I said, "Wow, that looks like a cool bar." Then Matt looked in & noticed, "But they have forks, they must serve food." "And they are playing The Shins," added my brother. So, we went in to check it out. Boy, were we ever glad we did because we had stumbled into The Inn, the new venture by Tim Never & Aaron Johnson of Town Talk Diner & The Strip Club.
On a cold Minneapolis night the inside of The Inn is very inviting with it's warm lighting, bricks & wood. Service is very friendly & well informed about what they are serving which we appreciate.
We started with drinks & I was instantly attracted to the interesting cocktail menu. I tried the Has Been, because of my love of elderflower, & loved it. The flavor was peppery & slightly licoricy, so good. The boys had a hard time picking beers from a list that features lots of local brews as well a some well-chosen domestic & international selections. I later changed to wine & was happy to see a more than one or two choices I wanted to try available by the glass.
Then it was time to think about food. The menu at first glance looks like simple, comforting food; beef, pork, chicken, fish & a handful of sandwiches but, once you hear more about the preparation of each of the dishes, you realize there is something special going on in the kitchen. That is probably thanks to Chef Tyge Nelson who comes from a background at Barrio, La Belle Vie & Solera. Oh & let's not forget about the appetizer menu which is interesting enough that you might want to create a meal of small plates, which is what Matt actually did when he ordered mussels, fries & a roasted red pepper salad (I think he liked the salad best of all!). We often judge a restaurant on the quality of their fries & The Inn gets high marks here with a thin, crispy fry prepared just right (We only wished they hadn't taken them away from the table before we had a chance to finish them.) I tried the crispy potato dumpling appetizer with a Mahon cheese dipping sauce. The dumplings were satisfying little potato pillows but the cheese sauce was so good I actually drank it all like soup. For dinner my brother had the pork & olives over one of the creamiest polentas we've ever tasted. The pork just melted in your mouth. I had the chicken special which was stuffed with sweet breads over a bed of sauté spinach, I wish my Thanksgiving turkey & stuffing had that great a texture & flavor together. All their beef is grass-fed & most of the proteins are all local sourced which makes us happy too.
For dessert we shared the Toffee Cake & Apple Pie. The apple pie was very much your classic apple pie with a great crust, our only complaint was that we would have liked the option to have it warm.
As we left Matt said he felt like he was in some place other than Minneapolis. He said that dinner at The Inn felt like an evening out at small bistro in Belgium. I agreed he'd hit the nail on the head. Here in downtown Minneapolis we'd stumbled into an evening in a European bistro without having to buy a plane ticket. It's a trip I think we'll find ourselves taking again.
The Inn is at 89 S. 10th St. between Marquette & Nicollet (It's the old Hell's Kitchen location.)
If you are not reading this post in a feed reader or at http://agoodappetite.blogspot.com OR at http://agoodappetite.com then the site you are reading is illegally publishing copyrighted material. Contact me at katbaro AT yahoo DOT COM. All recipes, text and photographs in this post are the original creations & property of the author unless otherwise noted. © 2007-2011 Kathy Lewinski