The 128 Cafe

★★★★☆
  • 128 Cleveland Ave N

    Saint Paul, MN 55104

    Map & Directions
  • 651-645-4128

4.2941 17
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Worth every penny!\r
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We have traveled around the world, all over the US and grazed our way through some of the best restaurants in the Twin Cities; and I must say our dining experience at the 128 Cafe last night held its own against

3
★★★★★

Worth every penny!\r
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We have traveled around the world, all over the US and grazed our way through some of the best restaurants in the Twin Cities; and I must say our dining experience at the 128 Cafe last night held its own against

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In a time where the pocketbook is tight why can't this neighborhood spot "get" the value of good service. I was shocked having heard such good things years back about this establishment. The service was rigid and uninformed..Not recommended, go to classes on being classy with your patrons... That's right, your money source....sorry. The metro is competative, people can go anywhere...

0
★☆☆☆☆

In a time where the pocketbook is tight why can't this neighborhood spot "get" the value of good service. I was shocked having heard such good things years back about this establishment. The service was rigid and uninformed..Not recommended, go to classes on being classy with your patrons... That's right, your money source....sorry. The metro is competative, people can go anywhere...

Pros: Nice neighborhood

Cons: Service

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We LOVE LOVE LOVE this restaurant! If you haven't eaten there, do yourself a favor and go. This neighborhood treasure is in the basement of an apartment building across the street from the University of St. Thomas. But inside waits an exceptional, upscale restaurant with food that is simply outstanding. The service is expert and friendly. We are vegetarians and never tire of eating there, and our meat-eating friends say they've had some of their best meals there as well. Try the roasted garlic appetizer - it has that plus apple/raisin chutney, goat cheese and baguette slices. I often have this for my meal! They are famous for it. They also offer a wonderful wine selection, great salads and yummy entrees no matter what you are in the mood for. It's perfect for a meal with friends, family, business associates or a romantic evening out. Just writing this review has made me want to go eat there. Cafe 128 rocks!

5
★★★★★

We LOVE LOVE LOVE this restaurant! If you haven't eaten there, do yourself a favor and go. This neighborhood treasure is in the basement of an apartment building across the street from the University of St. Thomas. But inside waits an exceptional, upscale restaurant with food that is simply outstanding. The service is expert and friendly. We are vegetarians and never tire of eating there, and our meat-eating friends say they've had some of their best meals there as well. Try the roasted garlic appetizer - it has that plus apple/raisin chutney, goat cheese and baguette slices. I often have this for my meal! They are famous for it. They also offer a wonderful wine selection, great salads and yummy entrees no matter what you are in the mood for. It's perfect for a meal with friends, family, business associates or a romantic evening out. Just writing this review has made me want to go eat there. Cafe 128 rocks!

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I went to the 128 for a birthday celebration about a month ago. The food and atmosphere was fantastic. The interior is cozy, quaint, and comfortable. The rissotto was delicious, as was the goat cheese and chutney platter with baked garlic clove--never had anything like that, excellent pairings and wonderful flavor. The hostess and server were younger, presumably college goers at UST--they could have been a bit more on top of things as we were left for extended periods of time. but the apps, wine, and their ribs more than made up for it.

2
★★★★★

I went to the 128 for a birthday celebration about a month ago. The food and atmosphere was fantastic. The interior is cozy, quaint, and comfortable. The rissotto was delicious, as was the goat cheese and chutney platter with baked garlic clove--never had anything like that, excellent pairings and wonderful flavor. The hostess and server were younger, presumably college goers at UST--they could have been a bit more on top of things as we were left for extended periods of time. but the apps, wine, and their ribs more than made up for it.

Pros: The food and their wonderful flavor combinations--truly a place for those who have a more refined palate.

Cons: Pricey, difficult to park with all the permit-only restrictions.

