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“Upscale Dining in Iowa City”
4 of 5 bubbles Review of Linn Street Cafe - CLOSED

Linn Street Cafe
Price range: $9 - $29
Cuisines: American, Soups, Wine Bar
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Business meetings, Bar scene, Local cuisine, Special occasions, Large groups, Romantic
Dining options: Dinner, Accepts American Express, Accepts Discover, Accepts Mastercard, Accepts Visa, Free Off-Street Parking, Full Bar, Highchairs Available, Outdoor Seating, Parking Available, Reservations, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Street Parking, Takeout, Wheelchair Accessible
Description: Our menu is a combination of Midwest classics and internationally influenced new American cuisine. We serve the finest cuts of choice Iowa meats, the freshest sustainable seafood and seasonal produce from local farmers. We put in hours of preparation each day in anticipation of the evening's guests. Great food, great wine, friendly and knowledgeable service are our specialties. Our menu includes items like grilled beef tenderloin with roasted garlic mashed potatoes and pecan crusted chicken with a Dijon cream reduction and Seared Diver Scallops served with vegetable stir fried coconut rice and a grilled pineapple pico de gallo. Wine Spectator magazine has recognized our extensive wine list as one of the best in the world. Locals have voted us as the best restaurant for a "Romantic Dinner" for 19 years. We are proud that our commitment to the art of fine cuisine comes through in every appetizer, entree, and dessert we serve. We invite you to join with us in savoring the Linn Street Cafe experience!
Cedar Rapids, Iowa
Level Contributor
47 reviews
27 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 54 helpful votes
“Upscale Dining in Iowa City”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 24, 2013

This is the tale of two great restaurants in Iowa City who share one entrance - Linn Street Cafe (to the right, just inside the entrance) and Devotay (to the left, just inside the entrance). Both restaurants have a sterling reputation in Iowa City. I've had the pleasure of dining at both. Devotay is a little more "off the beaten path" in terms of food experiences and their atmosphere is edgy. Linn Street is slightly more mainstream in food and atmosphere. Devotay is a little dark, the chairs look like they were purchased from University of Iowa, the music is edgy. Linn Street is quiet, low lit, semi-romantic.

My hubby and I recently visited Linn Street Cafe on a Friday night. We noticed that the restaurant was nearly empty and there were three staff members near the front door. Despite having that many staff members onsite for a nearly empty restaurant, our service was a bit slow. The food was very nice but the portions were very small. We started with the brie appetizer. Very nicely done. Beautiful presentation and nice flavor. For our next course, I had the salad and my husband had the butternut squash soup. My salad had the tiniest bit of salad dressing on it. I was disappointed. The butternut squash soup was top notch. For our entrees, my husband had the Waygu beef. He ordered it medium but it arrived rare. He didn't bother to send it back. I ordered the trout with lentils. The portion of trout was very small - approx 4 - 6 oz. The lentils were expertly cooked. It was the first time I've ever really enjoyed eating lentils.

During our visit I noticed that the restaurant filled up with a lot of older diners who seemed to enjoy their experiences a lot more than I did. I think this restaurant might have a larger following with the older crowd.

After we left the restaurant, my husband and I were still hungry. That's disappointing after spending $100 on food and drinks.

Overall, it was a good evening out. Not a great, mind blowing evening out, but a good evening out. The dinner should have been mind blowing when you consider the amount we paid for the food. After paying the bill I found myself wishing I had gone to Devotay instead of Linn Street Cafe.

  • Visited November 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank HRRunner
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

101 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    47
    34
    8
    9
    3
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Albuquerque NM
Level Contributor
44 reviews
33 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
“Great for a quiet dinner in Iowa City”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 14, 2013

Great food and service, a quiet dinner on a Thursday night: rack of lamb, agavulin scotch, a nice merlot! We will return.

  • Visited November 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank tripsandmore
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Iowa City, Iowa, USA
1 review
“Pricey but worthwhile”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 22, 2013 credit card Amex Card Member Review

We don't go here every week, but when we want guaranteed great food, this is our local spot of choice.

Visited September 2013
Helpful?
Thank Eve A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Iowa City, Iowa
Level Contributor
151 reviews
47 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 44 helpful votes
“Not anymore”
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 17, 2013

This was the best place in town about 10 years ago. It apparently went out of business for a while and reopened roughly in 2011. Our last two visits were fair. The food is better than average and service is good. It is a nice place but it isn't what it used to be. If we go again it will be because someone else asks us to go.

  • Visited May 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
2 Thank Rowland45
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cedar Rapids, Iowa
Level Contributor
73 reviews
36 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
“2nd Visit...Disappointing”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 25, 2013

This was my second visit to Linn Street Cafe. Our first experience was wonderful. This experience was not so great.

We each ordered the same meal...Beef Tenderloin which was listed on the menu to be served with mashed potatoes and mixed seasonal vegetables. One reason we ordered the tenderloin was because of the mashed potatoes...we both love mashed potatoes!

When our food was served and we each tried the potatoes, they were so unbelievably salty. Coming from one who usually salts her food, they were even too salty for me. There was no way we could eat them. We told our server, he went back to check with the chef and reported back to us, "You are right. They are making you some fingerling potatoes and will be out soon." He returned in 10 minutes with "herb infused french fries" which were soggy, tasteless and awful.

Our meal that night was steak (which was very tasty) and vegetables. Pretty disappointing. How the restaurant handled that situation was disappointing too. Nothing off our bill. No offers for anything else. The apology seemed half-hearted from our server. We're unsure we'll return for a 3rd visit. We'll see.

  • Visited September 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
2 Thank JulesAnnL
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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