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First time in Minneapolis-Recs close to the Hyatt? Must impress a client...

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I need help! I'm in Minneapolis (first time!) for a few days next week and I've just committed to taking an important client out to dinner. We're both NYers and though the restaurant doesn't have to be near our hotel (the Hyatt Downtown), it shouldn't be too far. In terms of cuisine, I'd love to experiment...My client is a definite foodie!
Thanks so much!

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  1. http://www.labellevie.us/

    And close to your hotel. You could walk if the weather is nice.

    1. Oceanaire is at the Hyatt and I would have recommended it at one time, but not anymore. It's kind of gone downhill from what I understand.

      La Belle Vie is a great rec. Some other options - Vincent www.vincentarestaurant.com/ and Masa www.masa-restaurant.com/ are 3 or so blocks of your hotel on Nicollet. About 8 blocks away is D'Amico Kitchen www.damico-kitchen.com/, which is on Hennepin in the Chambers Hotel. And if you're willing to drive a bit more or cab it, what I'd really suggest is Bar La Grassa www.barlagrassa.com or Saffron www.saffronmpls.com/ which are further north, but well worth it!

      1070 Nicollet Mall, Minneapolis, MN 55403

      La Belle Vie
      510 Groveland Avenue, Minneapolis, MN 55405

      Bar La Grassa
      800 N Washington Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55401

      D'Amico Kitchen
      901 Hennepin Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55403

      1. Vincent, close to your hotel, great service, great food. Pretty standard French food, so low on the adventurous scale.

        I was going to suggest Saffron, too. I have not been but it has received good reviews and does have a very interesting menu. It is on my list to try.

        Vincent A Restaurant
        1100 Nicollet Mall, Minneapolis, MN 55403

        Saffron Restaurant & Lounge
        123 N 3rd St, Minneapolis, MN 55401

        1. great recs so far. bar la grassa can get very noisy and may not be 1st choice for a business meal, but the food is great if this is a non-issue. la belle vie, d'amico and saffron will be quieter and more formal. a short cab ride away, across the mississippi river is restaurant alma (local food, beard award winner, nice but not too formal atmosphere). if it were my expense account i'd choose alma, saffron or lbv based on my gut feeling :)

          la belle vie
          minneapolis MN, minneapolis, MN

          1. I like most of the recommendations so far. Having said that, there's nothing at any of these restaurants that you can't get in NYC, especially for those who go exploring there. So while you're going to get a solid meal (from a foodie standpoint) at most of these places I suspect that there's nothing that will seem revolutionary to you.

            I'd toss two other places out for thought as well - more for the room/atmosphere than because they'll be better food choices than any of the other recommendations so far. The first is Cafe Lurcat, which is also part of the local D'Amico empire. It has a very solid kitchen with straight-ahead menus. It also has a pretty good bar. But I love the room - it overlooks Loring Park. As a bonus, it's within walking distance of the Hyatt.

            I also had a good meal recently at Sea Change, which is located in the relatively new and impressive Guthrie Theater. The schtick is sustainable seafood, but I found the menu to be imaginative and my dishes quite good. If you can get a table on the river side, you'll have a nice view of the historic milling district.

            Cafe Lurcat
            1624 Harmon Place, Minneapolis, MN 55403

            Sea Change
            806 Second Street S., Minneapolis, MN 55415

            1. Can't argue with any of the recs so far, though LBV is in a class by itself with respect to classiness and atmosphere.

              The OP mentioned that downtown location isn't a necessity, so I have to recommend Piccolo, which is possibly the most foodie-friendly restaurant in the TC's. The emphasis is small plates. No, not small plates for sharing, but appropriately priced individual small plates that enable you order several courses that really celebrate local ingredients.

              There's a lot to sample, and it can get pricey if you make an evening of it, but it would be one of the first places I would take a foodie I was trying to impress. But you're looking at $20+ cab fare each way. If that's a problem, make it LBV.

              1. My only worry with LBV is that it might seem a little too high end...too formal.

                Saffron and Alma would be my two choices. Outstanding food in a little less formal atmosphere.

                1 Reply
                1. re: BigE

                  +1 on Alma. That's where I take out of town foodies.

                  I love BLG as well - but NYCs might not see that as anything special.

                2. I'd roll with Saffron. The level of innovation and execution for this cuisine would be uncommon in NYC, if not outright unique. The atmosphere is well suited to business, and the cocktails are superb. Plus, the chef was on Iron Chef, which is a fun talking point.