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I had been meaning to get to 128 Cafe for years and finally made it. It really was not as good as I had anticipated. The food and service were okay...but my fish way too under-cooked, and when I asked them to take it back, they first said that it's supposed to be that way - and when I asked them to do it anyway, they barely cooked it much more. I also placed a take-out order, and realized after I left the restaurant that it was a fraction of the portion that my friend was served for her meal. The portion looked more like someones leftovers, but still cost $18. Although small, it was tasty. Won't return anytime soon.

1
★★★☆☆

I had been meaning to get to 128 Cafe for years and finally made it. It really was not as good as I had anticipated. The food and service were okay...but my fish way too under-cooked, and when I asked them to take it back, they first said that it's supposed to be that way - and when I asked them to do it anyway, they barely cooked it much more. I also placed a take-out order, and realized after I left the restaurant that it was a fraction of the portion that my friend was served for her meal. The portion looked more like someones leftovers, but still cost $18. Although small, it was tasty. Won't return anytime soon.

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My wife and I went on Valentine's Day. They had a fixed price 4 course menu. We were seated within 5 minutes. We waited 5 minutes for our server. When we told her we'd like to look at the wine list, she showed us where it was and then we didn't see her for 15 minutes. When she came back, I asked her if she had a choice between the Tempranillo/Merlot blend or the Pinot Noir, which would she choose. She looked at us blankly and said, "uhh, those are really different wines." The entire night the service was excruciatingly slow. For the 4 course meal, we were there almost 3 hours. All of the tables around us experienced the same thing...some left without dessert even though they had already paid for it. The food was mostly very good. The pizza appetizer was cooked perfectly and very flavorful. The Caesar salad was VERY average. Just some romaine on a little plate with some croutons..no garnish whatsoever. My pork tenderloin was very good and perfectly cooked. My wife's was ordered medium but came out rare to medium rare. Dessert was excellent. I'd highly recommend any of the Izzy's ice cream selections. The atmosphere was cozy but crowded...the people next to us could barely take off their coats without us moving out of the way. So overall, pretty good food the such bad service that we probably won't go back very soon...too many other choices in the Twin Cities with comparable or better food and definitely better service.

1
★★★☆☆

My wife and I went on Valentine's Day. They had a fixed price 4 course menu. We were seated within 5 minutes. We waited 5 minutes for our server. When we told her we'd like to look at the wine list, she showed us where it was and then we didn't see her for 15 minutes. When she came back, I asked her if she had a choice between the Tempranillo/Merlot blend or the Pinot Noir, which would she choose. She looked at us blankly and said, "uhh, those are really different wines." The entire night the service was excruciatingly slow. For the 4 course meal, we were there almost 3 hours. All of the tables around us experienced the same thing...some left without dessert even though they had already paid for it. The food was mostly very good. The pizza appetizer was cooked perfectly and very flavorful. The Caesar salad was VERY average. Just some romaine on a little plate with some croutons..no garnish whatsoever. My pork tenderloin was very good and perfectly cooked. My wife's was ordered medium but came out rare to medium rare. Dessert was excellent. I'd highly recommend any of the Izzy's ice cream selections. The atmosphere was cozy but crowded...the people next to us could barely take off their coats without us moving out of the way. So overall, pretty good food the such bad service that we probably won't go back very soon...too many other choices in the Twin Cities with comparable or better food and definitely better service.

Pros: Good food, romantic

Cons: Terrible service

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I tried grilled vegetables with couscous which I really loved, but what my friend ordered from today's special, pasta, was just average. The peach pie for dessert, also with a candle on it for my birthday was cute and good. The place is small and a little dark at dinner time with a good atmosphere. But the place is cramped with tables, and the first table we got was in front of a very loud air conditioner (it was in September). The next table was on the wall with a dusty radiator. I wouldn't go back because I felt uncomfortable with their physical setting of the room and the food was not particularly great for the price. You can park on the street at certain time in the evening or on the weekend.

