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Feb 12, 2008 11:44 AM

MINNEAPOLIS - Suggestions for business lunch near Wells Fargo Center.

I will be hosting a lunch for approximately 12 professionals and would like to take them to a great (yet business appropriate) lunch venue. I guess it should be close enough to walk to or otherwise convenient to get to. I have NEVER been to Minneapolis before and have no resources to call upon. These are an important client and I believe that at least one of them has a passion for restaurants.

Thank you very much for any ideas.

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  1. Well, right now the seen and be seen place for lunch is still Mission across the street from Wells, IMO. Plenty of bankers, lawyers, brokers, judges, etc. They have a room off to the side where they can set up a twelve-top for you if you'd prefer. Do not let them put you out in the Crystal Court section though. Chef Doug Flicker does work lunches and I've never been disappointed there (vermicelli salad, walleye, bibb lettuce salad, soups).

    Bank at the Westin (across the street in the other direction) has a number of smaller rooms for business lunches. Now some will say it's not chowish because it's hotel food but for a business lunch to impress clients they do a fine job.

    My favorite place for a fancy lunch is Vincent but I would not make a group of twelve trek four blocks outside the skyway and back in this weather.

    Vincent A Restaurant
    1100 Nicollet Mall, Minneapolis, MN 55403

    BANK restaurant
    88 S 6th St, Minneapolis, MN 55402

    Mission American Kitchen & Bar
    77 South 7th Street, Minneapolis, MN 55402

    1. Your best and closest bet is BANK in the new Westin. It is a block away from the Wells Fargo Center and is good for a business lunch. Accessible from Skyway. Not terribly adventurous, but otherwise impressive.

      Mission is close by in the IDS Center. A bit more daring, though the lunch menu includes the usual suspects as well.

      I am trying to think of other places that can accommodate 12 people within walking distance, and I'm not coming up with much else. Other restaurants within range that fit the bill might be Martini Blue, Morton's, M&S Grill, McCormick and Schmick's, Zelo but I wouldn't say these are better than the other two...Newsroom is close by, but the bathrooms are more impressive than the food there.

      If you don't mind more of a trek, Cosmos is in the Grave's hotel. Parking underground. $7 I think (grote will know).

      I think you can get to Palamino via skyway, however this is a chain (parking in Lasalle Plaza..heated!), as is Capital Grill across the street and Fogo de Chao next door. Chain's aren''t ever very impressive ;) Chambers Kitchen is close, with valet, but I've not had a great meal there in 3 attempts so I will let someone else recommend it.

      I'm not sure if Solera is open for lunch, but parking would be a bear and it is not accessible via skyway. Were it spring I'd say hit it, but it was -10, walking would imperil your clients lives...or at least the tips of their noses.

      8 Replies
      1. re: Foureyes137

        Looks like the vote went to Mission, but for anyone's future reference: You can get to Cosmos via a short walk in the skyway, too.

        1. re: girl_friday

          their website says "valet parking validated" too.

          1. re: girl_friday

            As far as I know, there is no skyway that links Block E with City Center, thus inaccessible via skyway.

            1. re: Foureyes137

              Block E has skyways connecting it to City Center and Target Center.

              1. re: Foureyes137

                Based on personal experience, there are. However to get to Cosmos, you have to exit Block E and re-enter the Cosmos entrance.

                1. re: MSPD

                  But it doesn't involve going outdoors, which still qualifies as being connected to the skyway. The elevators to the Graves Hotel / Cosmos are opposite the movie theater box office.

                  1. re: StPauliGirl

                    LOL! the op and others not from msp may have no idea what a skyway is, why it's so important, and why we're all obsessed with it!!!

                    skyways are sections of heated, glassed in walkways that are above-street bridges connecting the downtown office buildings, shopping centers, hotels, symphony hall, etc. figuring out how to get from point a to point b through the maze that is the minneapolis skyway system is a common winter preoccupation for mspers, particularly downtown fine diners. it gets wicked cold here, and snowbanks are unkind to formal footwear and their wearers (females especially). so big bonus points go to the fine dining places easily accessible to your party. the mspers weighing in on skyway access are trying to figure out how you will be able to stroll from your hotel to the lunch spot several blocks away without having to don muffler, hat & mittens! aren't you glad you're being looked after, op??

            2. re: Foureyes137

              To follow up on Foureyes137's post, Solera is not open for lunch.

              Also, I am not a big fan of the food at BANK at lunch. I've had perfectly serviceable meals there so it's fine for a business lunch. Also, the space is amazing and they have a few private rooms if you'd like to use one of them. But if you're looking for better food, I'd look elsewhere.

            3. Try Mission, BANK or Zelo first. If you can't get into any of those, try Atlas Grill, The Dakota, or Cosmos. They are a little bit farther away from the Wells Fargo Center than the first 3, but are still accessible by skyway.

              Solera is not open for lunch.

              Dakota Jazz Club & Restaurant
              1010 Nicollet, Minneapolis, MN 55403

              831 Nicollet Mall, Minneapolis, MN 55402

              Cosmos Restaurant
              601 1st Ave N, Minneapolis, MN 55403

              Atlas Grill & Clubroom
              200 S 6th St, Minneapolis, MN 55402

              1. I appreciate the input and will select Mission based on the consenus above. Thank you to all.

                1. I third (or fourth?) Mission. I've had several business lunches there and they're always great. Firelake in the Radisson is pretty good too. Haven't had lunch at BANK, but the space is beautiful.

                  I wouldn't recommend Fogo de Chao-interesting concept but it's incredibly noisy and packed during lunch. Had to stand in a long line for the salad bar and squirm my way around tables and chairs. Very chaotic.