HOME > Chowhound > Minneapolis-St. Paul >


Vincent Restaurant..... French cuisine my bottoms

Dear people who have put favored opinion of Vincent here, you may want to dine around a bit more to realize all you get at Vincent is a fancy corner with Orchestra hall in sight.
Alright to the food. I started with a French Cabernet ($10 glass), now from the taste I can tell this bottle has been left open for far longer than one should, beyond that, I can buy a bottle of Cabernet from napa valley with more nose, texture, flavor and finish than what they served for a lot less. May be I am being too picky on wines, so lets look at the appeitizer which was 'calamari and braised duck'.
Very interesting choice, I was intrigued if those two go together, well after eating I can say, no they don't. Duck was decent, a little over cooked but may be I am not educated in french preparation of duck, although it tasted more like a chinese recipe especially with pickled vegetables in it. Calamari was cut in rings and just dropped over it, no preparation, overcooked and almost felt like eating rubber bands. Again, may be I am being too picky and calamari is supposed to be served blend, overcooked with no seasoning in French cuisine.
Next comes the Vincent burger, yes the one which has been praised by many on this blog. I can point out 50 spots in twin cities with better burgers. For $15, this burger is a disgrace. Again may be with all the dutch cheese I have eaten, I am being picky on gouda flavored paste they put on the burger, I mean how much more you would need to charge before you can cut a slice of decent Gouda and place it in a burger. The beef had no flavor, it was cooked well, I will give credit for it, but if you are going to compete in minneapolis, you have to season your meat, bring out a unique flavor and finally, while I can forgive most mistakes, for a restaurant to call itself french and then serve a soft soggy bun is nothing more than insult to a burger and anything French. Seriously, frozen packaged fries on the side....these days food carts with 5 dollar burger cut and serve fresh french fries.
The chef at Vincent should be happy not to live during the French revolution because this was the meal that would have gotten him/her in front of line to guillotine.... Good bless the first amendment, right to free speech and right to serve whatever crap you can cook and call it french.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. I think you set yourself up to be disappointed. You would have had less to complain about had you returned the wine and requested a glass from a newly opened bottle.

    Also, you are wrong about the fries being frozen.

    2 Replies
    1. re: MplsM ary

      I'm with Mary. Any restaurant can have a bad day/meal/service, but the real issue is how do they respond to poor performance.

      Did you let them know the wine was off? Did you inform them the calamari was overdone? Did you ask to speak to a manager?

      If you don't attempt to give the restaurant a chance to correct it's errors, you wind up sounding like a big whiner, especially when you have no posting history here.

      Personally I have never been to Vincent, but I trust the judgment of most of the people on this board.

    2. I'm sorry that you had a lousy experience at Vincent. While I have not eaten there recently, I have had several excellent meals there in the past. And, like you, I think that the Vincent burger is over-rated.

      My suggestion for you, though, would be to order French food at a French restaurant if that's what you're seeking. Try the escargot, the moules frites, or the cassoulet. If those don't do it for you, then so be it.

      1 Reply
      1. re: bob s

        Yes, you're yearning for napa cab and eating burgers at Vincent, while demonizing it. Why not eat at the 8th St. grill a few blocks away?

      2. My DH and I ate at Vincent 2 weeks ago. We had the prix fixe menu with the wine pairings. Everything was delicious. The item we liked the least was the beef tenderloin. I think my favorite was the scallop. The tasting menu didn't include anything the original poster ordered.

        1. I look forward to the "50 Better Twin Cities Burgers" list, but I guess that would be another thread. I would also enjoy the "Delicious Dutch Cheeses I Have Eaten" list.

          1. "50 spots in twin cities with better burgers"

            Okay, you're on. Go:

            1. I guess I don't mind adding to the tangent part of this since the original post is...uh...interesting.

              My 2 cents: In the 5-6 years since I've had it, I haven't had a worse burger than the Vincent Burger I stupidly ordered for lunch one day. I won't claim to be able to list off 50 places with burgers I would rather order (although I think I could), but they royally screwed mine up. I actually WOULD HAVE said something -- for sure that it was cooked to death and was dry as a bone -- but the server never came around again after dropping off my food. I had to get up to track someone else down to pay my check. It was like the server had disappeared into a black hole. And I also thought the fries sucked.