1
★★★☆☆

I tried grilled vegetables with couscous which I really loved, but what my friend ordered from today's special, pasta, was just average. The peach pie for dessert, also with a candle on it for my birthday was cute and good. The place is small and a little dark at dinner time with a good atmosphere. But the place is cramped with tables, and the first table we got was in front of a very loud air conditioner (it was in September). The next table was on the wall with a dusty radiator. I wouldn't go back because I felt uncomfortable with their physical setting of the room and the food was not particularly great for the price. You can park on the street at certain time in the evening or on the weekend.

Pros: Food, service

Cons: Table arrangement

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Hearty mid-western fare & vegetarian options - my dish tasted like they stopped by the farmer's market that morning to pick up some fresh asparagus & organic, run around in the sun chicken. Not too expensive considering the quality of the meal & centrally located in the TC. Loved that I could check out a sample menu on their web site.
The food was very good, staff genuinely nice & atmosphere comfortable. Accommodated our group of 12 quite well.
I'll definitely be back for a romantic dinner with my husband, who will love their wine list. We will, however, split dessert - it was huge!
Also, it's a great place to take guests in from the East if you don't want to throw one of our TC Italian restaurants up against a Little Italy crowd.

2
★★★★★

Hearty mid-western fare & vegetarian options - my dish tasted like they stopped by the farmer's market that morning to pick up some fresh asparagus & organic, run around in the sun chicken. Not too expensive considering the quality of the meal & centrally located in the TC. Loved that I could check out a sample menu on their web site.
The food was very good, staff genuinely nice & atmosphere comfortable. Accommodated our group of 12 quite well.
I'll definitely be back for a romantic dinner with my husband, who will love their wine list. We will, however, split dessert - it was huge!
Also, it's a great place to take guests in from the East if you don't want to throw one of our TC Italian restaurants up against a Little Italy crowd.

Pros: Service & Food

Cons: Parking

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As a resident of this area, I am sorely disappointed with myself. Why haven't I been to 128 Cafe before? 128 Cafe is a charming restaurant tucked in the bottom of an apartment building. The food is delicious, and the portions are just right. One is tempted to overeat here. (The prices help with that.) The cozy place would be a great date spot.

2
★★★★★

As a resident of this area, I am sorely disappointed with myself. Why haven't I been to 128 Cafe before? 128 Cafe is a charming restaurant tucked in the bottom of an apartment building. The food is delicious, and the portions are just right. One is tempted to overeat here. (The prices help with that.) The cozy place would be a great date spot.

Pros: Charming, Small portions, Delicious food

Cons: No parking, Pricey

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We keep coming back to 128 Cafe. For me it is the priemere restaurant in the Twin Cities for high quality food and service and is consistant. I've never had a bad experience here. The menu has a few items- but they are all delicious! Fun atmosphere, great staff, and resonable prices. I'll keep going here!

2
★★★★★

We keep coming back to 128 Cafe. For me it is the priemere restaurant in the Twin Cities for high quality food and service and is consistant. I've never had a bad experience here. The menu has a few items- but they are all delicious! Fun atmosphere, great staff, and resonable prices. I'll keep going here!

Pros: Food`, Service

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Went here on a weekend evening in Sept 2003. Had reservations but didn't need them. The roasted garlic was so good it is now the standard I compare others to. Service was nice, prices were resonable for the gourmet fare. Good vegetarian menu options.

2
★★★★★

Went here on a weekend evening in Sept 2003. Had reservations but didn't need them. The roasted garlic was so good it is now the standard I compare others to. Service was nice, prices were resonable for the gourmet fare. Good vegetarian menu options.

Pros: Tasty food, cozy space

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Enjoyed the atmosphere, the service was superb. Both my companion and I enjoyed our appetizer (a wonderful combination of roasted garlic, sweet chutney and cream cheese to spread on toast), but were only mildly impressed with our entrees (I had the Mahi Tuna and she had the Large Ceasar with Chicken) - especially for the price. We ordered a mildly expensive bottle of wine and were shocked when the waitress had to screw off the top! Also - we had to keep our coats on the entire time because it was freezing, and we were seated next to the radiator (which may not have been working because it was ice cold).

