2009 PGA Championship (Minneapolis)
A friend and I will be visiting the Minneapolis area from Montreal next year for the PGA championship. We are staying in Minneapolis for 4 nights and would like to sample the best food that the city has to offer. Price isn't a main concern, and we typically go for French, Italian, Steakhouse kinds of places - but we ,like a decent winelist.
I realize that this is way early, but any recommendations would be appreciated. I've taken Chowhound advice on my last 3 trips (especially to Buenos Aires where I ONLY went to places suggested by Chowhound and have yet to be disappointed).
I know this may be a little early, but I figure I'll have to fight with 100,000 other visitors for reservations.
Thanks in advance,
Well, it's hard to argue with MSPD's (as always fantastic) advice.
But, don't forget breakfast! Try Hell's Kitchen in Minneapolis where nearly everything is made from scratch, including the condiments. If you want to try some unique dishes featuring local ingredients try the wild rice porridge (very rich, just a cup will do) or the toasted sausage bread. The lemon ricotta pancakes are great, too, though be forewarned that everything is very (deliciously) rich. http://www.hellskitcheninc.com/
Or, for a "classic" Twin Cities experience, at Al's Breakfast in Dinkytown (Minneapolis). Al's is just a 14 seat counter with great pancakes and great hollandaise.
Or, for what's super excitingly "local" right now, The Strip Club Steakhouse in St. Paul (I'm afraid I can't comment on how good the wine list is as I'm not knowledgeable enough...I) http://www.domeats.com/ Manny's Steakhouse in Minneapolis is probably "the best" steakhouse by conventional standards, but if you want to try something very good with a local flair, then The Strib Club would be a good choice, as long as you don't mind if it gets a little loud.
The Twin Cities has fantastic Southeast Asian food. Since you mentioned you like French, I'm going to recommend Ngon Bistro in St. Paul (they have a wine list!) for French-leaning Vietnamese. http://www.ngonbistro.com/
And, I really adore Izzy's ice cream. Quirky and fun. http://www.izzysicecream.com/
Have fun! Please do report back.
Hopefully your friend will be staying close to downtown Minneapolis, which is where (or close to where) all of MSPD's suggestions are. If so, to that list I would add:
Heartland in St. Paul, www.heartlandrestaurant.com
Alma in Minneapolis, www.restaurantalma.com
Nick and Eddie in Minneapolis, www.nickandeddie.com
But the PGA is being played at Hazeltine in Chaska, a far SW subrub. If your are staying in a hotel on the south or west side, it will be a long night and a lot of driving. Out west in Wayzata are:
Gianni's Steakhouse, www.giannis-steakhouse.com which is very expensive
Chez Foley (no web site).
re: The Dairy Queen
Thanks for bringing this up, TDQ. I meant to come back to this thread. Chez Foley is what the place used to be. It is now Patrick's Bistro (the same Patrick as Patrick's Bakery). If you go to the Patrick's Bakery web site (below), and click on the link at the top for Patrick's Bistro, you will find more information.
Though not mentioned as one of your preferences, I think it would be a shame to miss some of MSP's Mexican food. You will not find the quality or variety of Mexican food anywhere in Canada, so unless you are a frequent visitor to Mexico (or areas with large Mexican populations), it could be a rare opportunity for you to sample some very good Mexican food.
I love Alma. Its excellent.
I'd also recommend D'Amico Cucina in Downtown Minneapolis
I nonni is wonderful for italian food.
I finally went to Porter & Frye this weekend. It was dead. about 1/2 full and a snooze fest. Service was lacking. Food was great (tuna sliders) pretty good (filet/potatoes & halibut) to lousy (onion soup & house salad)
I was served room temp tap water. and freezing cali cab. Not a good mix.
For steak and traditional food I like the Lexington as well.
1096 Grand Avenue, St. Paul, MN 55105
100 N 6th St, Minneapolis, MN 55403
981 sibley memorial hwy, Lilydale, MN 55118
Alma Restaurant - DUPlicate
528 University Ave SE, Minneapolis, MN
Chambers Kitchen, located in luxury art boutique hotel in downtown Minneapolis. Kitchen headed by Chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten. Though I might not normally order soup, I do here as it is always fabulous - the wild mushroom with chilis is the best. My favorite entrees are the striped bass crusted in spices served in a lovely sweet and sour broth, and the maine lobster braised in butter with butter (you said you liked french!) fried garlic, chilis and herbs. Fabulous wine, interesting cocktails. Menu changes frequently - still tweaking menu to satisfy both midwestern hotel guests and visitors looking for an upscale dining experience. I love this place!
