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Oct 15, 2003 11:40 PM

Anyone been to Solera in Minneapolis lately?

  • c

My sister and I are planning on going to Solera for the first time Friday night and I'd love some opinions. Is is worth the trip?? If so, what should we order? We love EVERY kind of food. Also, should we sit at the tapas bar or at a table? Thanks so much in advance...

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  1. Fairly mediocre as food comes in general, but decent for the Minneapolis area. Seating location will not matter; tapas is on the menu across the restaurant.

    Sorry to be a downer if you were planning a big visit, but I am aghast that this place was rated four stars in the Star Tribune. I'd rate the food more towards the two star range.

    1. A group of maybe 8 of us went for tapas a couple weeks back on a Friday. It was packed. Hipster atmosphere was fun, tapas was done well, if a bit smaller than usual. Not cheap, but I think that's part of the whole 'tapas experience'. Probably why I'm not a huge fan ;-)

      Regular bar was loud. Tapas bar looked a little cramped. Having 8, we got a table.

      Service was solid.

      I wouldn't rush back. I, too, was surpised by the Strib's rating.


      6 Replies
      1. re: edinapimp

        I wish I could remember the name of the publication, but some prestigous rag (maybe the NYTimes) named Solera one of the ten biggest new places in the world--not even the US. Overwhelming but I've seen this mentioned a couple of times. Sure doesn't square with my experience but based on many positive reviews I'm thinking I need to give this place a second chance.

        1. re: JmVikmanis

          Been there three times, and I agree with the other postings here - either i'm missing something or the publications that gave it rave reviews are exaggerating. The food is very good, but if this is one of the ten best new places in the WORLD (Food & Wine Sept issue) then there's something very wrong with our planet!
          Some of the dishes are better than others: good fish & seafood options, like the two scallops dishes (skimpy, but tasty). The chorizos are great (not sure what is was called, but it's a plate w/ different varieties in a red wine sauce). Octopus is good, so is the Calamari.
          My two cents: eat something before you go. The flavors can be amazing but this food won't fill you up, and the disappointment will obfuscate the dinning experience.

          1. re: MariQ

            You know, I think you're on to something. Stopping by after you've had substantial food someplace else may leave you free to concentrate on flavors in the minimalist offerings. But that shouldn't be the way it has to be.

            1. re: JmVikmanis

              Thanks for all the great responses. I'm not sure we're going to rush there after all. I appreciate all of the input. C.

            2. re: MariQ
              Kevin Bogart

              Ate there with dad and stepmom in September -- it was BRILLIANT. Yes, very expensive... and it's fru-fru/creative tapas as opposed to more basic (like the excellent Cafe Iberico in Chicago), but I was blown away.

              If you are willing to spend a lot of money on small portions of excellent food, you will be very pleased. If you are going to spend most of your meal obsessing on the ratio of food volume to price, don't go. You'll make yourself miserable.


          2. re: edinapimp

            Sadly, the whole "tapas experience" in Spain is actually the opposite - a really cheap way to eat well. I like Solera, but they need to drop their prices or increase their portions if they want to stay true to tapas!!

          3. I'm a Mpls native who hasn't lived in the Twin Cities for 6 years. Now I find myself planning a wedding there and would like to hold the reception in a restaurant. Solera seems big enough... has anyone eaten there recently? Menu any better? How about the decor? Do they have dates wrapped in bacon?

            1 Reply
            1. re: goatcheesey

              Solera is consistently excellent. The decor is unique, in a good way. If your reception is small (under 20 people), you can reserve the Alhambra Room.

              You can view the normal menu here:

              For a private reception, I believe they can offer some other options, like paella.

            2. For an event, it's probably a great place since it is absolutely enormous and seems designed for functions. The food is by no means stand out and a bit pricey; but I'm sure as you know it's so hard to get all the variables to align for ideal wedding cuisine.

              1. Thank you chompchomp and Jordan for your replies. I will give the folks at Solera a call and take a closer look at the menu.