Restaurant round-up: where to take Mommy dearest

Give ma’s pocketbook a rest, and take her out on the town for some cozy comfort food.

A blueberry cheesecake cupcake topped with smooth cream cheese frosting and blueberries from Cupcake on University Avenue.

Amanda Snyder

A blueberry cheesecake cupcake topped with smooth cream cheese frosting and blueberries from Cupcake on University Avenue.

by Lucy Nieboer

She ran onto the school bus when you forgot your library books in kindergarten. She battled your teenage angst with forced sing-alongs in the car on the way to school. She mercilessly embarrassed you when she gave you a book on sexual health at family Christmas. But without her, you would be lost.

A special meal out is the least you can do for a gal who let you shack up in her uterus for the better part of a year. Whether your old lady is hard as nails or a post-menopausal softie, A&E has found the perfect places to treat her to some comfort food.


For the urban, palm-pilot packing mama:


2528 S. Nicollet Ave., Minneapolis

At Icehouse, the “new American” food is sure to impress any high-profile career woman. The chefs here take old favorites and brush them with a foodie-powered magic wand.

An Icehouse burger is in another galaxy compared to the brown pucks served at your neighborhood bar and grill, sporting a dressing of foie gras and truffle demi-glace. The hot wings aren’t served with bleu cheese dressing and celery sticks either — they come with bleu cheese mousse and curried pickled vegetables.

Comfort food taken to the next level is perfect for the hard-to-impress. Its simple flavors satisfy, and its unique presentation wows.


For the old-fashioned pearls-and-skirts mother hen

Dixie’s on Grand

695 Grand Ave., St. Paul

This St. Paul spot may be located in the cold North Star state, but one foot in the door is a clear step south of the Mason-Dixon line.

Furnished in dark oak and white tablecloths, the dining room is a grand tribute to the finesse of the old South. The menu, too, reflects the rich and fattening flavors of old traditions.

Your mama can get messy with a platter of ribs, fried chicken or a bowl of cheesy grits, but don’t worry — cloth napkins abound to keep your Southern belle looking put together and demure.


For the globe-trotting mamacita:

Rincón 38

3801 S. Grand Ave., Minneapolis

For the more adventurous ladies, a round-trip ticket to Rincón 38 is just what the flavor-doctor ordered.

Here, small plates are queen, and they rule supremely. The small servings of authentic tapas pack a huge punch. A simple plate of Spanish ham and olives with a light oil dressing is as complex and flavorful as the paprika meatballs that come in a small ceramic crock with a hearty tomato sauce.

The relaxed atmosphere and communal seating add to the playful but refined look of Rincón, which sports a colorful beaded curtain as a door to the kitchen and plenty of bar seating perfect for enjoying a glass of after-dinner Cava.


For the Betty Crocker matriarch:


3338 University Ave. SE, Minneapolis

Any woman who has an inkling of pastry prowess in the kitchen can appreciate the works of art that adorn the glass cases at Cupcake.

The sweet gems span a huge range of flavor and hue, so even the pickiest of sweet teeth can be satisfied.

In addition to the bevy of petite cakes, a broad menu of simple lunchtime fare like soups and sandwiches are superb choices for a light Mother’s Day meal.