88 South 6th Street, Minneapolis, MN | Directions 5540244.977593 -93.270376
Neighborhoods: Downtown West, Central
When there's lobby space, throw a restaurnt in! – My first reaction when walking in was, "this is a restaurant?" It looked as if tables, chairs & booths were thrown into an open lobby space to create a dining room. Anyway, we waited a few minutes to be seated at the unattended hostess desk until the manager finally noticed so he apologized & promptly seated us. At first we were seated at a single's table but we asked to move into a booth which our server was kind enough to do. The booth gave us privacy and set a much more romantic tone. The menu was small and nothing really stood out so we just went with the seared walleye and lobster & risotto croquettes. My fiance loved the walleye which also included poached lobster, we both liked that the walleye was lightly crisped and thought it went well with the lobster and butter sauce. On the other hand, my croquettes were very sticky and lacked the taste of lobster. The website promotes a wine celler in a bank vault which was neat and we also liked the $ sign tab holder. All in all, we wanted to give this place a chance but we will probably not return.
Great food & service at the bar! – We avoided getting a table because of reading bad reviews (considering the service by the waiters) on-line, and grabbed chairs at the bar. The bartenders were VERY friendly and fun, and the drinks (we tried their Mai Tai and Mojito) were delicious. The bar snacks are spicy crackers, which reminded me of oyster crackers--delicious. I had a giant bowl of lime-flavored mussels, which were delicious. They are considered an appetizer, and for the amount of mussels you get, it's a great value at $7! My friend had the Ahi Tuna entree, which she loved. At $26, we thought it a bit pricey, but she said it was worth it. The bread was warm, Italian-style, which we loved. We'd have tried dessert if we'd had room, but we were too full. The room is gorgeous, and is mostly original, from the 1940s. Don't miss the beautiful wine cellar, which is inside the old bank vault. I found it strange that the restaurant was so empty, especially on a Saturday night at 6:30 p.m., but I'm hoping the place catches on. We loved it and have already picked out some menu items to try on our next visit. I think we'll stick with sitting at the bar, as the bartenders were wonderful. Why mess with perfection?
Not worth the $ – We were excited for our dinner here and ended up being disappointed. This place has alot to figure out. We arrived early for dinner on our anniversary, and the hostess recommended that we have a drink at the bar. The bar was packed full of business travelers, so we asked to be seated, she seemed confused by this. Not sure why, but they proceeded to seat us at easily the worst table in the restaurant in the middle of an area where people were standing around drinking - we found it very uncomfortable, as did others near us. We asked if there was another table (which there were) and she said no and didn't seem to care. Most of the tables are near the massive bar, which is eliptical and takes up most of the well-decorated space. Seemed to be a good place to have a drink, but not dinner.
Food was marginal at best. The salt and pepper calamari appetizer was a total joke - about 8 tiny pieces of calamari under (no joke) a foot of frisee salad that wasn't even seasoned. The lobster risotto croquettes were decent, but cold. Our waitress was disappointed in us for not ordering drinks, as evidenced by her sad-puppy face. She also pushed us hard to order sides, and seemed disappointed again when we insisted that we had ordered enough between 2 appetizers and 2 entrees. She also forgot to tell us the specials, we thought there weren't any until we heard them after we ordered. Our entrees were ok, my wife's filet was good, however, it came with frozen spinach (Birds-Eye or Green Giant, if I'm not mistaken- which is fine but not when i'm paying $35 a plate). My lamb chops were sad, much like our waitress.
We eat at higher-end restaurants on a regular basis (Lurcat, Nami, Salut, Campiello, etc), and would put this way at the bottom of the pack. If I had to guess, I would say they jack up their prices because they're a hotel restaurant and most of their guests are paying via corporate card. Unless your company is footing the bill, go somewhere else.
Don't bank here – Disappointing! I luckily made reservations as the place was packed for lunch. My mom and I were seated directly next to the kitchen and the first thing I heard was the chef yelling orders. It was distracting and definitely set a negative tone for us. One waiter even sheepishly grinned at me and mouthed "sorry" as the chef yelled behind him. I ordered the Salmon and my mom ordered her burger Medium Well. During our wait, there was a loud grinding noise from the upstairs; I understand this was not the wait staff's fault, but their reaction certainly did not help and was in fact, the most distressing. They were all on edge and frantically looking for someone to stop the noise. After an hour wait, we got our food. I will say, that my Salmon was exceptional. Unfortunately, my mom's burger was pink inside (rare!) We attempted to get our waiter's attention, who would not look our direction for anything and never came over to ask about our meal. I felt terrible eating my Salmon as she sat and waited for someone to correct her order. Finally, my mom got the attention of what appeared to be the manager; he exclaimed "I'll be right back" went to his post at the kitchen 20 feet away and ignored us the rest of the time we sat and waited. When our waiter came to clear our dishes, my mom showed him her burger. He agreed it was rare and said sorry, but quickly asked if we were from around here. Then he went on to complain about the 200+ orders they get during the lunch hour.
Worst experience eating downtown. Hopefully they can work out the kinks as time goes on.
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