Has enough time finally passed that we can mention Il Gatto without referring to it as the restaurant that replaced Figlio? It certainly has its own identity by now, under the firm direction of local rainmaker and James Beard Award winner Tim McKee (a few popular holdovers from Figlio's old menu notwithstanding). Il Gatto has a daily happy hour from open (4 p.m. Monday through Friday, 3 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday) until 6 p.m., and nightly from 10 p.m. to midnight. The Hot Dish stopped in and enjoyed some of the substantial happy hour offerings.
|Il Gatto: an upscale urban happy hour |
With groups of delicious food and drink at four price points, all at or below $10, Il Gatto's happy hour menu is as diverse as some restaurants' dinner menus. From martinis and specialty cocktails to house wine and steak tartare, it would be easy to enjoy a whole meal without ever looking at the full menu.
At $5, the Italian Stallion is a unique concoction of Amaretto, sour, and Prosecco. Lightly sweet and highly drinkable, it's a cocktail unique to the happy hour menu, and is highly recommended.
At $3, the overflowing basket of house-cut fries with
grated pecorino and rosemary-sage aioli is a steal. The generous sprinkle of pecorino alone is worth the price tag.
Also at the $3 price point, the house-made mozzarella with basil pesto, baby tomatoes, and grilled bread is flavorful and indulgent, but not recommended for a first date, as there's no good way to get the stuff onto the thickly sliced bread without a pair of gardening sheers and a haz-mat suit.
In the $5 realm, the Fonduta (fontina cheese, poached egg, and grilled bread) is a thick, savory version of a creme brulee--dense, creamy, and rich. A good way to spoil your dinner, unless of course it is your dinner.
At $5 a pop, the house wine comes in a carafe with an accompanying juice glass. They know you're not here to stand on ceremony. Pour it in and drink it down--there's more where that came from.
For a diverse and extensive happy hour menu and great deals at multiple price levels, Il Gatto is the place to go.
Il Gatto Uptown Italian
3001 Hennepin Avenue South
Minneapolis, MN 55408
Il Gatto's website
3001 Hennepin Ave. S., Minneapolis, MN