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Minneapolis Restaurants: Reviews & Recommendations

277 posts in this topic

Hell's Kitchen is great for lunch.

Nobody's mentioned the Firelake Grill.  It's spendy, but I think it's terrifically good.  Am I the only one?

Haven't been. I believe that's in the Radisson, and I don't usually think of a hotel restaurant when considering where to go in Minneapolis.


We cannot employ the mind to advantage when we are filled with excessive food and drink - Cicero

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Hell's Kitchen is great for lunch.

Nobody's mentioned the Firelake Grill.  It's spendy, but I think it's terrifically good.  Am I the only one?

Haven't been. I believe that's in the Radisson, and I don't usually think of a hotel restaurant when considering where to go in Minneapolis.

Hmm. It might be next door to the Radisson, but I don't think so. (It's been a couple of years, so all I remember clearly is that it's on a side street off the Nicollet Mall.) It's an independent setup, anyway.


Nancy Smith, aka "Smithy"
HosteG Forumsnsmith@egstaff.org

"Every day should be filled with something delicious, because life is too short not to spoil yourself. " -- Ling (with permission)

"There comes a time in every project when you have to shoot the engineer and start production." -- author unknown

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On a good day, Jerusalems on Nicollet is a pretty good Middle Eastern place to eat. Their lunch menu seems a better deal than their dinner portions.

ALso, you can substitute rice for french fries with no upcharge, but you have to remember to ask for tahini sauce on the side. You can also substitute the Tabouli salad for the "western" type lettuce salad that comes standard with many of the dishes.

doc

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Was in Minneapolis in July, can second the vote for Solera; also for Levain. And can also get behind Auriga, and especially Alma, probably the cheapest of the four and good, simple, elegant but very 'come as you are.' None are particularly cheap or ethnic but you'll have a great meal.


<b>Laurie Woolever</b>

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We went to 112 Eatery and had a fabulous meal, really amazing. Loved the caramel corn they give

out at the end of the meal. We ate almost the entire menu and had nothing but rave reviews for

everything, nice wine list too! Although I am not familiar with the area you are specifically looking

for it seems to be this may be near there from the other places mentioned. A hui hou.......


"You can't miss with a ham 'n' egger......"

Ervin D. Williams 9/1/1921 - 6/8/2004

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If the bus numbers haven't changed, I would hop on a 17A on Nicollet Mall and ride it to Hennepin Lake. Walk 1 block to 31st, take a right..dinner at Lucia's. It's a nice neighborhood to roam around in.

I'd second Bakery on Grand, as well. My sister and I had dinner there last time I went home. Once I figured out that it wasn't St. Paul's Grand Avenue we sailed right to the front door. It was a wonderful meal and we had great service.

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...elegant but very 'come as you are.'

Minneapolis is a come-as-you-are sort of town.

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I just returned from a short trip to Minneapolis and southern Minnesota. My thanks to those who post recommendations here. Based on what I read here (and my experience from a previous trip), I dined here:

112 Eatery -- A terrific, bustling restaurant in a long, skinny space (reminds me of the Dahlia Lounge in Seattle). The menu was filled with interesting choices. We wanted to have them all, but we ended up with several appetizers. The top choice was the lardon/foie gras salad, which included a bed of greens studded with chunky lardons, a large piece of perfectly done foie gras (slightly crispy on the outside and melting on the inside), and an incredible egg -- poached and then quick cooled, dusted with bread crumbs, and then deep fried, so it was firm on the outside with a runny yolk inside. This was definitely one of those "omigawd" dishes that keeps one exploring new places. The sweetbreads were also terrific, but the lamb scottadito (little lamb chops that almost seemed to have been cooked in a panini press) were a little too midwestern (overdone) for our taste.

Vincent (for lunch) -- Another great restaurant, especially for lunch, when the prices are a bit lower. We had perfectly done grouper, a salade chinois that we adored when we had it last year but whose dressing was a bit overtart and unbalancing this year, and a pureed fish soup with incredible saffron flavor -- another "omigawd" dish that may very well have been made from the previous night's fish stew (if so, my supreme compliments to the chef!).

