I have been reading about and driving by the intimate, 60-seat Restaurant Alma in the Minneapolis Marcy Holmes neighborhood for years. Consistently named one of the best restaurants in the city we decided it was time to experience this upscale destination for our anniversary dinner this year. We have been dining with dear friends who were married the same day we were at a different notable restaurant each year for many years and we all agreed this was the best meal we remember!
Located on University Avenue just a few blocks west of I-35W, this is a destination restaurant that many people don't know about. Chances are you have driven by it many times and didn't even know it. Chef Alex Roberts compares said this east side Minneapolis neighborhood to New York City's Brooklyn. Marcy Holmes is the first neighborhood of Minneapolis... just across the river from downtown and just across I-35W from the University of Minnesota.
We had a table in the corner of the semi-private mezzanine overlooking the main restaurant... perfect for celebrating our 45th anniversaries! The food, ambiance and service all united to create a fabulous night. We ordered the full three courses plus sides and dessert... and the portions were perfect, leaving us fully satisfied but not stuffed. Let me use the words of the restaurant itself to explain the Restaurant Alma dining experience.
"The Restaurant Alma dining experience is built around a seasonally changing prix fixe three-course menu and a wine list carefully selected to compliment every dish we serve. We feature many local and organic products, stocking our pantry with the same traditional foods that have well-nourished people for generations. Our entire menu is handcrafted using both timeless and innovative cooking techniques. To put it plainly, the food we create reflects excellence in all stages of preparation and is simply delicious."
The menu below shows our choices the night we were there, and among the four of us we sampled a big portion of the menu. Everyone raved about their choices. I had the asparagus for the first course and what surprised and delighted me the most was the rhubarb compote that accompanied it... I never would have thought of rhubarb with asparagus before, but it was delicious and I have already tried it at home! Red quail and duck two ways were samples from the other two courses that were especially noteworthy.
This restaurant is often full (reservations advised), with menu and prices more for special occasions than for everyday dining. Their plans to expand by adding a cheaper cafe and coffee shop next door with a six-room European style boutique hotel on the second floor will be great additions... they hope to be open by mid-October.
Sharlene Hensrud, RE/MAX Results Minneapolis Realtor