September 2, 2017

Time to Dine in Minneapolis

Travel , Just For Fun


“The biggest and artiest town on the prairie.”

That’s how Lonely Planet describes Minneapolis.

When I’d been there before, I’d had time for a play at the Guthrie, time to find the statue of Mary Tyler Moore tossing her beret, time to walk by and gawk at First Avenue, the venue Prince made famous in Purple Rain.

But on our most recent trip, last month, work days started early and ran long. I knew we wouldn’t have the time (or energy) to purify ourselves in Lake Minnetonka. But even hard working public speaking coaches have to eat. A quick look at Eater Twin Cities got us started.

We report back with these great finds, in case you're lucky enough to visit the big, arty town on the prairie:

Dinner #1: Grand Café

This bistro had opened (or re-opened) in May, serving dishes that Food & Wine promised us would be both “brilliant and smart.”

A footed egg cup and fancy corn at Grand Cafe.

I'm happy to say they were—from the foie gras royale served in an egg shell to our very favorite, the out-of-this world roast chicken. Our waiter impressed with her thoroughness, giving kind attention for the particular food allergies of one of our party.

Catching a glimpse of Spoonbridge and Cherry from our cab.

We also enjoyed the cab ride over, passing by the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden with the famous Spoonbridge and Cherry.

Minneapolis's Grand Avenue in the rain.

The restaurant is in a charming neighborhood, even when a summer rain storm moves in, and I've since heard it's a popular place for summertime outdoor dining.

"Where I come from, when a Catholic marries a Lutheran it is considered the first step on the road to Minneapolis."

– Garrison Keillor

Dinner #2: The Bachelor Farmer

On our second night, we walked from our hotel to the North Loop neighborhood—and felt hopeful as soon as we saw the charming blue checked awnings. We were not disappointed.

Elise studies the menu, Jenny orders Scandinavian influenced fried pork leg, and there was wine.

With a James Beard winner as executive chef, this restaurant has received all sorts of acclaim. Food here marries the region’s Scandinavian heritage with locally grown ingredients. Everything from salad to dessert was outstanding. Along with great food, we had excellent service and loved the wine board that essentially lets you split interesting bottles with diners at other tables.

Karen checking out a North Loop shop. After our meal, we were happy to have a walk home.

Dinner #3: Airport Eats

Our dining while we dashed for home was better than one might expect, thanks to the fun food choices at the Minneapolis airport.

Good food at MSP....and even pretty mosaics as you enter the restrooms.

The options for baked goodies are plentiful. We also liked the small plates served at the airport wine bar.

And the Views:

We may sound like Pollyanna, but it's true: No matter how busy, there's always time to enjoy your surroundings. Staying at the Loews Minneapolis gave us super views of downtown and the Minnesota Twins ballpark.

Karen's hotel room view of the ballpark.

The view at our worksite wasn’t too shabby either, especially with that early morning light.

One of the benefits of starting the workday early: this beautiful view.

We’re looking forward to our next chance to visit Minneapolis—and if you have recommendations, we’d love to hear them.

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