Alma -- Another return visit. We really liked this last year, but this year struggled to find anything we wanted to have. (Several items included butternut squash, which I hate.) The menu is really geared toward the three course fixed price, but we weren't that hungry. The tomato salad was misnamed -- only a couple of small pear tomatoes served with greens and thin sliced potatoes. The orzo was delicious, probably cooked in a fish sauce, and really showed what the kitchen could do. And smoked eggplant ravioli that really showed off the smokey eggplant filling. Although well prepared and with excellent ingredients, the dishes were small and to our notion, overpriced. The fixed price option would have been more economical, but even so, the dishes didn't seem to sing like those at 112 Eatery.


Check out our Fooddoings and more at A View from Eastmoreland

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Vincent (for lunch) -- Another great restaurant, especially for lunch, when the prices are a bit lower. We had perfectly done grouper, a salade chinois that we adored when we had it last year but whose dressing was a bit overtart and unbalancing this year, and a pureed fish soup with incredible saffron flavor -- another "omigawd" dish that may very well have been made from the previous night's fish stew (if so, my supreme compliments to the chef!).

Chef Vincent Francoual's "special talents" praticularly shine with both fish and soups. You chose wisely.


We cannot employ the mind to advantage when we are filled with excessive food and drink - Cicero

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Just got back from Minneapolis, great weather this week! A surprisingly lively and liveable city with a neat neo-socialist meets woodlands vibe. Thanks again for the recs; due to time, location, and money I couldn't try everything I wanted to but definitely enjoyed brunch at Hell's Kitchen (they should market that bison sausage, it's awesome! enjoyed the wild rice and berry porridge too.) and tapas at Solera (everything was suave yet authentic). Thanks again!

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I will be in Minneapolis for one night before a conference starts and would like a great meal before I have to start eating "meeting food". Can anyone suggest a place where I , as a woman alone, won't be made to feel out of place, but will get something yummy and comforting on a cold day.?

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Downtown Mpls? Price Range, personal tastes?

Maybe looking through this will help you find a couple places that look interesting, and then Twin Cities eG members can help with their personal advice.

http://www.citypages.com/restaurants/directory.asp

SB :smile:

Disclaimer: I have friends in the business and am therefore somewhat prejudiced

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Downtown Mpls? Price Range, personal tastes?

Oh-Sorry. Staying at the Courtyard by Marriot Downtown--an old train station (?) . Price--not important, but not the point either. Cheap or expensive, I want someplace with great food that won't treat me like an idiot for being a woman eating out alone. Taste? Eclectic. I' m not partial to Japanese food and don't love things that are really hot. But a little spicy is fine. Trendy for it's own sake bores me--but if it is work by a chef that sees things in a different way--goodie.

Does that help?


Edited by shadow (log)

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I've been to MSP on business several times over the past year, so I've dined out solo there many times. Not sure how it might be different for a woman dining alone. I've always been treated well by the staff of any restaurant where I've been on my own.

Sometimes I sit at the bar if I can get full service there. I did that at 112 Eatery and had a terrific meal. Also got to chat with some other patrons who were apparently regulars (I gather that the restaurant has a loyal following). Someone from the area will have to tell you whether that's close to your hotel.

Lucia's also has a more casual section (wine bar?) that might be less imposing than a more formal restaurant, though I have to say that I've never felt embarrassed dining at a "table for one" in more formal settings. I had a nice dinner at Vincent and didn't feel silly dining by myself.

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I have never eaten at a restaurant in Minneapolis/St. Paul that made me feel awkward for dining alone - I have lived here for 9 years, and eat alone often (I am a woman). I have eaten out alone in other cities and have been made to feel unwelcome and even gotten stares from other diners, but never here. I hope this puts you at ease.

Personal faves in Mpls:

Auriga

112 Eatery

Tum Rup Thai (sp?)

I'm sure others will have more ideas for Minneapolis.


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Vincent is probably your best choice. It's likely to be walking distance from your hotel. One step down is Five (also a taxi ride). On par with Vincent, but also a taxi ride, is Levain. Those are high end, such as it is, restaurants around here. The chefs are all interesting and inventive, and you won't have a bad meal at any of them. I would pick Vincent if I had the choice.

Bon appetit.

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Your hotel, unfortunately, isn't conveniently close to places that would likely appeal to you. In cold temperatures, it's even less close. Although I like Bruce's recommendation of Vincent, that will be a 12 block walk for you. I also like the 112 Eatery recommendation, but that's going to be about 8 blocks.

