Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >

astadtler's Profile

Title Last Reply

City Pages "Restaurant Guide"

Are you kidding me? No Parlor and La Belle Vie but Butcher and the Boar and The Lowry make it? Icehouse, but not Johnny Michaels James Beard nominated program at La Belle Vie. We don't have 10 good cocktail bars in Minneapolis but City Pages still couldn't get this right.

Smack Shack!

Can I clear something up Smack Shack has been around for a couple years if anyone is surprised by the food its their own fault. Its not a high-end seafood restaurant but a decent one with a more casual setting. I can't speak to the cocktails. I've had the lobster mac n' cheese at 1029 and at the new smack shack where the portion is smaller, you're right its not the best lobster but what did you really expect? In my opinion go for the off the menu Crawfish $7.99/lb thats what I usually get at the Smack Shack. I can't speak to the cocktails, though Parlor is across the street which is undoubtedly probably a better bet.


An interesting collaboration between Victory 44, Dogwood Coffee and Rustica Bakery all in an equally unique shared space with Forage Modern Workshop. I was excited to find a coffee stout from Indeed that I hadn't previously seen (collaboration with dogwood), it was good but not better than Fulton's War & Peace. I had the Fried Chicken w/ biscuit, gravy, carrots and peas which I thought was really good and a sizable portion for $15, I had been worried before ordering that it wouldn't be enough. I saw someone else order the french fries with whipped truffle ranch that looked really good, I'd probably order them next time. My friends had the Kale and the Brussels, the quail eggs with the brussels looked like a nice touch and they both liked their dishes.~$60 with a couple beers and a couple glasses of wine and three entrees not bad in my opinion. It's upscale food in a relaxed atmosphere in the vein of Victory 44.

Burch Steak & Pizza Bar

I slammed the cocktails, I slammed the steak what else do you want out of me? Sorry if you thought I was being sexist. It's a steak place for people not interested in steak. I had a friend go for pizza tonight who said pretty much the same thing that the sides were good pizza was bad. We both agreed that our dinner at Parka the night before was better.

In conclusion I have to say that it was an ambitious, maybe even just bad idea. When I heard steak & pizza I thought it sounded tough to pull off but I thought of the few people who could pull it off in Minneapolis Becker might be one of them but clearly thats not the case. Like you said it will be interesting to see what the professional reviewers say, Jason DeRusha already proclaimed it as "absolutely genius".

Burch Steak & Pizza Bar

I went Thursday, my initial opinion is that this is a steak place for women. My mother and grandma loved the smaller cuts and the cheaper cuts. I got a few oysters which were very good. For my first drink I had the Burch Penicillin (a local take on Sam Ross' cocktail) which was disappointing and it shows Becker's lack of interest in craft cocktails even though its an admittedly tough drink to make. For my main I had the 6oz Prime Sirloin, I ordered it Pittsburgh style and it was way over cooked the inside was medium/medium-rare, the steak sauce while different wasn't good. My side was a potato purre with poutine gravy, which I thought was a simple but more interesting take on the classic. For dessert I had the chocolate hazelnut cake which was good. Unfortunately the steak ruined it for me I hope it was just that the small size of the steak made it too difficult and I am definitely planning on going again. Though my current impression is that I would be much happier at Capitol Grille with the food. I should say too that I love 112 and BLG so maybe my expectations were just too high. It certainly seems like the hip new place to be we sat next to Jared Allen so its certainly still has the go and be seen thing going on.

Burch Steak & Pizza Bar

How did the steak compare to Manny's or Capitol Grille? Honestly I'm not the biggest steak fan but, I think prefer Capitol Grille as of late. It's cool that it has a non-traditional steakhouse vibe but if the steak isn't up to par I doubt I will be going here. I've had some friends go and say that the pizzas are really good though. I did hear there is no cocktail program at Burch which is a bit disappointing.

Favorite Coffee Shop?

Since Urban Bean - Lyndale has been open this is my new favorite spot. There has also been a recent exodus of good baristas from Quixotic though they continue to do the rotating roasters (currently Handsome) which I think really sets them apart.

