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“Top 5 meals of my life”
Review of Tilia

Tilia
Ranked #141 of 1,843 Restaurants in Minneapolis
Certificate of Excellence
Cuisines: American
Dining options: Breakfast, Late Night, Reservations
Restaurant details
Dining options: Breakfast, Late Night, Reservations
Reviewed September 14, 2012

This place surprised me. When the food came out I looked at it and thought that it could be anything - bland or magical. It was magical. The flavors are a big punched-up surprise that shock you into taking that second and third bite out of pure disbelief in how tasty it is.

The wait was >30 mins, the beer selection was incredible, and the entrees were appropriately large. Appetizer was very small for the price (almost $10) but delicious and inventive. Desserts are small so each person will need to order one, but are worth trying. Their homemade ginger ale is more zippy than normal ginger ale but not as sharp as ginger beer. There are dark tables with AC and there is a warm area with a butcher-block counter that is well lit - I prefer that, as it allows one to see the chefs and the fun!

I give it a 9.8/10, and that's a #2 restaurant of all time score for me. It's officially my husband's favorite place.

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Thank Drerinny
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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183 - 187 of 226 reviews

Reviewed August 10, 2012

This busy south Minneapolis has a wonderful brunch, yummy Carmel rolls and interesting egg dishes. Trying to get in at dinner is impossible but lunch is do able. Try the torta--amazing.

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Thank melaniejosh
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 8, 2012

Really? What is the appeal of this place? I was looking forward to trying it out, read numerous positive reviews and am completely mystified after three courses and a long evening there. Yes, a small (and very popular) space equates to a wretchedly long wait, even at 6:30 on a Wed. evening--I get that. But once we were crammed into our bar-side table, I was wishing we could return to the peaceful sidewalk bench we waited on for an hour prior to being seated. The noise level is ridiculous; my two friends and I literally had to shout to each other across our small table. I was so annoyed that we had opted to spend a rare evening out together in a place that was impossible to carry on any kind of a normal conversation. Our waiter glided up almost immediately and settled in next to me on the bench to chat us up about the menu. He was helpful with suggestions but his faux charming intimacy--lots of casual touchiness as he poured wine and a hand on one of our shoulders as he conferred with us--was, at first, kind of funny but then became tiresome.
But the food...that's supposed to be what makes it all worthwhile, right? The long wait, the horrible din, the uncomfortable seating, the slightly oily service: it would be forgotten when some of this really great, much-touted food finally arrived. Except, sadly, it ranged from just okay to very disappointing. We shared a starter of meatballs and grilled flatbread with prosciutto and mozzarella which was fine, but forgettable. I also tried the lobster bisque and found it one-dimensional and not worth finishing. Lobster bisque should make you sit up and be glad that you have taste buds; this one did not. Entrees: the sockeye salmon was slightly undercooked, as was the pork. The preparation for these dishes on paper sounded much better than the actual thing. And the arugula pasta with bay scallops--the most 'off' dish of them all. Gummy, over-cooked pasta, a bland, vague preparation and rubbery scallops. How can something sound so promising on a menu and be so unappealing in person? Same for the desserts we tried: butterscotch pot de creme and the black forest cake...fine, but not really worth bothering with.
Dinner for the three of us with one bottle of very reasonably priced (and decent) wine was $150 before tip. Not outrageous, but so not worth returning for either. Oddly enough, I seem to be the only one in the Twin Cities that doesn't like this place. Sometimes I think we're so desperate for neighborhood places in this city with serious food that we are incredibly willing to lower the bar and embrace a place that really isn't that good. Tilia seems to be another one of these ambitious but hollow food experiences.

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2  Thank zentravelermn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 7, 2012

Had the fish taco torta that I saw on Adam Richman's Best Sandwich in America. It was delicious, also they have a very good beer selection on tap. I agree with the noise comments that other people have listed. If you don't mind it on the noisy side the food was great.

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Thank Abe T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 6, 2012 via mobile

I do get the point that good food does not need ambiance. However any great food needs to be served in decent surroundings and in a relaxing environment and if you are looking for that Tilia isn't it. To start with there are very few tables so the wait is long. The service,even though may be friendly, is bad for you repeatedly have to ask for things that you thought you had ordered and wait and wait. The noise level as everyone else has said is un-acceptable. It takes very little time a d money to sound proof the place just a little bit. Having said all of that the food is of exceptional quality if you like a touch of "ala francaise" cuisine. The mussele appetizer is very well made with a very good sauce. Main dishes are not huge but very well prepared. Had a ravioli pesto that was good while my wife had a great fish dish. French fries is great and very french. Desert selection is limited as it should be. Wine and beer selection is good. Also had breakfast once and even though the doc omelet was great the service left a lot to desire.

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

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