The Lynn on Bryant
My dining chops have been on FIRE recently. Last night, I went with some friends to check out the Lynn on Bryant in the old Heidi’s/Blackbird Café space. This is the kind of place I hate reporting about here because I kind of want to keep it all to myself but that’s not very chow-friendly of me.
First of all, I would say this is in the same vein as The Kenwood and Tilia. Really fun neighborhood restaurant concepts that are doing their own thing with really good food. The space here is a bit different – the front of the restaurant has café seating which is first come first serve and a bit more casual in nature food-wise (burgers, etc.). You then walk through a narrowish hallway to the back dining area which seats about 30 people which features more upscale fare, but the whole restaurant is a really comfortable casual vibe. The back wall is an eclectic mix of old wood boards and telephone insulators. Very fun! And you pass the kitchen along the way, which is kind of fun too.
The host and server were both incredibly friendly. One friend and I started with a celery puree soup and the other ordered a mushroom goat cheese tart with a small salad. I thought the soup was quite good barring slightly over-salted croutons. My friend LOVED the mushroom goat cheese tart and proclaimed it divine. We were also served a lovely basket of house made bread. We were also told that the entire basement is a prep kitchen and they make virtually everything in house from bread and pastries to sauces to curing their own bacon and sausages!
On to the entrees – one had the chicken grand mere (chicken with mushrooms, potatoes, pearl onions and bacon lardons), another had the baby pumpkin filled with chestnut custard and I had the beef with chef’s garnish which last night was an amazing ribeye served with purple potatoes fried in duck fat, creamed spinach and the most amazing bordelaise sauce. It was phenomenal. Truly. The ribeye was cooked perfectly medium rare and was seasoned amazingly well. Also had a couple glasses of wine which were quite night and the desserts looked amazing but we were all too stuffed to order them. I guess we’ll just have to go back. We think our next trip back will be for breakfast.
This is definitely a winner and will totally in my restaurant rotation.
I've heard similar raves from friends of mine. Am hoping to get there soon. Thanks for posting.
Let me just begin by saying that I'm from California and I'm kind of a jerk. By which I mean I'm pretty darned smug about what it is we get to eat out here, and that it takes a lot to blow my food-gaskets.
Let me now tell you that on a recent trip to Minneapolis, I ate at one restaurant four times in a row. Four. Times. In a row.
That restaurant was the Lynn, and it was gobstopperingly good at lunch, dinner, brunch and, yes, dinner again. As my Lost Weekend at the Lynn spiraled deliciously and deliriously out of control, I wondered to myself, is there a restaurant in SF or LA that could command me so? Is there a restaurant that could nail all those meals that well? That could be quite that vertical in its ability to dress down (casual lunch) and dress up (exquisite dinner) with such aplomb? I'm sure there is, but I couldn't think of it.
To tell you what I loved would be to reel off the menu. Everything we had was scrumptious. I wish they served cocktails. I wish they were in Berkeley. Beyond that I have very little to come up with in the way of room for improvement. This place would be my jam were I a Minneapolite.
Went there for brunch today. I want to like this place more than I did. I will CERTAINLY give it another chance.
But, that, said, I was underwhelmed.
Maybe brunch is the wrong time to go?
The hash brown cake was a great concept, but WAY too much salt and thyme made it less enjoyable that it should have been.
The little bacon-topped rye roll with the goat-cheese-stuffed date baked inside was a great concept with great flavors, but, again, the rye bread itself was too salty. This was reinforced by the rye toast included with my entrée - the bread was just too salty. Also, a tiny thing, but in a place of this caliber I would expect to butter my own toast, not receive it with a bit of butter soaking the middle and none reaching the edges.
My omelet was just all right. It was spinach, tomato, and gruyere. I never found any gruyere - ? Nicely presented and textured, however.
The case in the front holding the baked goods looks like an afterthought, and no attempt was made to sell these things to us or even tell us what baked goods were available.
Service was just OK. We did a lot of waiting, especially for our check.
Wake up, Lynn on Bryant - I WANT TO LOVE YOU!
Thank you for this! My husband and I tried it about a month or two ago, based on all the raves we've been hearing. We were not turned off...but neither were we impressed. The food was ok, but not awe inspiring, and we felt some of the ingredients were lost in the shuffle.
Our service also left a lot to be desired. There were many times we felt ignored...including when the glass of wine I ordered came AFTER we had finished our meals. The servers were surprised I didn't want it after I had finished my food, but I hadn't been able to get any one's attention to tell them I hadn't gotten it before that!
I neglected to return to this thread after eating lunch at Lynn over a month ago. Of course, I forget what I had. But the overall impression was very fresh, and carefully prepared. I do remember the dessert, which was a rhubarb soup (that's how long ago it was) with a disk of mint meringue. So simple, yet so elegant and layered.
+1000 for Lynn on Bryant. I went for the first time last night with fiancee and soon-to-be-MIL. Everything was excellent.
I started with the soup of the day, the Vichyssoise. It was a very light version of the soup, with no cream, only potatoes, leeks and stock. It was finished with arugula oil and a few small croutons. Very clean flavors, and a great light starter.
For mains, fiancee had the duck leg confit, served with lentils de Puy and a frisee salad. Classic French dish, and it was very well executed. The lentils were particularly good, with a portion of them being pureed to lend the lentils a creamy consistency, and mustard and vinegar added a bit of acidity. That acidity of the lentils and the bite of the frisee were great counterparts to the richness of the confit.
Soon-to-be MIL had the gnocchi, which was a solid dish. Gnocchi were very well made, with a light consistency, and served with a light cheesy sauce.
I had the rabbit dish, which was the loin and saddle, served with farro and root vegetables. The vegetables were perfect - caramelized and still toothsome. The farro was rich and perfectly cooked - I think the chef said the farro was finished in rabbit stock. The rabbit itself was excellent - sweet and tender. The dish was a home run.
We finished with sharing two desserts - the first was macerated fruit with sabayon, the second was a flourless chocolate cake with mint ice milk. The mint ice milk was superb - it was light eating fresh mint. Both desserts were great.
The entire meal was a joy,and the chef came out to chat with us for a while. The service was excellent, the rare (in the Twin Cities anyway) find of a server who was knowledgeable, had solid recommendations, knew the dishes, asked the chef when he didn't know something (we asked a lot of questions), we were never wanting or waiting for anything, yet unobtrusive. He was there when we needed him, and invisible when we didn't need anything.
The most shocking aspect of the visit was that we showed up on a whim, at around 7 on a Friday. I thought our wait was going to be an hour, minimum. Instead, the place was half empty. What?!? With this quality of food, and the reasonableness of the prices, I can't believe this place isn't packed on a Friday. We'll be back, and back often.
Finally made it to the Lynn this morning for brunch. I still do not understand why this place isn't packed. I mean, I love that I can go and get a seat without having to wait a million hours, but seriously people - this place should be busy, busy, busy!
I had the special German pancake - flaky on the outside, baked with custard and blueberries on the inside. To die for. I will be thinking about that pancake for a long time to come. I only wish it was on their regular menu and not just a special. Hubster and friends all loved their meals as well (another German pancake, the omlet du jour and the soft scrambled eggs) and Kopplins coffee - come on! You can't go wrong here. We'll be back again and again!
I still want to give them another try. They have the right idea, I think. We just hit them on a bad day, maybe. It was OK, it just wasn't great, and the service was not very good. I'm generally not demanding about service - I just think our server didn't do a good job of letting us know what specials and baked goods were available and wasn't around when we needed basic things, like water refills and our check.