4300 E Lake St, Minneapolis, MN | Directions 5540644.948493 -93.211338
Neighborhoods: Cooper, Longfellow
Best Unknown Independent Restaurant in Mpls. – There were four of us that visited the Craftsman Restaurant on Lake Street this past Sunday for Brunch. It was the best independent restaurant we have visited in 3 years. Great atmosphere for good friends or family conversation. Inviting surroundings and the Chef knows how to cook many local and organic foods. I was extremely impressed by his new take on southern grits. I am from North Carolina and know what grits should taste like but he actually surprised me. We had a vegetarian in our dining party and the waiter welcomed special requests. They have a good selection of beer and wine, plus some very unusual non-alcoholic drinks such as a beet based beverage. The hash brown potatoes were crunchy on the outside but well cooked/soft on the inside. None of us were disappointed in our entrees.
Give them a try....you won't be disappointed.
Too damned loud! – Six of us have gone out to eat in the TC area once a month for about six years. Doing the math, one can see this amounts to a rather large and representative sample of venues. We have concluded that a very large percentage of restaurateurs and/or their insidious consultants have decided that the continuous auditory assault in sports venues must be duplicated in their eateries. Does it occur to anyone that diners may like to engage in conversation? Like the sports arenas and stadiums, is the idea to somehow, in some mysterious way, raise the "excitement" level of customers? I can see this in the case of bars and restaurant-music venues, but in restaurants where the principal activity is consuming what one hopes to be fine food, I can only ask, Why? This has become so annoying for us - and, no, there's nothing wrong with our hearing (yet) - that I'm not even commenting on the food. It doesn't matter. When all surfaces are of non-sound absorbent hard materials, this is what happens - and it's easy to rectify. I'm convinced that, if diners were asked to complete a brief survey, it would be found that a large percentage would like a reduction in noise levels. Such a survey would be easy to do as well. I even volunteer myself to construct and administer it, since I have some experience along these lines. One other positive besides the walleye, which, being a special, isn't on the menu every night: Craftsman is only in third place behind Talk of the Town and Chino Latino in the decibel level contest.
best pickle martini ever, even better fries – This place is great for a romantic dinner, a client meal, dinner with your kids, your parents or your friends, or just a drink and burger at a bar. They use a lot of local ingredients and the chef does a lot of canning (you can see the fruits of his labor on the open shelves, which empty out as the winter progresses). Great service, a fantastic patio in the summer, and something to please everyone. Favorites are the gnocchi, the cheese plates, the burgers, the trout (or any fish) with divine parsnip puree. Not-favorites are the roasted veggie burger (not very tasty), and... I can't think of anything else. A great neighborhood joint that is also a slightly upscale city gem.
Bad service and an unwelcoming atmosphere = two upset customers – Very cold & antiseptic atmosphere, and we were seated at the table in the dinning room with the best view of the outside door, so we were actually freezing all through the dinner. Our appetizer looked like dog food (braised pork), I couldn?t even try it, but my partner said it tasted ?O.K.?. the service was slow to inattentive, we probably talked to our waitress twice, we had a good 15-20 minute wait between each course, making us antsy to get out of the place. The bus man cleared our bread while we still had bread in the basket and refills on bread are $5, plus it was the only thing we had to eat. We didn?t order dessert or coffee because after 2 hours we just wanted to get home and warm up. But the piece de resistance - the table behind us exterminated an insect by swatting it with her shoe and not one server, bus man or any of the restaurant employees even paid attention, are they used to insects being exterminated at the table in that restaurant? Needless to say, I will not ever go back or recommend it to anyone.
Best meal I have had in a long time! – My girlfriend and I went here on a recommendation from OpenTable. We had the pork ribblets (sp?) with crustinis to start. The apples and spicy mustard really made the dish shine. I had the rabbit and it was seriously good. The sauce is what put it over the top. My girlfriend had the handmade pasta and pork, also very good. For desert we had the apple crisp with cinnamon ice cream. This was a perfect ending to a great meal.
The service was also very good. The only thing that I think needs improvement would be the interior decor. There are parts that seem to need 'something' but I can't put my finger on it.
Great food, surprisingly kid friendly – One of our favorite restaurants in the area. Homemade charcruterie plate is phenomenally good. Duck confit is as good as any I've had in Boston or New York "fancy" restaurants. Wonderful selection of local foods and beers. Have also dined there twice with our toddler, and it is a surprisingly welcoming environment. Lots of families. Decor is a little dark. Service has always been friendly and well paced for a lingering meal. If you want to eat faster, get a burger at the bar.
Worth going back but a couple improvements needed.... – The food last night was pretty good and definitely worth another visit. The duck confit was wonderful and came with a reduction that drew out the flavors even more. The potato and onion gratin was a good compliment to the duck. My wife had the rainbow trout and it was good but was lacking a little flavor. It was nicely herbed but frankly needed a little fresh lemon or something to pull the flavors together. It was wrapped in a thick, fatty bacon but much of the bacon was not cooked enough to be edible. I know that it was supposed to compliment the fish but it was good bacon that we wanted to eat. The only problem with the food was that several of the dishes were over salted. The beet and chevre terrine and the cabbage, beet and cherry slaw were both slight twists on classics that were both a great start to the meal. The service was overly dramatic and pretty slow (there were busy but the speed was a negative on the night). One interesting thing is that the restaurant presents itself well and as a higher price point restaurant but there are some details that they miss. For example, the front doors are heavily beaten up and one of them had a broken hinge. Anything for first impressions? Hopefully the front doors are being replaced and it was just our timing. Again, we will definitely go back but wanted to highlight the cons with the pros to hopefully set the expectations appropriately (and if the restaurant reads this, give them a couple of thoughts from two customers who eat out often.)
Great food, slow cooking and slower service – I went there on a Monday night, and ate outside on the spacious deck on a warm September night. The food was great - I had a most unusual cheese plate and a mint julep that was muddled with cucumber and bourbon. Dinner was a polenta with vegetable ragout, which was very well done. The server also helped with wine recommendations and brought samples of unfamiliar wines. I shared the deck with a couple who were on their first date, and an older couple. The inside seating was similarly quiet.
What surprised me most was the speed of the service. It seemed a little unusually long, given my simple order. It wasn't unpleasantly long; it'd have been suited well for conversation. But not a place to go if you're in a hurry to get to a show or such.
Beautiful Neighborhood Restaurant – We were able to get a window table for two at The Craftsman. I was very impressed with the atmosphere, service and food. For those who have a taste for traditional food, some of the items on the menu are unique. For example, we ordered the cheese plate appetizer and the cheeses had very distinct flavors. Don't come here expecting to order a pasta dish or chicken. The menu consists of lamb, duck, pheasant, and other exotic choices. On that note, this is the perfect place to try something new and linger over a few glasses of wine and dessert.
Great Atmosphere – The burgers at The Craftsman are top notch. I got the Korean BBQ burger with the sage fries. Man, that was a great burger. They top the burger off with thick slices of bacon that are perfectly cooked and really meaty. The daikon adds a nice crunch. The decor is modern and the service is aces. I would recommend this place to everyone. By the way, the menu changes, so it gives you another reason to go back.
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