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Signature Cafe

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Caterers, Breakfast, Brunch & Lunch Restaurants, Coffee Shops

130 Warwick St SE, Minneapolis, MN 55414


Today: 11:00 am - 10:00 pm

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21 Reviews
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Provided by Citysearch
The best place in the Twin Cities!

I live in this neighborhood and when I moved here a neighbor recommended that I try this place.

Walking in I didn't know what to think. There is a lot of liberal paraphernalia around--and I'm just not used to seeing things like that in restaurants. But part of me immediately liked the honesty of the gesture.

The food on the menu is simple--I didn't know how to take that either the first time I was there. Nothing on there needs to be ""googled"" like some places I've been to. However in this case, simple does not mean boring. This food proves that when quality ingredients are cooked well--they are delicious--no fancy gimmicks needed! I was so impressed that I’ve become a “regular.” I’ve met the owners who are always nice (Nathalie doesn’t hang around tables chatting like some of the older reviews I’ve read—so she must have changed.). Most of the time the service is excellent—sometimes it’s a bit spotty (seems to coincide with training someone new), however always pleasant and friendly.

The food is on the pricey side--but I know that the owners buy locally when they can and take great pride in sourcing ingredients that are ethically and humanely farmed, and I'm sure that costs more. Also I'm sure that the cost of running the place is high too.

I come here as often as I can afford. I’ve brought work colleagues and also my parents and my in laws (all hard to please in different ways and all very impressed with this place!) I always request this place for celebrating special events. Try this out—you might question it at first, but once you take a bite you will be won over! The pork short ribs and the bread pudding make for the best measl I've ever had--everytime I have it!

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Provided by Citysearch
Romantic bistro - outstanding food

I have eaten here many times in the past few years and can truly say each meal has been wonderful, romantic and memorable. Two of these meals were incredibly outstanding and both were fish creations. I had Arctic Char recently with a mustard reduction sauce - out of this world, and another with lemon caper sauce was one of the best meals I have ever had in my life. Want a place that is romantic and feels like a romantic bistro in a European hamlet? Well - this is it! A gem with a great central location that borders St. Paul and Mpls. Go at five and still have time to get to the theatre or symphony. Great wine selection too. And the creme caramel is outstanding. The only thing I really miss is seeing the neighborhood cat who used to visit several times an evening several years back... The owners have always been very gracious whenever I've eaten there.

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Provided by Citysearch
Great lunch!

The restaurant was a bit difficult to find (thank you GPS) and that probably explains why it was not necessary to have a reservation. The clientele was professional-looking - a mix of people in suits like myself or casual - like they made their money already :) The wine list was very decent and the lunch was delicious.

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Provided by Citysearch
Great Owners-I've actually met them

I can't believe someone would write a critcal opinion of the owners of a restaurant to which they have not been! I had to write to say I have eaten here several times and have not only found the food delicious but the owners friendly and helpful. I recommend this restaurant to anyone. It is quite small and cosy so if you aren't into that then maybe it won't work for you, but we love it.

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Provided by Citysearch
bad ownership

I was looking for a good place to eat brunch with my wife. I've heard their advertisement a lot on Air America. But after reading the reviews, I don't think I would want to go. Sometimes the wait staff problems can be fixed. However, it seems like the bad experience there was due to the owner of the restaurant. This makes me really reluctant to visit the restaurant. Until I hear otherwise, I think it would be safe to stay away from this restaurant. There's nothing worse than bad service.

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Provided by Citysearch
Neighborhood Gem!

Just took my second trip to Signature Cafe for a special occasion. Again, it was just great on a beautiful summer evening. They had a four course dinner option with accompanying wines which were outstanding. The patio is perfect for relaxing. I have thoroughly enjoyed both of my trips here.

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Provided by Citysearch
Problematic: whiney owner, overpriced, mediocre

In principle this should be a delightful place...in practice it is merely adequate. We went (two couples) and partook of a decent tasting menu and wine flight. It was underwhelming overall from a culinary standpoint. I feel that Signature is resting on its reputation as a ""liberal joint"" rather than turning out good food.

Mind you, my politics are pretty much the same as the owners, but I don't care to mix politics with food, but the rather bitter, overbearing owner couldn't keep herself from espousing her views to our table, and then proceeded to complain about the political environment in general. Then she proceeded to complain about how tough the restaurant business is (yes, I know!) and carry on at length despite the fact that we kept edging towards the door.

