Visiting Downtown Minneapolis from St. Louis...staying at the Millennium...
I'm attending a conference 9/24-9/26 and have never been to the MSP area. I'd love suggestions for dinner on Friday evening. I tend to enjoy places with locally sourced, imaginative, seasonal menus. A few lunch ideas would be welcome also. I'm most interested in places I could potentially walk to from the Millennium, or perhaps a short jaunt using public transportation or a taxi. I may very well be dining alone, which I don't like, but will do so I don't miss a great meal. I'm also looking for some nightlife ideas for Thursday and Friday nights, anyplace cool to hang out. Someplace fairly relaxed, not a "club" type atmosphere. Any suggestions? Thanks in advance!
Based on your mention of locally sourced, etc - I would also very much recommend Restaurant Alma. I was just there with my parent's last weekend and we had some absolutely amazing dishes (one of my favorites was the heirloom corn polenta with wild mushrooms and a perfect soft cooked egg on top). As mentioned above - it would be a fairly short cab ride.
Very near your hotel is Vincent. They have a separate bar area where you can order off either the bar menu or the dining room menu. I have only had the bar menu items, but they were quite good (a few favorites were the charcuterie plate and the burger). I have seen several people dining alone at the bar there.
A 15-20 minute walk for your hotel would be one of my favorite bar/lounges - La Belle Vie. La Belle Vie has both a very nice, very expensive restaurant and a lounge area with a separate menu (although you can order the dining room menu here too). The bartending staff is great there. If you like cocktails, I would definitely recommend the ones here - there is a lot of thought that goes into their signature drinks and an emphasis on seasonality.
Barrio would also be a nice place to hang out and they have some tasty food and drink as well.
Uptown is about 10 minutes away by cab. Lots of choices here and, if the weather's nice, you can take a walk by Lake Calhoun and/or Lake of the Isles before dinner. For locally sourced food, I'd suggest Lucia's.
The Dakota is a jazz club that's a few blocks up Nicollet from the Millenium. Very nice and fairly low key. They have live music almost every night as well.
1432 W 31st St, Minneapolis, MN 55408
Dakota Jazz Club & Restaurant
1010 Nicollet, Minneapolis, MN 55403
Jfood is a constant visitor and eats solo a lot so he eats at the bar often and he does not drink and that is not a problem either.
Alma would be a short cab ride and definitely worth it.
Second choice would be 112 Eatery, but it is impossible to get a seat most nights.
Jfood likes the idea of Barrio and the entire stretch on Nicollet is very lively. The food at Barrio is also excellent.
Others jfood likes would be more than a short cab ride so these would be jfood's first three choices.
The places I would suggest in Downtown - Koyi Sushi if you like great sushi, Barrio for Latin awesomeness, Bewiched Deli for the best sandwiches you'll ever have, Brasa for some great Southern/Creole food, Restaurant Alma for some FANTASTIC regional/seasonal/local finer dining, The Local for the bar that sells the most Jameson Whiskey in the world, and D'Amico Kitchen (I think it's open now) in the Chambers Hotel. Hope you enjoy your stay in MInneapolis!
600 E Hennepin Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55414
528 University Ave SE, Minneapolis, MN 55414
931 Nicollet Mall, Minneapolis, MN 55402
122 N 4th St, Minneapolis, MN 55401
800 Washington Ave N, Minneapolis, MN 55401
925 Nicolett Mall, Minneapolis, MN 55402