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“This should be called the St. Paul Grill”
Review of The St. Paul Grill

The St. Paul Grill
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Ranked #1 of 907 Restaurants in Saint Paul
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $8 - $60
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Restaurant details
Good for: Business meetings, Local cuisine, Large groups, Special occasions, Romantic
Dining options: Late Night, Breakfast, Reservations
Dining style: Fine Dining
Cross street: 5th St.
Description: Recognized annually as the best restaurant in Minneapolis and St. Paul, The St. Paul Grill is On Everyone's List! Business or romance, lunch or dinner, casual or upscale. This downtown icon features a classic, yet surprisingly diverse dining menu ranging from prime steaks and thick-cut chops to succulent poultry and fresh seafood. The Grill's classic and impressive mahogany and brass bar is filled with the Twin Cities' finest selection of rare spirits and wines, and is host to the premiere scotch club in Minnesota. From the incredible food and the impeccable service to the gorgeous view of Rice Park, The St. Paul Grill is a destination restaurant with a reputation that spans generations. It's the kind of place that has a very loyal following and makes new regulars all the time.
Reviewed January 29, 2009

The St. Paul Grill is a different restaurant than M St. Cafe. Both are located in the St. Paul Hotel.

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623 - 627 of 642 reviews

Reviewed August 5, 2008

When I moved to the Twin Cities in 2002 there was one hotel that was known above all the rest: the Saint Paul Hotel, located next to the beautiful Landmark Center in the capital. Nearly just as well known was its classic, old money steakhouse, the St. Paul Grille. For various reasons, including a striking restaurant boom in the last six years, I did not get around to trying this well known classic in St. Paul until very recently. I'm both glad and sad that I waited so long, because its let me realize exactly how far the Twin Cities fine dining scene has come and how lackluster the St. Paul Grill is among the other offerings: The St. Paul Grill has good food, but it does not match the service, atmosphere, or (ultimately) the prices.

There are plenty of locally owned fine dining restaurants in the Twin Cities (many as or more expensive than the St. Paul Grill). In addition to the tried-and-true steakhouses of Kincaid's, Manny's and Murray's; there are other respected upscale eateries like Rossi's steakhouse, the original Oceanaire Seafood Room as well as some top-notch, chef driven restaurants like La Belle Vie, Porter & Frye, Sanctuary, and a number of others I could mention (and have reviewed). Given this crowded, talented field, I cannot see how the St. Paul Grill deserves anyone's time or money.

The service, despite the uniform, is totally unimpressive and substandard for a restaurant of this caliber. Our server never wanted to stay at our table; she would always take off at the quickest opportunity --even when we were in the middle of ordering. The dining crowd thinned, and still she was notably absent for most of the night. She wasn't a young server by any stretch, her performance was downright confounding. She also forgot our beverages, but luckily her forgetfulness didn't cost us on the bill. The hostess, however, was competent.

The atmosphere is aging and unimpressive. It seems like they gave themselves a decor upgrade in the late-80s or early-90s, but its nothing particularly notable: generic wood paneled walls, some open windows to the hotel's driveway and the adjacent park --its ultimately pleasant. The bar has an old money look and feel. Oddly enough, there's apparently no dress code: while we made ourselves presentable, there were plenty of ratty T-shirts, jeans and people who clearly aren't too familiar with fine dining.

The food was good, with a few spots of excellent, but ultimately not particularly memorable or enough to overwhelm the other issues (again, in light of the price and reputation of the restaurant as one of the "jewels" of previous generations). We started with good bread with quality butter; we then tried the Seafood Sampler, which was probably too big for two people. The sampler included a range of items in large portions: smoked salmon with toast, large cocktail shrimp, mini-versions of their crab cake, and spicy fried calamari with several sauces. Overall this dish was good, with an exceptional caper cream cheese for the salmon. I tried the Roasted Beef Tenderloin, substituting in a veggie for the potatoes; it was surprisingly underwhelming, probably the weakest dish of the night --for a fine dining restaurant purporting to be a "Grill", I can't explain why this dish was inferior and forgettable. My companion had the Grilled Asparagus & Prosciutto Salad, it was also average. For a side dish we had “The Grill” Hashbrowns with bacon and white onions; this was probably the highlight of the evening, it was possibly the best hash browns I've ever had --too bad it was a side dish. For desert we had the "Chocolate Lust Cake" (serves 2), it was good and should satisfy any chocoholic. Unfortunately, to get all of this food we had to use the restaurant's servers, and the generic decor didn't leave a notable memory.

Perhaps, had I been in the Twin Cities 30 years ago, when a place like the St. Paul Grill impressed people without many upscale options, it might have impressed. But not now --now its just painful to see a restaurant that seems to rest on laurels that aren't that impressive. If I hadn't dined on a $200 gift card I might have been even more upset at the mediocre experience. Until there are serious changes to the service and food, give this a pass. If you're the type of person who appreciates fine dining, give this a pass. If you prefer spending large sums on a place that earns it, search a little harder and find a place that earns it.

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Reviewed January 28, 2008

Best Sunday Brunch & tasty lunch too!

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Minneapolis, Minnesota
Reviewed December 29, 2007

Really nice place. We had pork and ahi tuna with mac and cheese and hash browns. Everything was delicious!

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Reviewed December 12, 2007

only have had the egg sammy, because it's cheap and delightful.

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