Bar La Grassa--First time

I'll second the pasta negra. This is usually where I take people that don't usually go to nice restaurants and this is what I make them order to step out of their comfort zone and I've heard nothing but rave reviews.

A personal favorite is the foie gras tortellini but if you don't like foie gras or haven't had it I'm not sure I can recommend it.

For an appetizer I like to get the prosciutto and cheese, it sounds boring and I suppose it kind of is but if you've never had good quality prosciutto and cheese it awesome. Its also a big appetizer so its a good one to share for a few people.

Reactions to City Pages "Best of..."???

Pat's Tap sucks period, it's a low rent Muddy Waters.

Best Italian in the Twin Cites is in White Bear Lake!

I'm skeptical do you really think its better than Bar La Grassa?

MSP james beard semifinalists local rundown

Bachelor Farmer is just not as good and more expensive than Bar La Grassa and right down the street.

Sushi MSP

Origami has a parking lot that is free too directly across from the restaurant.

Would have loved to try Eat Street Social

I went for the soft open on Thursday night about 11pm. It was packed for a soft open, lots of hipsters. Anyways I found the decor exactly what I wanted in that I was looking at this as more of a cocktail bar/speakeasy. Nicholas helped me selecting a scotch and was fairly knowledgeable and my questions he wasn't able to answer was able to bring over the distributor to answer some questions. I ended up getting a glass of Bunnahabain 12yr to start. Then since I had came for a cocktail I asked what their favorite is and someone recommended the French Connection and it was delicious. I think Minneapolis may have finally arrived in terms of cocktails, its nice to finally have an option that isn't so high class feeling like Marvel, La Belle Vie and Bradstreet. And I think it says something about the market that someone feels comfortable opening a place like this outside of downtown.

Unfortunately I wasn't able to try the food since they had run out by 11pm. If you are looking for more information you can check out their consulting site . Ira has worked at Violet Hour in Chicago so obviously if you enjoy cocktails this place is a must. Looking forward to food reviews.

What's the big deal with Red Stag?

I believe I had the New York Strip also and my feelings about redstag are the same. I've talked to some other people that liked it and they said they lived in the area so it was a good place for a nightcap but they wouldn't get dinner there. To me its too hit or miss to justify the price, there is other places I can go for the same or less and enjoy all the dishes on the menu.

Sunday night only in St Paul

Not to mention they have a pretty killer scotch list.

The Bachelor Farmer - who has been and can comment

The first comment still hits the nail on the head for me its good but not as good as other places that are the same price or less. I'd much rather head down the street to Bar La Grassa.

Favorite Coffee Shop?

The Best Coffee Shop is Quixotic because they have a knowledgable staff and a some of the best rotating specialty coffee roasters. Micah at Quixotic is seasoned and knows what he is doing they have many very good baristas and the fact that every 6 weeks I can try and buy coffee from many of the top speciality roasters in the country without paying shipping. Baked goods from Patisserie 46 only solidify this.

My second favorite would be Angry Catfish they server Intelligentsia (still probably the best coffee in the United States imo) and also a very knowledgeable staff. The only problem is that they are a bike shop first and have limited seating for coffee drinkers.

Honorable Mention:
Blue Ox Coffee Co (counter culture)
Urban Bean (dogwood)

Kinsen Noodles & Bar...?

Yea it is the same owner, I've never been to Kindee because the Sea Change happy hour starts 30min before it. Maybe some day we always talk about it.

Sea Change
806 Second Street S., Minneapolis, MN 55415

Thai food in S. suburbs?

It has finally reopened as Fin Sushi its pretty much the same from everything I can tell. Nothing to write home about.

Kinsen Noodles & Bar...?

I don't know it got panned pretty hard on city pages. I'm just pretty skeptical of anything near Calhoun Square these days. Chiang Mai Thai is pretty good restaurant I don't know why all these other places keep trying to make Thai restaurants in the Calhoun Square area and make food worse than places already there. I don't know that I've ever eaten at Tum Rup Thai but I see this going the same way make it trendyish put it on lagoon/lake/hennepin and make mediocre Thai food.

