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The Salt Cellar

There was alcohol - (three drinks total, I believe). If I remember correctly, it involved two salads, one prime rib, one surf and turf (and the origin of the overcooked lobster tail), one side of veg, one dessert shared, and one coffee.

Feb 27, 2015
latte4me in Minneapolis-St. Paul

The Salt Cellar

Birthday dinner - my lobster tail was overcooked although hubby's prime rib was good. Service seemed like it had good intentions, but small items - a drink refill or more water - took a loooong time. Hubby faced the kitchen (open) and observed that the staff didn't look as though they had bothered to clean themselves up, which is pretty inconsistent from other open kitchen places.

On top of that, we were practically in the laps of the people next to us, and one half of the couple was LOUD. And true to earlier reviews, the food needed salt, even though there was a lovely salt rock decorating our table. So close, and yet so far..

And about the comment on panning a restaurant after one visit? When your bill is $222 before tip -- and there was no bottle of wine involved - the margin of error is just much smaller for successful execution. At that price, I'm not willing to give them another chance when there are so many other options in town. It's too bad - the bar is lovely and I'm sure I'll go there.

Feb 12, 2015
latte4me in Minneapolis-St. Paul

Your Top 5 Restaurants in Town

Osteria i Nonni
Maya Cuisine

Honorable mention for Cheeky Monkey at dinner. Need to get to House of Curry ASAP!

Aug 17, 2014
latte4me in Minneapolis-St. Paul

Tonic Syrup (concentrate)

I seem to remember seeing it at Golden Fig in St. Paul not so long ago. You could call first, but it's worth visiting anyway.

Aug 17, 2014
latte4me in Minneapolis-St. Paul

Good Sushi in the Twin Cities

Depends on the time of year - Origami had fugu around December, and it's my understanding they are the only MN restaurant allowed to import it. I've always had a grat experience there - not just with the rolls, although they are also worth trying - and it's measured up to other sushi places in the US.

Aug 17, 2014
latte4me in Minneapolis-St. Paul

I love to cook from scratch but every now and then I can't resist...(insert name of convenience food here)

Kozy Shack rice pudding. It's so good, I can get past the misuse of the letter "K."

Caterer for 40th birthday party?

I had great results from Ace Catering (part of D'Amico) for a b-day.

Jan 24, 2014
latte4me in Minneapolis-St. Paul

Cossetta Pasticceria

I've been looking for a dessert place in the evening, and this may just work out. (I think Café Latte is overrated (sorry), and Patisserie 46 isn't open late. But I digress..)

Coffee is good, desserts are lovely - although a few of the chocolate varieties tend toward the sweet side - but the cookies... sigh. I make pretty good cookies, and I can't match these.

After picking up an assortment to try, promptly drove back the next day for more. They're of the lovely butter cookie type with at least ten different varieties - in addition to biscotti, cannoli, and other things you'd expect - and not the typical dry sugar cookie that I generally avoid. Definitely worth a visit, although I need to get past the desserts and cookies to try the gelato, so I can't speak to the entire experience.

Oh, and as a bonus, they have a lot in the back with one-hour parking. Stopped by when there was a concert at the X and could even find parking there.

Nov 24, 2013
latte4me in Minneapolis-St. Paul

No reservation restaurants - advice and comments please

I've always wondered if anyone else felt this way on a topic. It's not an issue for me to wait a few (10-15) minutes at peak time at a small place. But if it's going to be longer, then I either want a reservation or I'd like to be able to call ahead and put my name on the waiting list (and be given an approximate wait at that time so I can my arrival with a minimal wait).

The places that make me crazy are the no reservation/no call-ahead spots. I get that it's hard to accurately time diners, but forcing me to stand around (and not always indoors, or in a bar - yes, I'm talking to you, Blue Door Pub...) just seems disrespectful of my time. And there are too many great places in my area (MSP) to waste time and money loitering. Sorry, but that's how I feel.

Nov 17, 2013
latte4me in Not About Food

Rusty Taco - Awful!

Okay, I'll defend them - I actually like the place but I wouldn't compare them to the tacos you'd find in Mexico, or even CA for that matter. To me, they're Texas tacos, which I think are pretty good but different. On the plus side, they have good beer on tap and their queso dip is pretty tasty in an ultimate junk food sort of way. And the habanero sauce is addictive after you regain your breath.

Nov 07, 2013
latte4me in Minneapolis-St. Paul

St. Paul Whole Foods is moving to the corner of Snelling and Selby.

Thank goodness they are thinking about traffic. The intersection is already nuts with everyone turning to Ayd Mill. But on the bright side, their press release seemed to imply the store would be larger.

Aug 05, 2013
latte4me in Minneapolis-St. Paul

Teriyaki grill? (Samurai Sam's analog)

I know of the place, but there is only one similar teriyaki restaurant in the entire metro that I know of: Oishi in Brooklyn Center. They do great teriyaki (and as a Pacific NW transplant, I miss it desperately) but I think they get a bad rap due to their sushi, which never seems to earn good reviews on the various sites.

