St. Paul >Food & Dining > Heartland Contemporary Midwestern Restaurant
289 5th St E, Saint Paul, MN | Directions 5510144.950309 -93.085668
Tue-Thur & Sun 5:00pm-9:30
Fri & Sat
Neighborhoods: Downtown, Lowertown
Fun and Delicious – My boyfriend and I have gone to Heartland four times now. Each time has been a treat. We enjoy high-quality food made from high-quality ingredients, and the price at Heartland is very reasonable for a special-occasion dinner. Having read some customer reviews complaining about the portions, I'm rather curious as to how much they manage to eat, because we leave there happily full every time. The last time we went was on the 13th with three other friends for a non-romantic Valentines day dinner, and everyone had a great time. All three of them called later to thank us for introducing them to such a wonderful place.
One thing the place thankfully lacks is the pressure to be formal. It's gourmet food without the pretentious attitude. I have never felt uncomfortable or out-of-place, and the servers have been nothing but kind, helpful, and efficient.
If you ever happen to go there as a couple, try the wine bar. Lenny's wife is awesome, and she made that night our best anniversary dinner to date.
In keeping with my theme of buying local, my husband takes me to a well reviewed Heartland restaurant, St Clair Av, that is based on local food. I do not recommend the Heartland restaurant.
When we go in, the place is empty (not a good sign for a business). I look at the menu, it is twice the price of my favorite restaurant , however there is a bountiful list of food listed on each item. We splurge, we take the three course meal. The waitress will substitute ice cream for the third course, since I have food problems. Now, where I come from, bread is served with every meal. So the joke of a bad meal is that you have to live on the bread. Well, at Heartland you have live on the bread, which is served first and I can't eat. Then came an appetizer the size of a quarter (I am not joking), served on a big plate. Oh that is just complimentary. The real appetizer comes next, a 3-4 inch diameter of food on a big plate, about 1/4 of what I would expect. It was good, or maybe I was just very hungry. Then the main course comes out, 4 thin slices of lamb hiding a tiny tiny amount of potatoes and carrots. I ask the waitress if I could have more potatoes and carrots, she says there would be a surcharge. I decline. It was good, or maybe I was just very hungry. Even in Europe I had more of a serving for lunch. Then desert came, four small scoops of ice cream. It was good, or maybe I was just very hungry. I think I could have gotten more food walking around the taste testers at Sam's club. My husband was there, or I would have gone begging to kitchen. "Please, just a bit more food, I am very hungry".
For one who purports to want to help change the world through buying and eating locally, this woman has a hard time putting her money where her mouth is. Besides comparing us to an Asian restaurant that buys almost nothing locally and doesn't prepare all of its food from scratch, she also made reference to Sam's Club. That should throw some light on her level of commitment to buying locally. She had four courses for $40. That's $10 per item, one of which was $40/lb. foie gras. It not our fault that she is gluten intolerant and couldn't eat the bread. At Heartland we serve human size portions for human size people. In addition, we pay living wage, practice fair trade and prepare everything from scratch using local sustainably raised ingredients. Our prices reflect that cost. Rather then pay an additional $6 for a side of vegetables, she has decided to be boorish and hypocritical.
Could be the best ever. – One word for this restaurant is "PERFECT". Stop wondering if you should try this restaurant just GO you wont be disapointed.
Fabulous food and great service – Heartland was an oasis in the middle of our road trip from Washington to Maine. I thought we'd be stuck with fast food or potatoes and over-cooked meat for days but I was wrong. We ate ala carte and enjoyed everything from appetizers to dessert. The menu includes very fresh fish and twists on old home cookin' recipes. Lenny, the chef and owner, came out and joked with us that "contemporary Midwestern is almost an oxymoron," something he's trying to change. They have a great selection of wines by the glass so we were able to enjoy champagne before dinner and wine with dinner. Our total bill was $109, which is amazing for so much great food.
Best food and service in the Twin Cities – This was our second visit to Heartland in a few years - we save such places for special occasions and returned to celebrate our anniversary. I wondered if anything had changed since our last experience, which was impressive and memorable - we left again feeling happy and fulfilled. The atmosphere allows you to relax and take your time eating - this is a place dedicated to food, so you must enjoy it. No pretense regarding who you might appear to be (diners dress code varied), service was excellent and gracious all around. The prices are reasonable considering the high quality of product and flavors - all fresh, local ingredients - I had the three course "fauna" and my husband went a la carte - approx. $40 pp for food, we spent an additional $30 on beverages. It was my first time eating roasted goat - done med rare, tender, and mild in flavor with a delicious morel mushroom sauce. Dessert was enough for us to share - rich, flaky buttery chocolate with lavender creme anglaise. My husband had the MN free range chicken breast with garlic cream sauce and spring veg - he said it was the best meal he's ever had. In conclusion, and since Chef Russo reads these reviews, thank you, Heartland, for another experience that left us feeling content, well-fed, and lucky to know you're still there doing great things with food. I keep telling everyone I know that they should go...hopefully we'll be back soon!
