We went to dinner at the St. Paul Grill following a weekend performance at the Orpheum. It was a first time experience for everyone in our party. My expectations were high, as I knew of the SP Grill’s highly regarded reputation. I estimate the restaurant was three quarters full. We did not have reservations, and opted for the first available table. We were quickly seated, not ideally, next to the waitress kitchen station, so there was a lot of staff traffic and work activity next to us. Everything looked clean and well maintained. Our server promptly provided menus and took our drink order. She returned a short time later with our drinks, knowledgably answered our questions about the menu, and took our order without incidences. I recognize the server was very good at menu knowledge, prompt service and organization, very professional, not annoying, but a genial disposition was not obvious in our interactions.
I had read in CityPages that the SP Grill was one of the best places in the city to get a martini – which meant, I had to have one. As I was at a table, in the dining area, interacting with a server, and not the mixologist, the martini I received was not what I would rate as one of the best martinis that I have had – but it was okay.
We shared the Crab and Artichoke Bake appetizer – it was absolutely wonderful.
I had the Ribeye steak with a side of sautéed button mushrooms. The steak was perfectly grilled as ordered and tasty. I was disappointed with the mushrooms – they were not button-sized, rather larger than golf balls, and were the cheap grocery store champignon variety. I would have thought, for the price and the Grill’s reputation, they would have used a better mushroom.
Everyone in our party’s assessment of their entrees ranged from “good” to “the best I have ever had”. The finishing cup of coffee was good quality, and quickly offered and served.
As we were leaving, I had a chance to glance at their bar, which was stately and impressive. It left me with the thought, no doubt, if I had gone to the bar, and spoken to the tender, I would have found one of the best martinis in the Cities. I shall return.
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