Hennepin Theatre District - Restaurant Reviews/Recommendations (msp)
I went to see Jersey Boys on Saturday night and really struggled to pick a restaurant prior to the show. The Hennepin Theatre District website lists the following restaurants:
The Capital Grille
Mission American Kitcher & Bar
Oak Grill - Macy's
However, there isn't much info about these restaurants on their site. I'd love to know what you think about any/all of the above. And if you've already written about these restaurants, I'd love to see that too.
I'd really like to know what you ordered, and whether or not you liked it. Were you there for lunch or dinner? How was the service? Would you recommend it or not? Do you need reservations, and if so, how much advance notice?
Are there others in that area that didn't make the Hennepin Theatre District's website?
We ended up at Chambers. It was fabulous. I'll write about it in more detail a little later.
(p.s. this is my first attempt at adding links to places.... I hope it works.)
901 Hennepin Avenue, Minneapolis, MN 55403
823 Hennepin Avenue, Minneapolis, MN 55402
900 Hennepin Avenue, Minneapolis, MN 55403
710 Marquette Avenue, Minneapolis, MN 55402
601 1st Ave N, Minneapolis, MN 55403
Mission American Kitchen & Bar
77 South 7th Street, Minneapolis, MN 55402
Palomino Restaurant Rotisseria
825 Hennepin Avenue, Minneapolis, MN 55402
600 Hennepin Avenue S, Minneapolis, MN 55403
801 Hennepin Avenue, Minneapolis, MN 55402
Out of those, I've been to Chambers, Cosmos, Solera (multiple times) and Bellanotte. I've had great experiences at all of them. My favorite meal was probably at Chambers, but I love Solera's late night happy hour ($2 sangria, $2 grain belts, tapa specials).
If you are really looking to let loose, walk on over to Fogo de Chao. That place truly is a carnivore's dream come true...and that food is actually pretty tasty (aside from the pork and chicken breast, which were dry both times I've gone).
D'Amico Cucina and Ike's didn't make the list, but they're pretty much right there, a block off Hennepin.
Musashi didn't make it either, but early reports indicate that that's probably a good thing.
Oh, And for what it's worth, Fago de Chao.
100 N 6th St, Minneapolis, MN 55403
Ike's Food & Cocktails
50 South Sixth Street, Minneapolis, MN 55402
I think that all the previous assessments are right on (Solera, Chambers, Cosmos) - although I have to give a shout-out to Palomino's lavender cosmo...just plain yummy.
We went to R. Norman's before Jersey Boys & I would have to say it was alright, not stellar. The food was ok (I had tuna & hubby had a steak) and the cocktails were unremarkable (despite a lot of effort to appear so). But, on a positive note, the truffle-parmesan fries were pretty tasty.
While I haven't really eaten there yet, I've become a fan of Manhattan's - at least for their cocktails. We went after Sweeney Todd, since it's right next door to the State. I know the whole "a-hallway-runs-through-it" layout is kind of weird, but I still recommend it for an after-show nightcap, happy-hour, etc. I started chatting with the bar manager & was impressed with how seriously he takes his "craft." I think he's working out a few kinks, but really strives to provide consistently great cocktails. As for the food - we had an appetizer once, but I don't really remember it. Which means it wasn't memorable or, more likely, one too many sidecars for me!
Of the places you've listed, I'd recommend the following to a friend without hesitation: Chambers, Solera, Cosmos, and Mission. All of them are high end restaurants, though.
I might also recommend Palomino. While TDQ is correct that it is not very exciting, I will say that it has several advantages for a dinner before theatre: it's consistent, it's conveniently located, it's menu will have something for everyone, and it's bar is pretty good. Also, I've found that the kitchen seems to run smoothly. I don't know if they ever really get thrown when slammed by pre-theatre crowds.
For a little lower-key (and cheaper) place, I like Eli's. It is within easy walking distance of the State and Orpheum (about 2.5 blocks to the Orpheum).
Basil's is a hotel restaurant that lives up to the reputation of a hotel restaurant. Totally inoffensive and not exciting at all. I'd recommend Palomino over it any day of the week. (It's also not very close to the theatres.)
The Oak Room is similar to Basil's. Is it open at night?
Bellanote - really more of a nightclub that serves food than a restaurant of note. I've not had a good meal there. The owners of Bellanote also own R. Norman's, which has received mixed reviews on this board.
I've not eaten at The Capital Grille - it's also a chain. I know a few folks who really like the steaks there though.
I tend to take the easy way out when we do Hennepin theatres because we are usually with family (some of whom are not real foodies). So here's our deal. We either choose Cap Grille or Palomino on the basis of proximity/parking/overall experience. That being said...
Cap Grille is excellent albeit spendy. The valet parking usually wins us over. The service has always been outstanding for us. They are very attentive to theatre goers. Wine list is excellent and food is good/consistent. The bar makes a nice place to go after a performance I usually order the filet oscar which has never failed to disappoint, hubby gets the spinach salad and au poivre which he loves. Calamari is among the best we've had in the TC. Both our kids, 17 and 14 also love the place. Note that they do tend to undercook their meats.
Palomino also gets our vote because parking ramp is in basement of the building and is right above the State Theatre. I usually order the scallops which I call "little pillows of heaven." Daughter ordered the filet last time, which we all tasted and loved. Mom raved about the steak salad. Caesar salad and calamari were a let down. Service unusually slow last time. Otherwise, we tend to do well there.
Hope that helps!