Our At Home Summer Dinner Date

In Minneapolis there is this restaurant called Broders that has been open forever.  They’re really well-known for their pasta bar, but in the summer they open a little bistro grill on their patio and offer a completely separate antipasti menu.  It’s just lovely.

This summer has been a series of schedules running opposite of one another so Marcus and I have been trying to schedule designated date nights.  Last Friday was one of those evenings.  What I was actually craving for dinner was Broders, but what I was not craving was the 30 minute drive to South Minneapolis, the wait (they do not take reservations) or the likely $80 dinner bill.  Instead, we decided to create our own little dining al fresco situation on the patio at home.

Our spread. The Spread

We grilled everything we could, because honestly, grilled things just taste better and doubly so when it is summer.  For those members of the group who have never grilled bread before, you must.  Buy a baguette.  Slice it in half.  Slather both halves with olive oil and place face down on the grill.  Grill.  Sprinkle with sea salt and cracked pepper before serving.  You will love it sick.

And by the slice, we actioned a traditional bruschetta with tomatoes and mozzarella.


I cannot remember where I read this, but apparently, when you are making bruschetta with tomatoes you should always use more olive oil and more cheese than you think.  Do that and be glad.

Grilled zucchini (which was topped with shredded parmesan immediately after this snap).


This was good, but definitely the most “nutritious” of the three.

Finally, grilled green onions on whipped cream cheese.

Green Onions

I know, I know.  Whipped cream cheese is not fancy.  But it was already in our fridge and (once again) $4 cheaper/tub than ricotta.  This was the combination I was the most surprised by.  The only reason we grilled green onions is because they were in the fridge already.  I would put this on the Must Do list again.

For those wondering what sort of budget this type of production requires, all of the cheese came from ALDI (even that lovely ball of mozzarella!) and we grabbed the zucchini and tomatoes from Gregor farm.  So the total cost of our meal was probably $15.  Definitely a more economical date night choice.

Do you have any favorite at-home knock-off dinners?


One response to “Our At Home Summer Dinner Date

  1. One of the first Fathers’ Day presents I bought for J were grill presses. They’re perfectly weighted to just squish everything down a bit and force, ahem, encourage those crispy charred lines of perfection. Grilled bread is, indeed, a magical addition to anything.

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