Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > General Midwest Archive >
Apr 7, 2009 08:21 PM

MPLS Orchestra Hall

Looking for dinner suggestions near there for this Friday night before concert. We have 4 people, looking for Italian, or American. Thanks

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Within walking distance...

    Buca is close if that is the type of Italian you are looking for. Zelo is also nearby, it's something between Italian and American and more formal than Buca. News Room is on Nicollet and is American, though I can't really recommend it.

    Your best options, unfortunately I guess, are neither Italian or American per se. Restaurant Vincent (French) is your best option, though if the performance is this Friday it is likely booked solid. Masa and Barrio are both quite good, but upscale Mexican (Masa being a bit more formal, Barrio being very laid-back).

    Hell's Kitchen is American and 3 blocks away, however I have not had dinner there yet. McCormick & Schmick's is a bit farther down Nicollet and it's just like every other McCormick & Schmick's. Oceanaire is quite close as well.

    4 Replies
    1. re: Foureyes137

      I wouldn't recommend Barrio at all for pre-Orchestra on a Friday night.

      Porter & Frye is one block away. Oceanaire is two blocks away. Vincent is a good recommendation. Ruth's Chris Steakhouse is 1 1/2 blocks.

      The weather is supposed to be beautiful...almost 60...walking 2-3 blocks wouldn't be so bad this Friday. That opens up a number of other options.

      1. re: MSPD

        I don't presume to know the OP's mindset. My wife and I have gone to Barrio before Orchestra Hall with friends and it offered the night an interesting dichotomy...but that's us.

        But indeed, if the OP is looking for a somber sit-down dinner, it will not fit the bill.

        1. re: Foureyes137

          Sorry...I got typing too fast. Usually I would put it this way:

          Barrio has good food and drink, but has very few tables and gets packed very quickly on weekends. This causes the service to be slow at times.

          1. re: MSPD

            I agree with MSPD and will also say that I've been there twice: had shockingly rude service on one occasion and surly attitude on the other. Friends that have been there have had similar service so I don't think it was me. The food and drinks are awesome but I wouldn't take someone there if I were trying to have a relaxing, meant-to-impress meal.

    2. My mom recently went to Staccato (kitty-corner from Orchestra Hall) and said it was fine. I'm not sure I trust her tastebuds, but it looks decent. They have some Italian-y dishes on the menu.

      But me, I'd go to Vincent. Their food is fab. It's French, but not snooty-French. And you can get a great burger and fries in the bar.


      Vincent A Restaurant
      1100 Nicollet Mall, Minneapolis, MN 55403

      1125 Marquette Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55403

      1. I would recommend Zelo over Buca.

        Zelo is wide open pre-concert - so is Hell's Kitchen. Barrio appears to be pretty full.

        4 Replies
        1. re: St Paul Susie

          Zelo would seem to be exactly what you are looking for. I don't think Zelo gets enough credit generally for providing a complete dining experience at a reasonable price point, possibly because the menu has been fairly stagnant (everyone's doing a wasabi crust now).

          1. re: kevin47

            Thanks for the input. My dining companions are going to decide between Staccato and Zelo.

            1. re: otps

              Zelo is the choice, got a reservation. Spoke to Joe and he made sure the timing would be right to get to the concert. Will report back, I hope Art Garfunkle keeps me awake after a good dinner.

              1. re: otps

                I think you'll love Zelo. I agree with Kevin that Zelo doesn't get much credit. If the brussels sprouts are still on the menu, they're a must. I dream about them. I've tried to re-create them at home but they're never quite right.