So, I think its a ""liberal-trap"" (sorta like a tourist trap). It left a bad taste in my mouth psychically and cuisine-wise. The wait staff was dopey and slow, too. Finally, it was really pretty pricey.

I know the owner is unabashed in her views, but I can't help but think she's part of the problem with civil discourse in this country...we would not think it very charming to go to the Rush Limbaugh cafe....so why does Signature get a pass?

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Provided by Citysearch
I was hoping for more

After hearing so many commercials on Air America radio about this place, I decided to stop by. It was 5:30 on a Friday night, but most of the tables were empty, so I thought they'd be happy to have a customer. They asked me if I had reservations and I told them I didn't; they said they could seat me, but I'd need to give up my table by 7:15. I thought that's a bit odd to start out a customer's experience telling them when they need to leave by; but I wanted to try out the food, so I stayed.

It took forever for my server (who seemed to act like he didn't want me there) to take my wine order. When I finally got my soup- it was so hot I couldn't eat it for 10 minutes (microwaved?). My seared scallops weren't seared, in fact they were basically raw. The flavor was great, but the texture made me gag. I was never asked how my food was. I would've told them- and told them that the triangle thing they gave me was flavorless, along with whatever my scallops were resting on. I couldn't wait to get my bill- which took about 15 minutes to get.

I wanted to try some of the things that show up on their online menu, but those things weren't on their menu in the restaurant. I was really looking for something middle eastern inspired, but nothing.

I love Air America and I want to patron the places that advertise with them, but this place needs serious work from top to bottom for me to go back.

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Provided by Citysearch
Not good for groups- and don't let the owners know it!

A group of 8 went to the Signature Cafe for dinner. We were told on the phone that we could only order from the group menu, which was fine. Not told of the price of the group menu though!
I have went to this Cafe many times before and had a wonderful experience. This time I was pretty surprised.

Later I wrote the owners a letter telling of my surprise, and that I had always enjoyed the restaurant in the past. I got a response via email that said that noone else has ever complained about this and perhaps my group is better suited to eat at a corporate restaurant. After this experience I will not be back.

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Provided by Citysearch
Great Food, Friendly service, Great wine list

We have been twice to the Signature. Both times we have been treated like family. (only better because we did not have to do the dishes) Nathalie is a genius in the kitchen, Everything is fresh and flavorful. On the first occasion we had the special pizza for lunch. Organic chicken sausage, spinach and goat cheese. The flavors blended so well every bite was delicious. The second time was for there tasting menu. There were three of us so we were able to try most of the items offered. Each item was cooked perfectly and beautifully presented. The wine selections matched the food very well. It is small so for dinner you will need reservations, but lunch is not so crowded. You have to park on the street, but even when the were very busy we were able to park just across the street.

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Provided by Citysearch
Everything is amazing!

This place is fantastic, it's location is right off of 280 and I-94, and while there's no parking lot, street parking is rarely a problem and always free. The staff is minimal, but the restaurant's small, and they do a phenomenol job, you're never sitting looking for help. I went with my parents and grandparents, and we all had something different, and not one person was disappointed. The salmon is to die for, the oriental pork - which I was very unsure about - melts in your mouth and is absolutely amazing, the crepes were crispy and the filling was so different, yet perfect. Tony will reccommend a wine for you and Nathalie always makes an appearance to see how you're doing. My fiance and I discussed it, and we're quite picky, and the food here wins in the top 10 of the best meals we've EVER HAD. It's incredible, a must try! The price is up there, but worth every penny! Oh, and do not miss the flourless torte, with a cup of coffee, it's the perfect ending to an incredible meal!

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Provided by Citysearch
Mixed feelings--NOT friendly

We live quite close to Signature Cafe, and over the years, have patronized it regularly in its several incarnations (it used to be Tulips, and then became Egyptian-eclectic, before Nathalie acquired it). The food is generally good, and often excellent, though slightly on the pricey side. However, the owner can be chatty to the point of intrusive (she's a HUGE fan of Bill Clinton), so I'd recommend going when it's busy. The experience that turned us off occurred when we were walking through the neighborhood, and stopped by to have some dessert. Although there were empty tables, the owner refused to serve us just dessert! I have never heard of a business that turned away sober, respectable customers--her logic escapes me. We won't be back.

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Provided by Citysearch
intimate, great food

a reservation guarentees the staff will be ready to service you when you walk in the door. Food was very prompt and delicious. I was unsure of which wine to choose and they suggested a perfect match. The menu isnt huge, but selected dishes are top notch. When its nice, the patio is great, though there isnt much lighting out there once it's dark.

