Can you close your eyes and remember restaurants sights, sounds, smells and tastes?
A year ago we dined at a cool little place with 2 floors and rooftop dining in the uptown area of Mpls.
I remember two things mainly. The best steamed lobster I can remember and a very busy and noisy place of 30 to 50 somethings. The oysters were sub par for me so I didn't order any on my 2nd trip. But, since just about every table had a dozen, I'm guessing mine just sat on the line to long before being served so I'd try them again at a future time.
The servers? Both great. Casual dress and good people skills. They buss each others tables and clean as a team as well.
It was our 33rd Anniversary so my precious bride pre-orderd the Lobster bake for us to share.
So here we go..
Lobster Bake is a fix-prix for two and worth every dime. (I'd suggest finding their special on groupon).
Bottle of house wine comes with it but you can upgrade to any bottle and get a 18. credit off it. (worth doing :):) Problem is, it's one of the smallest wine lists I've seen for a nice restaurant, so there's not a cellar to choose from. I voiced that to the server and she smiled and said "yup" hear that all the time. There was descent Sav. Blanc I'd had before with less grapefruit and more pear in it so that worked in the 30 range.
They start you with 4 nicely steamed and soft square buns with an awesome garlic butter.
This follows with a cup of Lobster Bisque. Bisque was nice and golden with three nice chunks of lobster (thumbnail size). Creamy and not gritty (nice). It didn't have the beautiful "port/cognac" flavor that I love, but it also was devoid of the thick rue type that is so often passed off to you as Bisque.. I give that a 6.5
Next was a nice salad. Different from the one we had a year earlier (that was more Waldorf with mixed greens.) This was romaine tossed in an oil citrus that was a bit much so it softened the romaine to much. The berry's were fresh, pears were as well. The nuts tasted like the canned sugared variety but they were fresh so I give them .5 for the crunch factor instead of squish:)
The blue cheese was the medium grade so it wasn't overpowering. (nice) Over all, I'd have liked it better with mixed greens but the cost of goods is always an issue.... i give the salad a 5.5
Now the Lobster Bake... This is a very unique pot.
I'm guessing it's a 2.5 lb lobster. The base is tomato's, Italian sausage, potato's,shrimp (25ct?) Black Mussels, Spinach and spices. Over that lays the broken up lobster. Steamed perfectly both times I've had it. You know it's right when it's still (almost) med. rare in the middle. You get about a 1/4 lb of drawn butter in a dish to share and the cracking utensils. (not needed cause the shells are split and the legs/claws break nicely with your hands.
Every bit of this is an experience. you eat all your lobster and then you have this nice unique stew to eat and drink up the broth in the end.
I actually poured it into a big cup and gave it to my bride to eat out of that instead of digging a giant spoon into the big pot for every bite... (ask for another cup or two, it makes it easier to eat in the end). Oh yeah, the corn.. that was eaten in about 10 sec. after the pot arrived. It just says "eat me first".
Well, allot of things in life say that to me, so sue me. Lobster bake I give 9.5 . Half point off because, well, I wanted a couple scallops in it:)
To finish things off you have a few choices for your dessert and I usually go chocolate if they have good coffee (up charge; however they didn't charge us for it).
Whipped cream was a bit thick (more butterier) cake was really nice and berries and finished reduction was nice. Coffee was very fresh and two refills came without a question. Dessert... 5..5
Nothing special about it, just... good.
I've dined on the 2nd floor (noisy) and this time on the main floor (noisy). Sat in a wood booth along the wall and it was lit well. Not romantic at all but you work with what you got :)
Parking can be found on the street if your lucky. They have valet and do not validate, but we paid 8. for an enclosed ramp across the street, (which is nice in the winter months).
All in all I give it an 8 as a dining experience. It's the only place I know like that where you can dress up or be totally casual and feel good. We got out of there with our groupon under $150 with 20% on the total bill, not the groupon. Bill was $180 with the extra wine.
If you eat early, it's always nice to walk around the blocks there near the lake and see the shops. There are 4 outdoors clothing shops on one street and Android and Apple stores. There is live music within walking and the community there is pretty safe.
I can take this place once a year just for the lobster bake alone and now with a sushi bar and oyster bar there, I'll be back to just try that in the summer when you can sit on the roof top and dig the vibe.
Reservations welcome and (i think) needed. Tennessee Williams and Richard Burton could come here and feel very welcome yelling Stella.... more lobster.. As for my bride and I, we like to dress up and dine.
We give it two smiles and thank you for the plastic lobster bibs. We got home without a spot of butter.
Bathrooms were clean as well... which is nice.