So, since you're taking a short cab ride anyway (or maybe the Marriott will drive you), I recommend Fugaise at 308 E. Hennepin Avenue on the other side of the river. This is a restaurant where the chef, Don Saunders, is fanatic about making everything just so. It might make the dishes appear a bit fussy, but there's a load of passion behind that. And in that neighborhood, I don't think you'll feel conspicuous dining alone.


We cannot employ the mind to advantage when we are filled with excessive food and drink - Cicero

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112 Eatery is excellent. It's precisely four blocks west on Washington Avenue, one block south on Hennepin, then hang a right. It is very, very cold in MSP right now, but if you dress warm and hustle, that's not a long way to go. This would be my choice hands down, especially from your location.

For something more casual, I would consider Cafe Havana on the corner of Washington and 1st Ave N (4 blocks west on Washington) or Babalu further down the street (www.babalu.us). Not as universally good and creative as 112, but I've had many enjoyable dishes at both without any negatives.

Regarding Vincent, while it is a longer walk (8 blocks south, 3 blocks west), you can do all but about 25 steps INDOORS. Go to www.tonnhaus.com and print the Minneapolis Skyway Map. You're looking at about a quarter of a mile.

As an aside, on Wednesday - Sunday evenings at 6:30 p.m. (now until Christmas) the Holidazzle Parade is going on. www.holidazzle.com The skyway (any section over Nicollet Mall) is a great place to watch the parade as it goes by and you're walking to and from dinner. Good taste of how we have fun up here in the frozen northland (if you're not from a similar climate).

Welcome and enjoy.

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For something more casual, I would consider Cafe Havana on the corner of Washington and 1st Ave N (4 blocks west on Washington) or Babalu further down the street (www.babalu.us).  Not as universally good and creative as 112, but I've had many enjoyable dishes at both without any negatives.

I have not been in Cafe Havana to eat, but was there briefly for a drink. I did have dinner at Babalu a while ago. Personally, I would not consider these places the ideal destination for a woman dining alone primarily interested in the cusine.

As others have mentioned, Vincent might be a great option.

Vincent

Have fun in Minneapolis

Alex

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I agree with the recommendation to check out 112 Eatery. Dining at the bar is an excellent option, and you can have a variety of tastes there, depending on your budget. It is a great place to sample a number of items, even if on your own. Enjoy!

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shadow.

I hope I'm not too late for this... I have to admit I'm in a hurry and haven't read all the responses and details of this string, but briefly:

I had an amazing meal each at last fall (2004):

Cosmos (in Le Meridien Hotel)

Levain (outskirts/suburbs)

I would HIGHLY recommend both of them. I think what chef S.B. Dougherty is doing at the Cosmos is divine. Subsequently to my visit, my pleasure was reinforced when he was named one of Food + Wine's 10 Best New Chefs... You can read my review of Levain on my blog.

Otherwise - the City Paper - I think Daria Moskowitz is a great read, even if you don't agree with her suggestions/tastes.

Let us know what you decide and how you fared!

U.E.


“Watermelon - it’s a good fruit. You eat, you drink, you wash your face.”

Italian tenor Enrico Caruso (1873-1921)

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Thank you all for your recommendations on this thread. I would llike to report that I did indeed have dinner at 112. I got there by cab at about 6pm ( I thought that dining early would be better as one person). I explined my situation to the hostess and she delightedly said that there was one more place at the bar and seated me there. Service was very nice--friendly but not intrusive. I had the crab salad and lamb strageggesi . Both were good, though I am a little confused about a dish being named for an ingredient that is not the main ingredient in the dish--there was crab in the salad but not lots ( it was Very good, however) I very much appreciated that most main dishes came in small and large portions. The wine list was good too. I had to skip dessert, but the list looked great.

Thanks for helping me get out of my box and try something in Minneapolis.

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I'm glad you enjoyed your dining experience in Minneapolis. I haven't been to 112 yet myself, although between what I've previously heard and read about it, and the comments on this thread, I'll have to put it on my list.

Maybe I can offer a feeble excuse for the "crab" salad. If you look on a map you'll notice that Minneapolis is located just about as far from a source of crab meat as any city in the Country. Thus, we may tend to accept fairly liberal interpretations of anything involving fresh sea food?

SB :wink:

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  If you look on a map you'll notice that Minneapolis is located just about as far from a source of crab meat as any city in the Country.  Thus, we may tend to accept fairly liberal interpretations of anything involving fresh sea food?

Although I know a few guys who got a case of crabs for free in The Cities ....

SB :wub:

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