Bachelor Farmer Soft Opening Now

The drink with Tequila and Horseradish is the "Silverado".

Victory 44 Recent Hits/Misses?

They serve Dogwood if memory serves me correctly?

Sea Change

The Happy Hour is fantastic! We had the pork sandwich for $5 what a steal! Also had some oysters that were very good. Friend had the fish tacos also which he said were very good. The house red wine was even tolerable. I'd definitely like to go back for a real dinner sometime.

Bachelor Farmer Soft Opening Now

As a regular at Bradstreet I would have to say this is better. We arrived at 11pm on friday night and they said they had about a 45min wait but, put us on a list and sent a text message 45min later letting us know that our table was available. The drink I had was an Olivetto it was delicious, unfortunately I was driving so that was all I had. Our drinks were made by the guy in charge Pip Hanson, he created the drink menu and seemed knowledgable, I was able to pick his brain for a few minutes and confirmed my suspicion that they employed Town Talk refugees.

I've been to The Varnish in LA and while I wouldn't put it all the way up there it is definitely good with room for improvement. They do sound like they plan on expanding some of their stuff and were really just getting prepared with 8 or 10 specialty drinks. The only other friend in our group who knows anything about mixology ordered "Something with whiskey, thats sweet and spicy. Too which he was told they didn't have any Tabasco sauce but planned on adding more stuff like that once they had things under control." so we were left maybe a tiny bit disappointed as we mostly like to order off menu drinks.

I have only had drinks at Saffron a couple of times and not recently. I do remember we were more impressed with the Chamomile Infused Gin than the drink itself. I also remember the bartender there being a dick.

We will see if it survives they are definitely going for the semi-hidden prohibition type mixology bar that is commonly found on the coasts I like it a lot. It will be interesting to see if they add a happy hour similar to Bradstreet's 601 hour. I really want this place to survive if only to have options, but I fear for the location and being semi-hidden exclusive whatever you want to call it in Minneapolis probably means it will die a quick death.

Bachelor Farmer Soft Opening Now

I went to Marvel and it's a great addition to Minneapolis. I feel we finally have a mixology bar that I wouldn't be embarrassed to take friends from NY/LA to.

Soul Daddy

Just went today, my friend watched the show and she wanted to take me for lunch knowing I'm a bit of a foodie. Of course I had heard of the show but never watched it, my thought was its American Idol for food.

I had the pulled pork sandwich w/ cheesey grits and cornbread washed down with a fine orange soda. Pulled pork sandwich meat was dry with little detectable flavor I immediately went and found the bbq sauce which was pretty good(perhaps a tad too sweet) looks like they make it in house too. Like someone already mentioned the grits are clearly a failed recipe no there has to be almost no cheese in this recipe its basically what I assume they serve in soviet block prisons for every meal.The cornbread is made to look like a small waffle but, it doesn't have much taste to it I they clearly avoided using any sugar when making this and they don't even have syrup for this faux-waffle. My friend had the chicken and said it was also dry and flavorless, which she later described as "soul food my grandma would eat.... that means bland".

I won't be going back unless the menu gets overhauled. The blandness might survive in the midwest especially in the Mall of America but, I can't see how it will last to long in New York and LA especially with Roscoe's.

Tim McKee and Masu

Thanks for the great run down MNLawGirl. That looks like Shabu Shabu, was there some sort of hot pot element it looks like they prepared it for you? Also did you get to see any of the Robata in action that sounds interesting. I'm glad to see they are bringing in a proven sushi chef and trying to bring some of the trendy Japanese cooking styles in from the coast.

Cafecito Organico... not just coffee

Thanks for the posting I'm going to be in town soon and was wondering if there was something better than Intelligentsia that only the Coffee Snobs know about.

Feb 23, 2011
astadtler in Los Angeles Area

do we have a best of list?

I second Bar La Grassa you can easily have an app a main and split a bottle of wine for $30 with groups of 3 or more.

Bar La Grassa
800 N Washington Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55401

India Palace Burnsville

I've been here it's pretty good for Burnsville. I certainly wasn't disappointed with my food. That being said its not something anyone should travel across the river for but if you find yourself in Burnsville its an option.