I too will be in Minneapolis in early October for a conference, but will be with a group of chowish adults. Our conference is at the convention center, and we are staying at the Radisson Plaza, but we are willing to travel for good food.
I'm looking for recs for restaurants, and also for specific dishes--I have not been to Minneapolis but I'm from Michigan and I assume the freshwater fish is excellent. What else?!
re: Mill City Modern
Not very helpful, I know, but we could go either way. Probably an easygoing atmosphere, though, since we'll be at a conference all day. Not terribly concerned about cost, although super-expensive restaurants would probably not be ideal in terms of atmposphere (and we probably won't have many hours to spend on a relaxed dinner).
If there are enclaves of good ethnic restaurants, I'd be interested in those as well.
112 eatery is great! (i would recommend their bacon & egg sandwich with harissa sauce...sometimes i still get cravings for it.) cafe brenda is another favorite of mine. i haven't lived in minneapolis in over a year, so i'm not familiar with the new restaurants, but i would highly recommend either. la belle vie is wonderful & spendy. it made the top 50 restaurants in the US list in gourmet, but i don't know if that actually means anything. i don't think it should be in the top 50, but it is a top minneapolis restaurant.
cafe zander in st. paul was memorable as well. good luck!
Unfortunately, the search function in this new web site format doesn't work very well, or you could have found tons of recs for our fair downtown. This is one recent thread but for someone with a chowpup in tow: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/show/...
You'll be near Nicollet Mall, with the Dakota Jazz Club (live music and good food), The Local (great Irish pub), Murray's Steakhouse (constant debate between this and Manny's), Ike's (supperclub/diner ambience, retro-hip), McCormick & Schmick's (small plates at happy hour).
It's a easy hoof over to the warehouse district with 112 Eatery (fave rave of most Mpls 'hounds), Cafe Brenda (organic/free range/veggie), Nami Sushi (hip space, great sushi), Origami Sushi (very quirky sushi options), and D'Amico Cucina (high-end Italian with things like heirloom caprese).
And a stroll west on Hennepin will take you to Solera for tapas.
If your peeps want more of a mainstream experience and are less concerned about houndiness, you are also near Buca di Beppo's flagship on Harmon St. Massive quantities of adequate red sauce Italian in a great party ambience. Ask to sit in the Pope Room!
Good luck and enjoy your visit!
An ethnic highlight has to be Nye's Polonnaise. Polish food, long tables with families, sing-along at the piano late at night, moderate prices. The restaurant has been around forever. A real classic!
Chambers Kitchen, at 9th or 10th and Hennepin, in the new Chambers hotel, was fantastic on a Tuesday visit. It's a Jean-Georges Vongenrichten restaurant, and has a few of his signature dishes, like the outstanding passionfruit souffle from Vong. Everything we tried was excellent. The service was a bit uneven, but I'll chalk that up to being new. The bar (inside and out) is also very cool (perhaps too cool for Minneapolis?) if you only want drinks and apps.