B.A.N.K. at Westin Hotel, MSP
- MariQ Jun 3, 2007 06:43 PM
I did a quick search here and did not find much on the new BANK, so here's my review - curious to hear (read) other people's opinions on it.
My husband and I went last Tuesday night (5/29), a slow evening right after the holiday. The service was great, and the place is, hum, stately (would “grandiosely imperial” be exaggerated?) – the imposing old Farmers and Mechanics bank atmosphere is quite the backdrop for a restaurant, but there are some more cozy spaces, including a great sit-down counter overlooking the kitchen.
The menu has a little of everything – from tomato soup and a great burger (after all they are in a hotel, and must cater to the weary travelers), to a delicious duck appetizer and high-end entrees such as a seared walleye with lobster.
We started with 3 appetizers: the scallops, the tartare duo(salmon and tuna – both delicious, with great ingredients to highlight the fish, such as avocado, mango, apples), and the five-spice duck – served over a great frisee salad. Washed it all down with a fantastic white grapefruit cosmopolitan. My husband had the lamb with ratatouille and white beans and I had the aforementioned seared walleye – served over a delicious vichyssoise with sugar snap peas (technically, various of the ingredients are locally sourced, per Rick Nelson’s interview on http://www.startribune.com/10151/rich...) For dessert, we looked at their nine little offerings in shot glasses and could not resist to have the chocolate mousse treat. We loved everything we had, and the service was super attentive. The bar – right in the middle of the great lobby – is very fun and I can see going there often for drinks and less elaborate meals – the burger is calling me next =
)For their site: http://www.bankmpls.com/
My office is right next door. When they opened I took the family there for dinner. I was shocked at how friendly and accomodating the staff was. Head Chef Todd Stein gave my 7 year old Rebekah, who loooves to cook, a tour of the Kitchen. They did a custom cheese plate for my 10 year old Julia, who loves gooey cheeses. The food was excellent. I had red and yellow beet carpacio with goat cheese, followed by spice rubbed roast chicken. The chicken was great, and they included lots of dark meat perfectly cooked. The wine list is OK -- not great by top-tier restaurant standards but better than most hotel restaurants.
So Monday was Julia's graduation from lower school. We told her she could go to dinner anywhere she wanted. She wanted to go back to BANK. The second meal was just as good as the first. I had a wood-roasted quail special that was outstanding, with sweet meat and great wood-smoke flavor. My wife had the chicken and it was spot on again. We also had blueberry mojito's that were killer. Julia had a "nojito" kids version. They brought Rebekah extra cherries for her shirley temple.
The interior is beautiful and the tasteful club music in the background is funky but not obtrusive.
So far I would say this place is a splendid addition to the local scene.
We had dinner there on Friday, June 1st basically by stumbling upon it on Open Table. We were seeing a show downtown and wanted to find a cool place for dinner. Checked out the website and it looked yummy so we booked it and rushed down. Since I knew nothing update it I was a little disappointed that it was in a hotel - just because I have never had great luck with hotel restaurants. However, when we walked in I was impressed with the space. It was super cool! The menu looked great so my hopes got higher. We started with the Shrimp Spring Rolls and the Tartar duo. The spring rolls were good but nothing special but the tartar (salmon and tuna) was awesome. The flavors were very fresh and bright but simple too. I love tartar and have had a lot and this was one of the best.
We then had the soup of the day which was sweet corn puree with mussels and crab. YUM! So good! The corn was so sweet adn fresh and the mussels were a cool touch.
I had the salmon for dinner - mostly because it was served with ramps which I love and cannot find very often so I had to order it. It was very good! Super fresh and yummy. My boyfriend had the halibut which was the special that night and it was AMAZING! Seriously one of the best fish dishes I have ever had. It was served with morels and peas and a red wine reduction and it was just so good. The fish was buttery smooth and the flavors were just right. I was a little jealous.
We didn't have dessert since we had to get to a show but I will for sure be going back though and will order dessert then. Also, it was very quiet on an early Friday night and the service was great. The waiter was smart and friendly and helped us pick great items off the menu since we were so indecisive.
Anyway, I would highly recommend BANK.
Dara Moskowitz Grumdahl reviewed B.A.N.K. yesterday and it was, at best, a mixed review.
That has been my experience with the restaurant and bar. The drinks there are quite good. My lunch experience there has only been fine. I had the caesar salad, which was quite good -- this is the one that Dara spoke of -- but the salmon and tuna tartare was just so-so. The salmon was almost tasteless.
The space is one of my favorite in Minneapolis and it's close to my office. I'm sure I'll eat there again, but I hope the food improves a little.
88 S 6th St, Minneapolis, MN 55402
re: bob s
My office is right next door. The folks in my office have generally been disappointed with lunch. The service is disjointed or plain bad and the food up and down.
I have been twice for dinner and had very good experiences both times. Friendly service and excellent food. I was really surprised to see Dara report that the spice-rubbed Amish chicken was dry and tasteless. I had this once and my wife also had it once. Both times it was outstanding. Lots of dark meat, very tender and juicy, with a great flavor added by the rub. Go figure.
The drinks are superb.
I had a business dinner at this restaurant a few weeks back. I enjoyed my meal as did the others in my party but I would say that it would be hard to return on a non-business event because it was quite pricey for their menu. I would recommend the mussels for an appetizer. It is plenty big enough to share with friends.