Good food, bad service – I had heard great things about this restaurant and took several friends, all of whom had been anxious to try it. The main dishers were quite good, with some unusual touches. Pheasant, duck and lamb were imaginatively served, though the principal interest was in the accompaniments rather than the meats themselves. The portions were adequate. I was quite disappointed by the deserts. A small portion of apple strudel (albiet with a surprise ingredient--yams) was served ice cold. The pots de creme were quite ordinary. Coffee was unusually good. However the service was quite inadequate. Our server was totally sour and uncommunicative. When we were missing a fork, she spent five minutes chatting with her supervisor before bringing it. She whipped our wine glasses away before we had consumed all of our wine. She mixed up the orders on bringing them to the table, and brought four of five orders before bringing the fifth nearly five minutes later with no apology or explanation. This dramatic failure of service would be enough to doom this restaurant on the East or West coasts. I note that other reviewers both praise and complain about the service, so I can only conclude that the service is wildly uneven. I hope the owners will get serious about training their waitstaff, because this detracts seriously from the basically good food served here. Also I was surprised that a restaurant charging such high-end prices ($10 for a plate of braised cabbage as a side dish) does not accept American Express. The manager explained that Amex's higher charges "cut into their profits." While disarmingly frank, this is not what a customer spending $60-70 per person wants to hear.
NOTE--RETURN VISIT: I returned for a second visit with guests from Washington two months later. The service had improved immeasurably. My guests and I thoroughly enjoyed ourselves on this second visit, and they told me that this was one of the highlights of their week-long trip to the Twin Cities.
Outstanding food and a wnderful wine list – Reading other reviews made me wonder about whether I wanted to go to this restaurant. I'm glad I ignored the comments about poor service and went anyway. Everything was outstanding, from the diverse menu, the excellent wine list, and yes, the very good service. Maybe it is just me, but when I go out, I expect to have a good time, and that means not over-reacting to some perceived slight by a waitperson, who may have just had a large group's food come up, our just had to deal with some challenging customer
Refined service, best wine list hands down! – The Heartland and I are having an affair. Just when it seems that nothing original was ever going to take hold, and last (!) in the Twin Cities, Heartland is still over in Mac-Groveland four years later. It's one of the few restaurants where you don't have to worry that your dollar is going to get stretched too far and get nothing in return. On a recent visit my date had a lovely pecan-encrusted walleye, with grilled green onions with an herb butter sauce. It was perfection. The flavors were solid and uncomplicated. It made one want to drink a gallon of Montrachet. My entree was a seared goose breast with golden raisins, braised red cabbage, and a veal glace that was a perfect balance of earth and sweet. I think the thing that I love most about Heartland is the wine list, the bar manager obviously sees no need to punish people for having good taste at any price range. The markup on all the wine is uniform, unlike most restaurants where the least expensive wine is doubled or even tripled in price! Service is effecient and friendly. I like my service reserved and competent, not overly familiar and inept. And last, the desserts are modestly portioned and never cloyingly sweet. I'd recommend Heartland to anyone for any occasion. The only drawback is that Heartland isn't near any other venues for after-dinner plans. One does have to drive to downtown, still only five minutes away. However, their new wine bar next dar does ease the conundrum of what to do after dinner.
This Mac-Groveland spot serves daily prix-fixe menus of highbrow, Midwestern cuisine. – In Short
The roomy space is sophisticated, with an Arts and Crafts motif creating understated grace. Music is mellow and acoustics are light. Aromas from the kitchen are intoxicating, and the place buzzes with groups of friends and couples on dates. Entrees might include pan-roasted morsels of rabbit loin in a mild pheasant broth, or wild boar tenderloin, sweet with homemade rich plum ketchup. Desserts include sugar pumpkin pillows with caramel syrup and chocolate-chestnut truffles.
Food was amazing... service was a little snooty – Went with a friend to split a bottle of wine and sample some menu items. The asian server who was not our server, but was continually helping our server was extremely courteous. Our server however, while professional, became increasingly rude throughout our stay there, even walking away from our table in a huff when I changed my mind and ordered coffee. I realize we did not spend a ton of money, but we both work in restaurants and did not warrent any reason for rudeness. We are "restaurant trained" (aka: we are not the kind of customers servers go nuts about "behind stage") and tipped her well. I feel that the waitress was being snooty because we did not spend over a $100. The food we sampled was delicious and I would love to go back for a date and order entrees. Perhaps my server will be more courteous then.
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