A new, crowded Inn in downtown Minneapolis is already getting its share of attention — and not for turning away pregnant virgins.
In a cozy spot on 10th Street, this Inn boasts room for everyone — and with delicious creations and creative cocktails, it’s easy to see why the masses are flocking. Settled in the old Subo location, the impressive creators of the Town Talk Diner and The Strip Club Meat & Fish are introducing another spectacular fine dining establishment to their repertoire.
Starting with the drink menu, the message here is simple — above and beyond. It applies to the countless varieties of bottled beer and the endless imagination of the mixologists. Cocktails range from the intriguing (Slim Shim combines scotch, rosemary and maple syrup) to the outrageous (The INN flip includes a whole egg and Allspice Dram).
Feeling adventurous? Opt for the $4 Tenders Choice and leave the decision-making to the barkeep. (They knock off a few bucks for a bottle of beer for the spirit of chance.)
The simple above-and-beyond message is also applied to the atmosphere at The Inn. A long bar and subsequent bar tables welcome cold and weary travelers, before stretching back into a long, but cozy dining room. An open kitchen window allows the sights, sounds and oh yes, the smells of cooking creations to waft through the dining area, keeping the setting casual and entertaining.
Likewise, the hospitality and service here are truly beyond what you’d expect from a fine dining establishment in downtown Minneapolis. All arrogance, snootiness and holier-than-thou attitudes are pushed aside and what’s left is an honest approach to an enjoyable night out.
Our waitress was not only bubbly but extremely helpful with recommendations, knowledgeable when explaining the entrees and welcoming to our first-timers table.
The menu may be simple, but it’s packed with flavor and prepared to perfection. And truly, even for a modest menu, the decisions don’t come easy as everything sounds phenomenal. After much consideration, I landed on the pork dish, simply stated as including olive, basil and polenta. (And with a much-appreciated pricetag of $16.) The pork was so tender I could’ve easily dug in with a spoon. The polenta had a perfect consistency and texture and enough flavor that I had to resist the urge to lick the plate.
A friend ordered the risotto, which was prepared with roasted squash, wild mushrooms, sage and triple crème (my second choice on the menu). The risotto was rich and creamy, had the perfect bite and was delicate yet velvety. The bits of roasted squash really added to the dish, and when combined with sage made the intricate melodies of a warm, cozy meal sing in perfect pitch.
The one complaint was probably the fish of the day. On this particular evening, it was a red snapper prepared with smoky seasonings and sliced red peppers. Not the best. The fish was starving for more flavor and the red peppers were a bit soggy, weighing down the tender snapper. The dish would’ve been a complete disaster if not for the side order of French fries ($5 more) that were doused in malt vinegar and sea salt. Delish.
All in all, the evening was a success and left plenty of options for a return visit. The Grass Fed Beef Burger has gotten mixed reviews — half, think it’s a homerun while others think it’s a bit much. With foie gras mousse and a fried egg I’m imagining it’d be the latter, but hoping for the former.
The appetizers here are also definitely of note — the simple chicken wings go above the norm with a great sweetness from the maple and savory note from the bourbon. The cured meats are some of the best I’ve had in the cities. And the dinner roll is a must. (It’s huge, so share it with another diner — but actually, one bite in and you may be rethinking that plan.)
While I was initially sad to see Subo go, I must say, The Inn is a great replacement. For drinks or dinner, it’s a truly wonderful experience, whether you’re a brand new mother or three smart-ass “kings.” And as the story goes, when you’re searching for a cozy place to stay warm on a cold winter’s night, just follow the star.
The Inn is located at 89 S. 10th St. in Minneapolis. For hours, menus or reservations, check out their website.
Sara Boyd is a web producer and columnist at WCCO.COM.