Midwest Living Review
Tucked away in the culinary hinterland of the Saint Paul suburb of Woodbury, Aperitif is a place for power lunches and client dinners. It's a restaurant catering to the tastes of executive-level professionals. But you don't have to be a CEO to enjoy the attention to detail that chef Chad Grant puts into his dishes. The attractive and expansive outdoor flagstone patio is a great place for lunch or a light dinner after 18 holes of golf. By evening, the patio turns into a relaxing and airy spot to share a drink with friends. The restaurant has a more formal feel -- dark wood, white table linens, waitstaff in pinstripe dress shirts and ties. Highlights on the Mediterranean-inspired menu include lamb osso bucco ($23), beef shish kabobs ($20), hangar steak ($22), and the chef's specialty turkey porterhouse ($23), a hefty cut of marinated turkey breast finished in a wood-fired oven. That same oven is used to fire up pizzas and flatbreads, notably the tasty wild mushroom flatbread ($15) served with a creamy cheese spread and caramelized onion topping. Seafood is well-represented on the menu, too, from a recommended raw tuna carpaccio appetizer ($10) to swordfish steak ($23) and shrimp provencal ($22) to linguini with clam sauce ($15). Sumptuous desserts (all about $8) include raspberry creme brulee, orange-glazed semolina cake and warm Granny Smith apple skillet a la mode. Aperitif is a bit off the beaten path; it's not near any Twin Cities tourist attractions. But it's well worth a visit. Especially if you've got a boss, a client or just a special someone to impress.