First time in Minneapolis-Recs close to the Hyatt? Must impress a client...
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!
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
901 Hennepin Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55403
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
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
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.
1624 Harmon Place, Minneapolis, MN 55403
806 Second Street S., Minneapolis, MN 55415
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.
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.