Just to clarify for the OP, the restaurant (which I enjoy, so don't take this as a negative) is headed by JGV in the same way any chef who has multiple locations heads their distant locales. I think the real credit should be given to the chefs who actually slug it our in the kitchen day in and day out and make my delicioius dishes, not necessarily to the famous name who "rules from afar." That's just me, though.
MSPD's always on the money. la belle vie, fugaise, and 112 would be my first picks based on your parameters. i haven't made it to porter & frye yet.
TDQ's breakfast choices are great (though no bloodies or mimosas at al's). the strip club in st paul is my current fave steakhouse in town-- inventive, chef-driven food and grass-fed steaks. top notch, but tiny, so sometimes loud (res. highly recd). for a more traditional steakhouse feel with corn-fed meat, manny's in downtown would be the choice, probably closer to your hotel.
for local flavors i second (or third) the recs for alma and heartland. i am also in the ngon fan club. these are all jewels.
will you have any lunches or casual meals in msp? are you eating these at hazeltine, i suppose?
1806 St. Clair Avenue, St. Paul, MN 55105
112 N 3rd St, Minneapolis, MN 55401
Fugaise [CLOSED 2009]
304 E Hennepin Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55414
La Belle Vie
510 Groveland Avenue, Minneapolis, MN 55405
825 Marquette Ave. S., Minneapolis, MN 55402
The Strip Club
378 Maria Ave, Saint Paul, MN 55106
There are so many good places to eat, you (and the other 100,000) people wont run out. Here are our top choices from around the Twin Cities (by cuisine)
Our Top Picks
112 Eatery (Late Night Dining)
20.21 (Fine Dining)
Cafe Latte (Dessert)
Capital Grille (Steakhouse)
Chambers Kitchen (Fine Dining)
Chapati (Indian - North)
Cosmos (Fine Dining)
Dakota Jazz Club (Music Venue)
Edina Grill (Casual Neighborhood Eatery)
Famous Dave's (BBQ)
Holy Land (Middle Eastern)
Hunan (Chinese Lunch Buffet)
Key's Bar and Grill (Breakfast)
King and I (Thai)
La Grolla (Italian)
Little Szechuan (Chinese)
Nalapak (Indian - South)
Satay 2 Go (Malay/Singaporean)
Stella's Fish Cafe (Seafood)
Toast (Wine Bar)
Zeno Cafe (Dessert)
If you're in the SW burbs, you can check out the restuarants on 50th and France in Edina. There are 3-4 good restaurants (we've reviewed each of them) within a couple blocks of each other. The Southern suburbs are also a haven for good ethnic cuisine.
MSP Foodies (www.mspfoodies.com)
re: MSP Foodies
Just a couple of points of clarification about some of the restaurants on MSP Foodies list, if I might. If it hasn't already closed, Campiello will most certainly be closed by 2009 http://www.chowhound.com/topics/521642 And Famous Dave's, while indeed a local chain, is in fact a chain. Pretty good, for chain food, if say, you found yourself trapped at the Mall of America and starving, But, it's nothing I'd come from Montreal, which Jim Leff called l "the chowhound's promised land", for. (beware of obnoxious music in link http://www.famousdaves.com/ ). While indeed location In a world-class setting (The Walker Art Center, which I highly recommend if you enjoy contemporary art), 20.21 is a Wolfgang Puck restaurant, not dissimilar from other Wolfgang Puck restaurants around the world, http://www.wolfgangpuck.com/restauran... And, I hate to sound contrary, but I will throw out one opinion: unless it's improved dramatically in the past year, I wouldn't cross the street, let alone an international border, to eat at La Grolla.
re: The Dairy Queen
TDQ, to be clear, Campiello in Eden Prairie is NOT closing. Just the Uptown location.
Campiello would be a fine recommendation *for that area* however, I wouldn't put it in "the best food the city has to offer" as the OP requested.
In response to MSP Foodies, while I appreciate the sheer size of that list (was that autogenerated by your web site somehow?) I would find that pretty unhelpful given the specificity of the original post. I mean, how the heck did Hunan the Chinese Lunch Buffet fit into an itinerary of being at a golf course from 7 a.m. to mid-afternoon?!? And would you seriously send visitors from Montreal looking for fine cuisine clear down to Apple Valley for Satay 2 Go?
My advice to the OP, who is clearly an experienced world traveler, would be to ignore that list. Way too random. Just my opinion though.
Thanks for the clarification, MSPD, on the Edina location of Campiello (not closing) vs. the Uptown location of Campiello (closing). I wouldn't want to mislead.
