Toast Wine Bar (Mpls)
We had a delightful meal last weekend at Toast, the new wine bar in the warehouse district/North Loop area. There have been a couple mentions of Toast in other posts, but I thought it was worthy of its own review. The menu is limited, but is a great place to get a light meal, and everything is under $10.
They have a section of 10 crostini -- at $1.50 each. We tried four and they were very good -- big bold flavors on a small piece of toasted bread. My favorite was the shrimp with pesto, but the Italian tuna and olive paste and the chickpea spread were also very good.
We shared three pizzas, which were generous sized individual pizzas. The star was a wild musroom and leek pizza with fontina cheese. But we also really liked the pizza with serrano ham, roasted beets, and gorgonzola, as well as the pizza with carmelized onions and a really good cheese that is escaping me (gruyere?).
Perhaps the star of the meal was the mixed antipasti plate. It had three types of cured meats, which were all delicious: serrano ham, salami, and chorizo. There were also three types of cheeses which were very good. And then it also had olives and roasted red peppers. This was a fantastic snack that we ordered right when we sat down and nibbled on while purusing the menu.
I am not a wine expert, but the selection looked good and the prices were reasonable. We really enjoyed the bottle of Sangiovese that we shared.
As for the desserts, I liked the strawberry shortcake the best. The biscuit was the perfect combination of sweet and salty. The strawberries tasted like spring. The chocoolate hazelnut terrine was pretty good as well.
Overall, the service was very friendly. Scott, who used to be one of the owners of Auriga, stopped by our table several times to make sure we were enjoying the meal. The space was simple and pleasant -- definitely an inviting and casual space that I would want to return to often. It was a little chilly that night, but there were several tables set up outside that we be primo real estate on a nice summer evening.
My sense is that word is a little slow in getting out about Toast. The place was about 2/3 full on a Saturday night. There are so many new condos in that area, so it feels like it fills such a need in that area and should be packed. I think it suffers a little from being tucked back a little off the street and a lack of foot traffic in the area -- which is strange because I would think people choosing to live in a more urban environment would want to walk more places. Anyway, this definitely seems like a place Chowhounds should get behind. The total bill for four of us with tax and tip was $120. We were very satisfied with our meal and will definitely be back.
Thanks for this great review Josh. I passed by it last weekend when I was checking out the new condos. I think you are right on about the location. It is very hidden and once the vacant condo renovations get filled - I bet it will be a packed house. I wanted to try it out and was very thirsty - but it is only open in the evenings. It is too bad because I bet there is a lot of foot traffic in the afternoons.
Another nice thing about Toast is they are more than willing to mix up the pizza toppings.
As for being a packed house because of all the local condos - they to a raging take-out business, especially as the condos above them have a door directly into their resto.
One more praise for Toast (we went last Friday night): we were debating in front of the waitress whether to order wine by the glass or a bottle, and she offered that if we had 2-3 glasses she could open any bottle for us, and just charge us the glasses we had.