Restaurant Reviews

Delicious, Elegant, Yet Comfortable -- 'I Nonni' Restaurant Review

I Nonni - Lilydale - Restaurant Review

So... I Nonni in Lilydale. You should go there. It will make you happy. Promise. My friend and I dropped in recently  on a Friday night. We were in desperate need of a chatty girl night and I knew this would be the perfect place. I Nonni has amazing food and a ridiculously large assortment of adult beverages -- SCORE! For these chatty types of nights, I personally prefer sitting at the bar, where they serve a full menu. I like to watch the I Nonni bartenders craft their magical cocktails. This is not your 30 second, mix job....

All Food, All Drinks and All Good -- 'Como Park Grill' Restaurant Review

Como Park Grill - St. Paul

In a society overloaded with corporate restaurants and unforgiving fast-food joints, a locally-owned business that serves quality food at reasonable prices is a welcome sight in the Twin Cities. Enter: The Como Park Grill. Located in the heart of St. Paul’s Como Neighborhood between the Como Park Zoo and the Minnesota State Fair grounds, the Como Park Grill is a hidden gem for many locals and a happened-upon treasure for those who discover it. “It’s a warm, cozy environment where you feel at home,” said Christine...

An Excellent Find in the Warehouse District -- 'Smack Shack' Restaurant Review

Smack Shack - 2013

I love seafood and I love a good happy hour. Mixed those together and it’s magic. Smack Shack is a satisfying and affordable find in the North Loop. Not only is it a great dining experience, but it is also a great place for a social hour after a day’s work. Starting out as a food truck in 2010, Smack Shack turned into a more concrete establishment in early summer of 2012. They also take over the kitchen at the 1029 Bar in Northeast Minneapolis. Now, for my experience. I’m all about the ambience and structure of a restaurant or bar....

Bland Food and Sour Staff Attitudes -- 'Cheeky Monkey' Bistro Restaurant Review

Cheeky Monkey - Deli - Bistro My most recent visit to the Cheeky Monkey Deli and Bistro ended up as a disappointing evening. Now, I usually adore Cheeky Monkey. It actually pains me to write a negative review for this place. But hopefully my critical review will prevent future 'Monkey goers' from experiencing the same negatives. Cheeky Monkey calls themselves a "Deli by Day and Bistro by Night." I have decided to stick to the "Deli by Day" visits from now on as my two visits to the "Bistro by Night" were very disappointing. My last lackluster bistro...

Mouthwatering Burgers in Minneapolis -- 'Ike's Food and Cocktails' Restaurant Review

Ike's Food and Cocktails

I love a good hamburger. They really can be art when done properly. Lately my hamburger exposure has been in the form of a happy meal, so I was delighted to be headed downtown Minneapolis to Ike's Food & Cocktails for an adult beverage and an adult burger. My husband John and I rolled up on a Thursday and were seated right away. FYI: this probably wouldn't be the case on a weekend or a home game day. Ike's Food and Cocktails has a retro supper club vibe -- it has a bar that runs almost the length of the...

Stillwater's Newest Riverside Spot is a Must Try -- 'Tin Bins' Restaurant Review

Tin Bins - Stillwater

I love Tin Bins! Love it. My wise younger sister has been recommending this brand new under the radar spot all summer and I am issuing a full apology to her here. I'm very sorry I wasted two disappointing dining experiences at the nearby Dock Cafe this summer for family get-togethers instead of lobbying with her to try this place. Tin Bins crushed the Dock Cafe for me. This is my new riverside Stillwater go-to place. I later found out Tin Bins is actually owned by Sherri Hopfe and Mike McGuire, the owners of the Dock Cafe... so... awkward. Tin Bins has seating for...

Desserts to Die For -- 'Cafe Latte' Restaurant Review

Cafe Latte - Desserts

So this happened today... a Caramel Apple Cheesecake and German Chocolate Cake experience happened, courtesy of Cafe Latte on Grand Ave. in St. Paul. The desserts are the real jackpot of the place. They are, in a word, glorious. If you want a sugar hit or need to satisfy a deep chocolate craving -- welcome home. This is a perfect stop with a good friend or relative kind of place -- or a far into the relationship vs. 1st date food indulgence level companion. Someone who won't judge, and will enter into the world of large decadent dessert with you. Do NOT go with large...

The Best Place Eat Calamari in the Twin Cities -- 'Sea Salt Eatery' Restaurant Review

Sea Salt Eatery - Minnehaha Falls Sea Salt Eatery by Minnehaha Falls is a hidden gem for a tasty seafood lunch or dinner. It's been a favorite lunch spot of mine for awhile, but I recently tried out the dinner experience on a, (gasp), Monday night. I say gasp because according to the famous chef/TV personality Anthony Bourdain's best seller Kitchen Confidential, you should never order seafood at a restaurant on Monday and I have this imprinted in my brain. That being said, Sea Salt has never disappointed me with it's fresh delicious food and this night was no exception. My main challenge with Sea Salt is finding available...

This Pricey Restaurant Offers Plenty of Deals -- Uptown's 'Stella's Fish Cafe' Restaurant Review

Stellas - Restaurant Review

The stars recently aligned -- my husband and I had a rare (child free) Friday night out! We headed out to the bustling streets of Uptown. We definitely wanted to hit up Stella's Fish Cafe for their popular Happy Hour -- we were so happy we did. First, the drinks...I ordered the Grape Crush -- a mix of grape pucker, Stoli Citrus muddled with lemon & limes and a splash of soda. Warning: do not arrive thirsty as this drink tastes like a jelly bean and goes down FAST. Feeling in the Friday night spirit I immediately ordered another drink as my husband gave me that, "Are you sure?" look. This time was the Kinky Tini which was...

A Perfect Spot for a Meal on Lake Harriet -- 'Bread & Pickle' Review

Bread and Pickle - Menu
After a fun walk around the bustling Lake Harriet, we tried out Bread & Pickle, located next to the famous Lake Harriet Bandshell. With it's multiple ordering windows & large menus posted above, ordering was a snap and even with the lines of people, our order was ready quickly. Bread & Pickle's menu goes from basic to more gourmet style items. We chose a walleye sandwich, a black bean burger, a grilled cheese sandwich, and a large fries to split. For beverages, we chose a lemonade (since sadly they were out of my favorite, Hibiscus punch), a root beer and a water. Although,...