Montreal has fantastic Italian food, even in the most humble, unexpected settings. Sadly, I don't think it's a cuisine that the Twin Cities does particularly well (though we do have one or two bright spots, of course, but I just wouldn't say they shine bright enough to be considered the best of what the Twin Cities has to offer), so, unless the OP can't wait to return home for an Italian meal, I'd encourage him to stick with the top tier restaurants MSPD mentioned in the first reply to this thread, and maybe a couple mentioned by others like Cosmos or Chambers. If the OP were to stray from that list, I'd encourage him to go for a restaurant representing a cuisine that the Twin CIties does particularly well, and that's Southeast Asian. Though, it wouldn't be "fine" dining, and in fact might be downright divey hole-in-the-wall dining, I would still count is as among the best the Twin Cities has to offer. (Jasmine 26, the long-awaited, upscale big sister to the beloved Jasmine Deli on Eat Street is supposed to be more elegant that some of the dive'ish but delicious other Vietnamese eateries on Eat Street in Minneapolis such as my favorite Pho Tau Bay, though, I can't recall if I've read whether Jasmine 26 a wine list and I haven't been there personally. I hope they'd have their act together by 2009!)
prasantrin suggests seeking out Mexican food. If you decide to do that, my recommendation would be the location of Los Ocampos on Lake Street at Chicago, right across from Midtown Global Market. Again, this would be very hole-in-the-wall dining, not fine dining. No wine list!
Funny Twin Cities/Montreal connection. I once had occasion to talk to the folks from Au Pied de Cochon. They asked us where we were from. When we said we were from Minnesota, they started gushing how much they LOVED Minnesota (especially the hockey!) when they visited...to train the staff at Vincent. So, if you want to taste the direct influence of Montreal on Minneapolis, I suppose you could eat at Vincent! http://www.vincentarestaurant.com/
I didn't know that the PGA would start at 7am...I'm afraid that would probably rule out breakfast at both Al's and Hell's Kitchen. Bummer. And, if you're going to be out in Chaska, golly, coming into St. Paul for Izzy's ice cream would be a very long haul for just an ice cream cone, delicious though it may be. The Strip Club would be a long haul, too, though I still think it might be worth it if you want to try a new Twin Cities hot spot. Though I'm a big St. Paul booster, I have to say, Minneapolis could be a lot more convenient for you...
Fair enough. If you want to guarantee that you'll in the first seating at Al's you probably need to be in line at 5:30am on Saturday and between 5:45am and 6am on a weekday. I love Al's, I really do, but I'm not sure I would drive from Chaska just to go to Al's if it were going to interfere with my getting to see the event that brought me to the Twin Cities in the first place.
Actually, I would almost recant all of my St. Paul recommendations (Izzy's, for ice cream, Ngon BIstro for French inspired Vietnamese+wine list, The Strip Club Steakhouse for local, sustainable chow and a lively scene) for reasons of long drive--according to Mapquest, Hazeltine is a 45 minute drive to The Strip Club. Actually, the drive to the Strip Club might be worth it. Maybe Ngon Bistro. ;-).
I wholeheartedly endorse 112 Eatery in Minneapolis and if the OP wants to try some hole in the wall mom and pop type places, like my favorites Pho Tau Bay (my favorite in Minneapolid for Vietnamese), Pho 79 (my second favorite for Vietnamese in Mpls) or Quang, Jasmine Deli, maybe Jasmine 26 or going to Chicago and Lake for Los Ocampo (Mexican).
re: The Dairy Queen
The golf starts later but the PGA will draw 50,000 fans on each day. There's traffic, parking and shuttling, etc. I was there last time it was at Hazeltine, got there super early and got a great spot on a rise along the ropes of a par 3 green. It was pleasant until Tiger Woods' group was coming. All of a sudden we were mobbed. After standing there for 6 hours a woman had the audacity to chew out a 10-deep crowd, guilt/berate her way up through the crowd, and attempt to elbow her way into our spots. The story is much longer, and quite funny, but the moral is that you want to get there early in the morning for the event, claim your territory and then relax (especially if you're coming all the way from Montreal).
Anyway, in my experience with attending and volunteering at pro golf events, morning is a quick bite and straight to the course. If I was staying downtown and going to Hazeltine, I'd load up at Rustica Bakery and eat in the car on my way down to the event.
When I read the OP, I was thinking breakfast on the run, lunch at the course, dinner and a good night's sleep. That was my thinking behind limiting the recommendation to the four places with central location.
re: The Dairy Queen
I second the negative opinion of La Grolla: I've never found it to be much more than a non-chain version of Olive Garden... Italian is definitely on the list of things the TCs do not do particularly well. Barbecue is also on that list, though I have no idea how we compare to Montreal on that count....