cheesy mess. Our appetizer this time was not as good as last either, although I have not had enough cerviche to know if this was a good or not great version of it...it is possible I simply do not like cerviche. This time for dessert I had the lemon pie which was a nice light end to the meal. I am not sure the ice cream was necessary on it.


Overall, I do think Cafe Ena is a good restaurant, but the different experiences are remarkable and if I had based it on the first, it may have been excellent, on the second it would have been fair.


     •     Grouper sautéed truffle butter special served with braised spinach and wild mushroom risotto $21.95

     •     Chocolate orange torta with cinnamon ice cream $6.00


We had a good experience at our first trip to Café Ena in September, but time slipped away from us and we had to go back to try it again for the web site. I really liked my grouper special entrée at Café Ena, and I really liked the salmon that I had on our last visit. The grouper was perfectly cooked, the hot spinach was delicious, and the wild mushroom risotto was fantastic for a hearty winter meal. I was less enthusiastic about the ceviche, and maybe I’m just not a big ceviche fan, but the cilantro seemed to overpower the seafood. The tortilla chips on the side of the ceviche were very good. I was also happy with the chocolate orange torta, which I also had on the prior visit, even though it seemed a little spongy on this occasion. Café Ena is a solid neighborhood restaurant that is worth checking out, and it’s not that far off 35W for relatively easy access

Yes

Casual/Dressy

Street

No

Yes

Fair

No

?

No

Moderate

No

Latin Fusion

Good

$15-$20

January 16, 2010

$100.53

3" glass shaker