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Nov 5, 2007 11:51 AM

MSP - The Twilight Zone



Red Stag

I saw the Rake posting on Musashi. Rachel's is being used as a neighborhood association meeting hall. Red Stag still looked under construction when I drove by the other day.

Mostly a rhetorical question, but what's up with these "opening soon" places? I'm guessing money.

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  1. We talked to John who owns City Salvage and the building next to it which houses Red Stag and he mentioned Kim was soft opening Red Stag within the next week and full opening before the end of the month. (No offense, but we'll see.) However, we live 100 yards from Red Stag and in looking in the windows, you can tell the dining room needs some work before they open. The good news is that the kitchen looks good and the bar looks complete including the beer tappers.

    The guy(s) that operate the (arguably) worst retaurants in Minneapolis (Monte Carlo, Cafe Havana etc) are operating the old Bobino's. I can tell you we are members of the ajoining neighborhood association to the one Rachael's is in, and have heard nothing of it being used for meetings, but it matters little. Rumor is that it will be a reception venue and open once a month on a Thursday or something for actual dinner business. Wha? The bottom line is that a beautiful restaurant space is being wasted by a restaurant that will never open, and if it did, would likely have the same terrible food and bad service as this guy's other restaurants. I wish him the worst and pray he has to sell the place.

    As for Mushashi...I hope the signage outside is temporary because it does not make me think the dining room and food will be something noteworthy. Book>cover arguments aside, a sumo wrestler with a MS default "asian" looking typface in big blue letters on the same awnings as the old Olive Garden hardly give me much hope. Also, I dislike teppanyaki so there's that.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Foureyes137

      Harsh indictment of the Monte clan. I've always had excellent service and excellent food in Monte, Runyon's, and Havana - as long as I order the right things. Aster was a bust, though. And aren't these guys the same ones who own Kitty Cat Club?

      It is tragic about Rachel's, though. When it was Bobino, it had a very Euro vibe to the place. It was the first place in town where my then chowsweetie, now chowspouse, went for dinner, on a bitter bitter cold January night with a wind chill about -20 and wondering what was I thinking moving up here from Atlanta?

      And I will admit my feelings about Runyon's and the Monte come from living within a block of both and using Runyon's as my default study hall during grad school. Tony and the waitstaff were great to pour me a beer once in a while and mostly leave me alone. My fave Runyon's story - the 2004 Nobel Prize in Economics winners went there to celebrate (a block from the Federal Reserve). The were there for hours, drinking beers and eating noshy nidbits. I was (ironically) studying economics at my usual table in the back corner. They paid their bill and left. They stiffed the waitress. Nobel prize in economics. Stiffed the waitress. Sigh.

      We'll be trying the Red Stag in a couple of weeks, assuming they truly open.

      And I'm with you on Mushashi - from the logo it looks like an updated downscaled version of Ichiban or Benihana's of Tokyo (which in Tokyo is called Benihana's of New York).

      1. re: Loren3

        My office used to be in North Loop so I tried to frequent these places but have had some bad service at Runyon's (shirts that flaunt their reluctance to have happy hour but charge $5 a pint?), we walked out of Monte Carlo due to lack of service then on a different occasion had a very overdone lambchop, and when I asked that it be remade rare as requested rather than medium-well, I got a debate from the server. We actually had an ok meal at Havana once, but Babalu is 4 blocks and worlds better. But that is me. I still miss Moose & Sadies every morning and afternoon and wish I was closer to Be'Wiched.

        And in irony of irony's is actually Benihana's of Milwaukee after all right!?

    2. For those that didn't get one, soft opening reservation opportunities went out this week for Red Stag this Friday and Saturday night and Saturday morning for brunch.

      So it looks like the opening is a go. If you haven't been by lately, they installed a 10 foot tall red deer on the corner of the building and it looks pretty awesome.

      1. Anyone done the Red Stag yet? Well?

        2 Replies
        1. re: g rote

          We went Saturday night with another couple and I will reserve judgement until we do dinner on a non-soft night. Menu was fun, a little spendier than we expected (even for local-sourced). There were some obvious service/food issues that will likely be handled pretty easily. We'll likely go again next Friday.

          I will say this; I hope they don't run out of the grits with goat milk next week.

          1. re: Foureyes137

            Grits with goat milk! At least that sounds ambitious. I am now getting eager for a real opening.

        2. There's another sort of soft opening at Red Stag on Friday, November 30. I'm not pushing the dinner, merely advising of its existence.