              But....like MplsMary said, I wouldn't judge the entire enterprise based on that one experience, especially given the choice I made.

              1. Burgers better than The Vincent Burger
                The Paul Molitor at The Nook
                The Jucy Nookie at The Nook
                The Triple B Burger at The Nook
                Guy's Big Bite at The Nook
                The Lodge Burger at The Nook
                The Frenchy Burger at Blue Door Pub
                Bangkok Blucy at Blue Door Pub
                The Twin Cities Burger at Smash Burger
                Every burger at Culvers
                Every burger at Red Robin

                2 Replies
                1. re: EricShawnSmith

                  I'll respectfully disagree. While the couple of times I've had the Vincent Burger I haven't been overwhelmed, I'd still put it above just about ever burger on your list.

                  No, the Vincent Burger isn't one of the top 5 in the Twin Cities. And perhaps it's time for Vincent to take another look at his build. While I've enjoyed it when I've had it, I kick myself for getting a burger at a French restaurant. Everything else I've had at Vincent's I've enjoyed greatly.

                  1. re: EricShawnSmith

                    I'm not a fan of the Vincent burger, though my husband is, but I do love Vincent's frites! Nevertheless, I cannot come up with 50 "spots" in the Twin Cities where I'd rather have a burger (I'll admit: my choices are heavily influenced by setting), though I can't resist the challenge of attempting to do so. What I've realized is that though I swear there are too many burgers on too many menus, I apparently don't order them often.

                    In no particular order, except that I've deliberately placed Meritage at the top:

                    1, Meritage
                    2. Craftsman (though it's been awhile)
                    3. 112 Eatery
                    4. The Nook
                    5. The W hotel room service
                    6. The patio at Salut
                    7. The patio at Burger Moe's
                    8. The patio at W.A. Frost
                    9. Sometimes Bulldog N.E.
                    10. Piroshki at Russian Tea House--okay, not exactly a burger, but I so love these.

                    I can also almost name as many burgers I'd like to try that I haven't had: Haute Dish, Butcher and Boar, Happy Gnome (nod to Seige), Barbette, Busters, Victory 44, Travail, Pat's Tavern, Masu, Red Stag, Joe's Garage, Lurcat, Strip Club, Levain, Town Hall, Capital Grill, Anchor, Heartland, Good Day Cafe (all of my GDC experiences have been very meh, but I keep it on my to try list because MSPD thinks highly of this burger and I've yet to try it), Glockenspiel...

                    But even adding on my "some day" list STILL doesn't get me to 50.

                    Places deliberately not on the list because I'd rather have the Vincent Burger: Blue Door Pub & any of the Blue Plate Restaurant Burgers & American Burger Bar (all about equal to Vincent's for me). Also, Matt's Burger Jones (though its patio could give it a nudge in the right direction), Hell's Kitchen, Black Forest Inn (what was Dara thinking when she listed this among the best a few years ago).


                  2. Let's start with the wine. You should have said something at the restaurant. It is not a bad wine WS 87 points. Just what you would expect from a by the glass program. My guess is you prefer a new world profile. FYI it is a blend with merlot.

                    I agree with others. You do not go to Vincent for the French food. His cassoulet is best in town. The fries are not frozen.

                    1. If you ordered a "French Cabernet" it's likely Bordeaux. It can be half Merlot and half Cab. In France wines are named by the region, in California, wines are named by the varietal. If you had ordered a California Cabernet it would have been made with mainly Cabernet grapes. The difference is huge. Study up on your wines. You can't even describe what you got.

                      Can't say much about the Calamari, but if something is braised then it's well done. In fact it's normally so well done that it's falling off the bone. I'd expect something braised to be fork tender with just a little tooth.

                      You need to get your facts straight before you start a critique.

                      God bless the first amendment, the right to free speech, bad spelling, and the right to critique anything you eat without knowing anything about what you eat.