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Diner's Journal: Three affordable fixed-price meals

  • March 1, 2014 - 2:00 PM

Ordering a fixed-price dinner doesn’t necessarily require a major investment.

Calling the Gray House one of the Twin Cities’ great under-the-radar gems is an understatement, and here’s one reason why: On Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday nights, chef/owner Ian Gray is now preparing a three-course, $20 meal that reflects his hyper-seasonal, hyper-local ethos. This week’s menu includes a fennel-frisée salad with a walnut vinaigrette, followed by a choice of flank steak with steel-cut oats prepared risotto-style, a bowl of house-made udon noodles finished with citrus and hops, or chicken thigh confit served with great northern beans. Dessert? A fruit crisp.

610 W. Lake St., Mpls., 612-823-4338, www.thegrayhouseeats.com

Every Monday evening, Mona Restaurant & Bar chef/owner Lisa Hanson lays out a three-course option — with some dishes culled from her highly graze-worthy dinner menu, including a +terrific open-faced shrimp salad sandwich on toasted brioche — and others prepared especially for the occasion. Each course is matched with a wine pairing. Cost: $35. Free parking in the building’s underground ramp.

333 S. 7th St., Mpls., 612-259-8636, www.monarestaurant.com

On Sunday evenings, Rinata chef/owner Jonathan Hunt and his crew pull together a remarkable bargain: a four-course (antipasti, salad, entree and dessert) dinner, with two or three options in each course, including delicious vegetarian selections. The cozy setting comes with the tab. Cost: $20.

2451 Hennepin Av. S., Mpls., 612-374-8998, www.rinatarestaurant.com

RICK NELSON

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