Pre-Guthrie Meal [Minneapolis]
My parents are coming to town in late September to see the Little House musical and will be treating us to dinner beforehand. We will park at the Guthrie before dinner and then walk to a restaurant to eat.
What are some good restaurants within walking distance of the Guthrie? Alternatively, we might walk down to the light rail and take the light rail into the main part of downtown Mpls. But, my parents definitely will want to leave the car in the parking ramp.
You're getting great recommendations. If you do go the Alma route, light rail or some of the other places further afield like Nicollet Island Inn, Brasa, Fugaise, etc. please make sure everyone has comfortable walking shoes. Nobody has accounted for the possibility of more formal theater attire/shoes with some of the 1+ mile one-way suggestions.
We had a similar night at the Guthrie this summer when we saw A Midsummer Night's Dream. That night we parked at the Guthrie and walked across the Stone Arch Bridge to Alma (about 10-15 minute walk). It was a great view of the city and a fantastic dinner. I still remember the night and dinner fondly, especially the fois grasd sdecond course and the chevre cheesecake. It was a lovely menu with locally grown ingredients with a good selection for diners of differing palates.
Some answers (without much advice) and then some advice:
1) There's Cue at the Guthrie. There are mixed opinions here about it and I've not eaten there. (I've eaten at the more casual restaurant in the Guthrie a few times - upstairs - and have had mixed experience.)
2) Spoonriver is right next door. I've had good meals there - mostly lunch. But it's not a meat and potatoes type of place. I recommend it, but you should make sure it meets your (and your parents') expectations.
3) I've heard pretty good things about Sanctuary from a few friends, but there hasn't been much discussion here. Perhaps others can chime in.
4) I've also had a pretty good meal at Spill the Wine. I know that it's not a particular favorite on the board.
5) I would avoid Wasabi.
Now for some advice: The light rail is not particularly close to the Guthrie. It sits between the Government Plaza stop (between 3rd and 4th Avenues) and the Metrodome stop. I estimate that you will have a 10-15 minute walk each way from the Guthrie to the light rail.
re: bob s
I agree with what Bob says. Of the restaurants within walking distance of the Guthrie, Spoonriver is the only good one, and it is a "lighter" dinner than you might want.
I suggest instead that you forget about parking at the Guthrie ramp before dinner. Instead, go just across the river to Fugaise, where you can have an outstanding meal. Street parking is easily available, and it's a quick five minute drive back to the Guthrie. There will be very little traffic on those roads, so it should be pretty stress-free.
There may be little traffic on a Saturday, but on a Friday it would be horrendous until the new bridge opens. I would suggest walking across the Stone Arch instead. Considering parking and logistics, it's probably just as quick, and it's much more environmentally friendly, and it's also a beautiful stroll, even on a cool autumn evening.
Could also walk to the Nicollet Island Inn for dins. Not quite as elegant as Fugaise, but a nice setting.
Also could stroll up to Red Stag if they're more the meaty-treaty types.
I haven't encountered serious traffic problems on the 3rd Ave. bridge recently. Until a few months ago, I worked just a few blocks from there. It was a bit of a mess last fall, but the traffic patterns stabilized by winter. If you stay off Washington and take 1st or 2nd Streets instead, it's very quick.