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Bar La Grassa or 112 Eatery

I'm coming to Minneapolis soon with two friends. None of us live in Minneapolis, although I lived in the city in the early '90s. We've heard great things about these places. I assume we'll eat at one of them. Any thoughts? We will probably eat late, at 9 or later. Both menus look fantastic. Is one a bit more laid-back than the other? We aren't looking for a candlelight dinner, but we are looking for a great meal.

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112 Eatery
112 N 3rd St, Minneapolis, MN 55401

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

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  1. Similar vibes, both are casual. 112 is significantly smaller and probably a little more quiet. BLG is a giant raucous room with loud music and conversation that strains to be even louder.

    I would strongly advise reservations for both, even with the late meal time.

    Two recommendations (one from each spot)...papardelle with foie meatballs at 112, chicken (note, a whole good sized chicken) at BLG. I know, chicken sounds boring, but this thing is tremendous.

    I haven't been to 112 in the last year or so, but I've heard a few grumblings about drop in quality. Take that for what it's worth.

    1. BLG: definitely much louder. It's a happening, loud, modern, busy, exciting vibe. Better cocktails than 112, if that matters.

      112: still plenty hip, but definitely quieter and not quite as trendy as its younger brother. Lots of great food.

      Really just depends on which you're in the mood for-- the food is obviously quite different (check out menus online if you haven't already), and so is the vibe.

      1 Reply
      1. re: mtullius

        I recently went to both in one day. Drinks and an appetizer with work friends around 5. BLG for dinner with the hubby at 7:30. BLG is fantastic, the gnocchi alone is worth the trip. But I will always stick with 112. The foie gras meatballs, the sweetbreads and the most addicting scallops - I will always put 112 on top. If you want to catch up with your two friends, 112 is the perfect way to go - especially if you get a table on the second floor. Its just more intimate. If you have room for dessert, get the tres leches.

      2. Thanks to all of you for your help! I can't wait to get back to Minneapolis. I lived there in the early 90s, at the corner of Lyndale and ... maybe 24th? Leaning Tower of Pizza was on one corner; across Lyndale was Muddy Waters. Such a great town and neighborhood.

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        Muddy Waters Bar & Eatery
        2933 Lyndale Ave So., Minneapolis, MN 55405

        Leaning Tower of Pizza
        2324 Lyndale Ave S, Minneapolis, MN 55405

        4 Replies
        1. re: pitbossmgm

          believe it or not (i can't) both establishments are still there :)

          1. re: soupkitten

            Actually, Muddy Waters has moved down Lyndale 5 blocks to 2933 Lyndale. It's just north of the Lyndale Tap House and south of Galactic Pizza. It's also expanded its offerings to add more food. (I've not been so I can't say anything about the new place.)

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            Muddy Waters Bar & Eatery
            2933 Lyndale Ave So., Minneapolis, MN 55405

            1. re: bob s

              thanks. i'd noticed some construction there but didn't know what was going on (i prefer caffetto when in that hood)

              1. re: soupkitten

                It's probably been great for Caffetto that they've moved. There really isn't much in the way of other coffee places anywhere near there now.

        2. Same people own both places. In my experience, the food at 112 is far better. Both have decent wine selections. I like eating at the bar upstairs at 112.

          I thought the food at Bar La Grassa was nothing special. I make better carbonara at home. The much vaunted lobster+scrambled eggs didn't taste much like lobster and was over the top in fat/salt. The scene is much more lively/loud at Bar La Grassa.

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

          1. Thanks to all of you guys! We had a fantastic dinner at La Grassa. The soft lobster and eggs was fanfreakingtastic. Ditto for the St. Louis ribs. Big fan of the gnocchi. I got a sea urchin pasta that was regrettable - without flavor, dry, just appalling. There was a scallop dish that was pretty good. A crab ravioli that was nice. It wasn't a mind-blowing meal, but the menu is huge and the three of us only sampled a sliver of it. I'd definitely go again. Also had a fantastic breakfast - bison benedict with rosti potatoes - at Hell's Kitchen, and two great meals (a lunch and breakfast) at French Meadows in Uptown. Had fun drinking beer on the roof at Stella's, too. It's such a fantastic town, and it was great to revisit, after 20 years of being away. I plan to get back to Minneapolis more routinely.

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            Hell's Kitchen
            80 South 9th Street, Minneapolis, MN 55402