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Oct 20, 2010 08:48 PM

Downtown MSP : Palomino out, Crave in.

I just read that the space where the Palomino resto is currently set will be replaced by a Crave restaurant.

My memories of dining at Palomino are mostly older and almost always positive. I have gone there before shows and also taken people there for business dinners. Back in the day their open kitchen was pretty unique. I always felt that Palomino (as well as Kincaid's) were so good that you could almost forget they were actually part of a chain restaurant with great service. I have eaten at crave resto's a few time when I have been in the area around suppper time (SLP or MOM). Food and service has been OK but it woudn't be a destination for me.

Life goes on.

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  1. It will be interesting to see if the area can sustain another Crave. I know that the space has some issues, like no valet, which can deter the bread and butter of their business model, but they do have ample parking in lasalle court. I would figure a solid lunch business due to the skyway, and then some event driven business from the theaters. Beyond that, I wonder if the abundance of more quality dining that exists downtown would work against what seems to be the focus of my experience with Crave: Mediocrity, but consistant mediocrity. Maybe they let Jim Kyndberg have a heavier hand in this menu to compete with other dining options, but who knows, they may stay true to concept.

    My Prediction: People will think it is Palomino with sushi. I assume they will go with a nightclub element that caters to a downtown crowd, a la Bellanotte. It will be a cheesecake factory of obviousness, and there will be a lot of people that support it. I think the relevance to this site will probably be minimal. Buona Fortuna!

    600 Hennepin Avenue S, Minneapolis, MN 55403

    1. Blech! No loss in my opinion. I've not been to a Crave yet, so I don't know that that's any better, but I went to Palomino once. Once. Food was mediocre at best. I seriously think I'd had better food at Rock Bottom Brewery downstairs than I had that night.

      3 Replies
      1. re: Seige

        Seige I could have shortened my post to 2 words: WHO CARES?

        1. re: mitch cumstein

          Indeed. Net change in restaurant suck = 0.

          1. re: keithinmpls

            Why does Jim Kyndberg work for Crave anyways? That's almost offensive to the dining community. Trying to strike a chord with the local food initiative by throwing them(us) a teeny bone. Not hating on Jim, I'm sure they spent good marketing money at him to offend his fan base. Not saying companies can't have chef's consult to add the big name, it just seems weird that they would bring someone so concerned with seasonality and locality, to a concept in multiple cities with very different local product bases. IMO

      2. i ate once at Crave in Edina, or should I say I was served food and then asked for the check. Not a needle mover.

        1. Palomino was always good not great and they offered free parking after 5:00 which is a plus downtown. I ate at Crave for lunch and it did not appear to be a place I would travel to again.

          3 Replies
          1. re: redmeatfan

            It's a loss in that you had an acceptable restaruant that always had happy hour that was really the only thing that stood out about Palomino. The problem with Crave is that its good for where they are Mall of America for example or West End where the food around it is relatively bad. Though once your downtown who cares about this place?

            1. re: astadtler

              I think we worry less about it as an option for dining, and more about it as a benchmark for what drives its success. Every day that it is busy, it allocates money to reinforce their concept in other areas, and takes valuable dining dollars away from more deserving restaurants. The hotel market especially. With the kickback I am sure they guarantee to local concierge as well as a mammoth marketing budget, many great place sustain themselves on the business travelling dime. THe bigger they get, the more allegiance they have from corporate money, because it can be an approved private dining option in so many areas, which companies trust, because they can't take a risk on food/service on an unknown spot. IMO

              1. re: astadtler

                "Though once your downtown who cares about this place?"

                Suburbanites that want a middling place with which they are familiar...unfortunately (this IS who fills the seats in the theaters when Wicked or Jersey Boys is in town, so it makes sense really) I've been to two different Craves and have two different poor experiences...Palomino was at least consistently mediocre.

                At the end of the day, I just don't care as I'd not dine at either unless someone else was paying.