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“Simply Incredible - Service, Food, Atmosphere All Spectacular”

JJ Astor Restaurant & Lounge
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Ranked #24 of 270 Restaurants in Duluth
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $7 - $34
Cuisines: American
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Romantic
Dining options: Breakfast, Late Night, Reservations
Dining style: Casual Elegant
Cross street: Superior St and 5th Ave W
Description: Welcome to JJ Astor (located on the 16th floor of the Radisson Hotel Duluth), where guests enjoy welcoming service, inspired décor, modern approachability, unparalleled views, and signature dishes. Our cuisine is traditional Old World with a regional twist. Whether settling into the oversized armchairs with a craft cocktail and tapas in the lounge, or admiring the view from the inviting sofa style banquettes, the restaurant provides a memorable dining experience for locals and visitors alike.
Reviewed May 11, 2012

It’s becoming all too rare to find a spectacular dining experience – where the entire experience is 5-stars and the price point is appropriate. However, the opportunity to indulge is alive and well at the revolving restaurant – JJ Astor – high atop the Radisson Hotel in Downtown Duluth. Here, my traveling companion and I found the perfect dining experience – exceptional service, food, and ambiance. We dined on Saturday evening April 21. With a 7:30 reservation for 2, we were greeting and seated almost immediately upon arrival. The restaurant sits atop the hotel on the 16th floor (well, officially on the 15th floor, as the hotel omits floor 13). Every single table commands a view on the revolving platform that provides you with a 360 degree tour of Duluth Harbor and the rising hills. There is simply no bad view. You’ll need about an hour to complete the revolution, though we took 2½ indulging ourselves in every course of the menu, at a pace orchestrated with perfection by our server, Candice. I cannot recall the last time service was so professional and so well timed – it was if the entire evening was rehearsed.

Toasting the occasion with a bottle of Oyster Bay Sauvignon Blanc (New Zealand), we selected our first course, an appetizer of Frog Legs with Soba Noodles and Peanut Sauce. For our salad selections, my guest selected Apple Endive, and I chose the Shrimp and Asparagus with Orange Vinaigrette. We were off to a great start, with fresh ingredients and a delightful combination of flavors on every plate. While savoring the food and drink, we enjoyed the panoramic views, and watched as night fell upon the city.

Our entrée’s arrived in perfect timing. My friend ordered the Elk Ragu (braised in red wine, with sofrito over pappardelle) and I selected the Filet Mignon (with Yukon gold potato puree). The steak was a true medium, as ordered, and of finest quality. Sampling across the table, I enjoyed a taste of the equally well prepared Elk. Shortly after arrival of our main course, the Jazz Ensemble started on cue at 9pm. If the evening wasn’t magical enough, the addition of this beautiful music added the final touch of style and sophistication. With the continuous revolution, every single table enjoys a front row seat, as you pass by the live trio of musicians (situated on a non-revolving section of the dining room). It’s like having a private song played just for us! And it insures that everyone leaves happy – no complaints the music is too loud, or not loud enough. With the 3rd course of exceptional dining complete, all that remained was dessert. If there were any disappointments, it was that 2 of the handmade items were sold out. However, I would rather have freshly made desserts any day over dessert from a box. The best desserts come from restaurants that make everything on site. We shared the Vanilla Bean Panna Cotta (with coffee bean croquant) - delicious. Hot (and fresh) coffee completed this incredible dining experience.

For point of reference, appetizers and salads ranged mostly in the $8 to $12 range, and entrée’s mostly in the 20’s, with a few in the upper teens and the steaks appropriately in the low 30’s. Great selections of wine could be had for as little as $20 a bottle. Considering the view, the ambiance, the service, the live music, and the sheer cost of operating a revolving rooftop restaurant, this was an absolutely incredible experience.

I encourage anyone with a desire for a delightful culinary event to experience JJ Astor. From a historical perspective, you’ll be supporting the last rooftop revolving restaurant in the upper Midwest still open to the public. An endangered art form indeed, as people settle too quickly for cookie-cutter chain boxes in the suburbs. The recent renaming of the venue pays homage to John Jacob Astor (1763-1848), the German-American business magnate and first multi-millionaire in the United States. Astor built a fur-trading empire that extended to the Great Lakes Region and Canada, and later into the American West. On the floors below the restaurant, you can turn your dinner engagement into an overnight stay by reserving a room at the Radisson Hotel. Opened in 1970, the hotel is one of the longest continuously operating hotels in Downtown. For the true hotel history buffs, stroll a few blocks down Superior Street, and take time to experience the former grand lobby of the Hotel Duluth (our breakfast waitress at JJ Astor shared some history when we asked). The historic hotel opened in 1925 (then the tallest building in the Northwest) and operated until 1979 before being saved and converted into apartments. The lobby itself retains the grandeur of a venue that once hosted President Kennedy in 1963.

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Thank historytraveler27
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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326 - 330 of 354 reviews

Reviewed April 5, 2012

For a very special birthday we spent the night in Duluth and made reservations at JJ Astor. Stepping off the elevator we were immediately welcomed and shown to our table right away. From the roof of the Marriot in downtown Duluth you could see for miles. One of the attractions is of course the rotating restaurant, unique to the area. While dining on a fantastic meal we were able to see Duluth and Lake Superior from a totally different perspective.
The food was great for the most part but the walleye was very bland. Service was excellent and the staff knowledgeable of the vistas and the menu.
This restaurant is perfect for special occassions and for impressing business clients.

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Thank Pete S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 18, 2012

Great food, great service, and the best views in Minnesota. 360 degrees of spectacular photogenic scenery including the magnificent Lake Superior. The pricey restaurant is worth the view and photo shoot.

1  Thank LinPhil1892
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 4, 2012

Best hamburger I've had in a long time. It was clear the beef was ground recently, it was cooked exactly to medium, with a delicious soft bun. Fries were not greasy, and well salted. For breakfast the next morning I had a frittata with spinach and lake trout, which was very tasty. The restaurant rotates so you eat with a view. Lovely

Thank Jessica022
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 22, 2012

The revolving restaurant on top of the Radisson Hotel in Duluth has been remodeled.
Also has a new name and new chef. The view after dark was wonderful.
There's a bar and on Saturday night, we listened to a group playing soft jazz.
The stuffed meatloaf was the best comfort food I've had in a while. Also, the scallops (appetizer) were delicious.
Breakfasts were good, not great.

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Thank monarev
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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