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Provided by Citysearch
lovely place, food not always polished

I've enjoyed seeing Signature transform itself over the years. I'll go back to this incarnation because of the ambiance and the careful preparation of food, but I thought the place could use some subtlety. great crab cakes, served drenched in maple syrup, drowning in dried blueberries, atop heavy rice. salad oversauced and also used sweet /heavy flavors (berries, huge clumps of cheese) to add body where it wasn't needed. Nathalie was charming, but didn't get that we were having an intimate dinner and so didn't want to chat with her. All in all, I want this place to work, and hope it does so by evening out its palate and service.

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Provided by Citysearch
This Place is Not an Option!!!

Treat yourself and bring some friends. This is on the of the best finds that we have found in the Twin Cities. We are here for only 2 months of the year, and eat here a much as possible. Great food. Great people. Great price. Great service. I don't many places that do all four. Our travels take us world wide and this place is one for the books. Highly Recommended!

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Provided by Citysearch
a wonderful surprise

Attended based on seeing Signature Cafe reviewed on City Search. What a great experience! Delicious food, great service, and personal appearances from the chef. Bread pudding, often dry and tasteless at other restaurants, was moist and delicious. Wonderful chicken salad and an incredibly tempting not-your-ordinary lunch buffet.
Promptly booked a reservation for Valentine's Day and plan to return often.

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Provided by Citysearch

Living in the neighborhood, we eat here frequently and had our Rehearsal Dinner at Signature Cafe. It was magical! Nathalie and Tony took our very general and unorganized ideas and created a personalized meal that everyone loved. It was great to have our everyday favorite host a once-in-a-lifetime event!

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Provided by Citysearch
Adventure Lover

So very enjoyable! Don't even look at the menu until hearing the nightly specials. Everything on the menu is wonderful, but if you decide on one & then hear the specials, you'll have a tough decision to make. Try the potroast, lemon thyme chicken, flash fried four cheese ravioli with shrimp, lobster risotto, or anything else. You won't be disappointed. The wine list is equally amazing. Deserts(creme caramel!!) are to die for. Nathlie, the owner, Tony, and the rest of the staff are there to please you. Any problems are quickly resolved.
UPDATE 11/15/2007
Contrary to a recent reviewer, our experience with GROUP DINING has also been WONDERFUL! We often bring 6 or 8 friends here. We are offered a limited choice, fixed price menu when dinning as a group. These choices have the same quality and are actually less costly (better value) then the full menu.
Understanding that The Sig has about 40 seats, we realize our parties of 8 or 10 take up 20 to 25% of the available space. We are always thrilled with the food, service, & value provided.
Our dinning experience, as a couple or as a group, is always exceptional. We bring many friends & visit 2 to 3 times a week. We've been doing this since August , 2003 & will continue sharing the experience with friends. All of our friends have also been thrilled. Try it, you'll like it.

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Provided by Citysearch
What a Great Place!

A friend of mine took me there for lunch. What a surprise. The food was incredible! The owner stopped by to say hello, which is a lost art in some restaurants. The ambiance was very soothing. The fun part was the visit by Esmeralda (I thought that was her name) the cat. I will definitely be back!

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Provided by Citysearch
Signature Cafe

We dined there the day after Valentine's Day. The food was superb. The crab cakes were the right consistency and with a delicate flavor. The roasted pork loin was done perfectly and was very tender and moist. The only weak spot in the meal was the corn souffle. Owner/chef Natalie acknowledged worrying about it. That person was one of the bright spots of the experience, she was open to suggestions and appreciated some honest feedback. (Try that at the average chain trough!) I would not hesitate to return.

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Regular Hours
Tue - Fri:
Caterers, Breakfast, Brunch & Lunch Restaurants, Coffee Shops, Family Style Restaurants, Mediterranean Restaurants, Restaurants
Payment Options
Price Range
University, Prospect Park

Signature Cafe & Catering

Signature Cafe And Catering

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Other Information

Parking: Street

Wi-Fi: Free

Attire: Casual

Wheelchair Accessible: Yes

Bike Parking: Yes

Takes Reservations: Yes

Outdoor Seating: Yes

Cuisines: Mediterranean, Caterers, Family Style, Cafeterias, Breakfast, Brunch & Lunch

Cuisine: American

Price Range : Average

Good for Kids: Yes

Good For Family: Yes

Pets Allowed: Yes

Good For Groups: Yes

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