2
★★★★☆

Enjoyed the atmosphere, the service was superb. Both my companion and I enjoyed our appetizer (a wonderful combination of roasted garlic, sweet chutney and cream cheese to spread on toast), but were only mildly impressed with our entrees (I had the Mahi Tuna and she had the Large Ceasar with Chicken) - especially for the price. We ordered a mildly expensive bottle of wine and were shocked when the waitress had to screw off the top! Also - we had to keep our coats on the entire time because it was freezing, and we were seated next to the radiator (which may not have been working because it was ice cold).

Pros: ambiance, valet parking, friendly service

Cons: , expensive, hit & miss with food

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While the food was excellent, our 7:30 reservation did us no good. We were not seated until after 8:00. Once seated was a table for six that had been available and was immediately "broken down" for four for the 8:00 reservation held by someone else. This was not very impressive and the long wait we had could have been avoided.

2
★★★★☆

While the food was excellent, our 7:30 reservation did us no good. We were not seated until after 8:00. Once seated was a table for six that had been available and was immediately "broken down" for four for the 8:00 reservation held by someone else. This was not very impressive and the long wait we had could have been avoided.

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The food here is lick your plate clean! Love that they change their menu seasonally.

2
★★★★★

The food here is lick your plate clean! Love that they change their menu seasonally.

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Limited menu selection only 6 main entrees. Menu items specialized and probably change by visit. Chef prepared. Only 1 seafood offered, tiger shrimp. Most entrees expensive. Overkill with unusual added ingredients to dishes. Ribs the most simple and tasty item on menu. Penne with duck had only 5 small strips of duck meat. Crowded, safe, academic college neighborhood, offered valet parking. Unappetizing plate of half eaten food from the valet sitting in the storm doored entry way. Small and dark with white tablecloths and candlelight, like eating in someones basement flat. Decorating sparse with old panelling, low ceiling, and visible radiators, etc. Half below ground with a few windows looking out to street. Clean, cozy and quiet, good for table conversation. Service excellent and best feature. Reservation recommended due to small size. Somewhat over rated by reviews we had read. Of course you might love it. Hope this helps.

2
★★★★☆

Limited menu selection only 6 main entrees. Menu items specialized and probably change by visit. Chef prepared. Only 1 seafood offered, tiger shrimp. Most entrees expensive. Overkill with unusual added ingredients to dishes. Ribs the most simple and tasty item on menu. Penne with duck had only 5 small strips of duck meat. Crowded, safe, academic college neighborhood, offered valet parking. Unappetizing plate of half eaten food from the valet sitting in the storm doored entry way. Small and dark with white tablecloths and candlelight, like eating in someones basement flat. Decorating sparse with old panelling, low ceiling, and visible radiators, etc. Half below ground with a few windows looking out to street. Clean, cozy and quiet, good for table conversation. Service excellent and best feature. Reservation recommended due to small size. Somewhat over rated by reviews we had read. Of course you might love it. Hope this helps.

Pros: valet parking, quiet for conversing, chef prepared food

Cons: basement ambiance, small menu selection, limited seafood menu

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Fine dining in a NY basement style bistro atmosphere. Food is presently artfully and yet without pretention. Staff is great.
One suggestion: Serve hard liquor.

2
★★★★★

Fine dining in a NY basement style bistro atmosphere. Food is presently artfully and yet without pretention. Staff is great.
One suggestion: Serve hard liquor.

Pros: food, wine, staff

Cons: finding st. parking, a bit expensive, no hard liquor

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convenient and a nice surprise in an unpretentious atmosphere. recommend reservations.

2
★★★★★

convenient and a nice surprise in an unpretentious atmosphere. recommend reservations.

 

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