But it's worth a trip if you're remotely close by...

Jul 20, 2013
latte4me in Minneapolis-St. Paul

Girls dinner out

+ 1 for the Monkey. And their desserts are house-made and terrific, which is always good for a birthday.

Jul 09, 2013
latte4me in Minneapolis-St. Paul

The Buttered Tin

Can't comment on their table service - my slice of coconut cake was a "to-go" purchase. But it was really, really good. Am excited about the possibility of good baked items downtown!

Jun 26, 2013
latte4me in Minneapolis-St. Paul

Rainier cherries: MIA in MSP?

Anybody happen to know why they haven't been in the stores at all this year? I've heard of brief appearances at Whole Foods and Kowalski's but they're usually in the store consistently fly from mid-May until the end of June. But this year, not so much.

Jun 13, 2013
latte4me in Minneapolis-St. Paul

Ginger Beer

Maine Root brand - available at Whole Foods. Yum.

May 12, 2013
latte4me in Minneapolis-St. Paul

Need Potluck Cold Main Dish

I've had good luck with Nick Stellino's spinach pie recipe, which can be served at room temperature:

Mar 15, 2013
latte4me in Home Cooking

Preserved lemon

Cooks of Crocus Hill sells them.

Mar 06, 2013
latte4me in Minneapolis-St. Paul

Enchiladas - Minneapolis/St. Paul Dish of the Month (Jan 2013)

La Loma green chile cheese enchiladas...mmmm. Skip the tamale for once; it's worth it.

Jan 06, 2013
latte4me in Minneapolis-St. Paul

Opening my mind to fruitcake

I know it's after fruitcake season, but I figured I would put in a vote for next year: Mary of Puddin' Hill in Texas. While I don't mind mixed drinks, I can't abide with the boozy taste of fruitcake - and theirs is alcohol-free. Imagine a lot of pecans, candied fruit, and "goo" to hold things together - yum.

Dec 31, 2012
latte4me in General Topics

Restaurant practices you'd like to see become more common

+1, especially when I'm traveling and can't take the leftovers. I hate wasting food.

Oh, and healthy options that are already available - besides a salad - that don't require creating a custom dish. Sometimes I'm watching my waistline and I hate to be a pain.

Dec 29, 2012
latte4me in Not About Food


Just had the gyro at Marina Grill, and it was great. And for a bonus - they have good fries.

Dec 29, 2012
latte4me in Minneapolis-St. Paul

International food experiences in Mpls

Khyber Pass - different, yet familiar.

Dec 28, 2012
latte4me in Minneapolis-St. Paul

Unofficial Chowhounder survey: Who are you?


A while, but I lurk more than I post, I admit.

The cooler Twin City, St. Paul, MN

Financial services

West Coast native of a Southern family who migrated to Arizona, which means that we used to eat Mexican food on Christmas Eve. Oh, and I like okra.

Random food cravings, "Do you know where I can find...?"

I'm an award-winning baker.

Dec 26, 2012
latte4me in Site Talk

Is it rude to ask a pizza place for a side of Ranch?

I know what you're talking about, but I'm from the West Coast. Probably not rude, but you're sure to get a few stares...

Dec 26, 2012
latte4me in Manhattan

Personal "go to" place shares.

Thanks for the new ideas! My list is a little eclectic, I admit:

Cheeky Monkey
Ngon Bistro
Marina Grill (buffet is good, but the half-chicken dinner for $8 is smile-worthy)
Khyber Pass
D'Amico's (Roseville location is more restful than Grand Ave) - hubby says it should be disqualified on the basis of it's chain-ness but I am sticking to it. Maybe the mood improvement is due to the wine.
Barbary Fig

Oh, and Patisserie 46 or Izzy's ALWAYS make me feel better about life.

Dec 08, 2012
latte4me in Minneapolis-St. Paul

Nature's Country Corner / Manteca - stop for the fruit and pie!

What a great place! Stopped there while visiting the family at Thanksgiving. Dried fruit and nuts are also delicious. But the pies...sigh. Wish I could mail order them.

Nov 29, 2012
latte4me in California

Should ugly people stay away from upscale restaurants?


Nov 25, 2012
latte4me in Not About Food

catering recommendation for Mpls/St. Paul?

I had a great experience with D'Amico's catering. Menu was quite varied (not just Italian) and I had rave reviews.

Nov 17, 2012
latte4me in Minneapolis-St. Paul


I am so with you here. We'd have a cow if we had to wait that long for any other service, but somehow dining is different. Huh? As much as I'd love to try it, I don't feel like standing around, drinking and staring at the slowpokes at table 14.

Nov 12, 2012
latte4me in Minneapolis-St. Paul