Would we go back:
1607 Park Place Blvd
St. Louis Park
• Crispy Calamari – barely dusted, crisp to the bite. Curry aioli and cocktail sauce $4.99 (shared)
• Walleye Sandwich – Minnesota eloquent, poetic and lightly breaded in the shape of Ireland on toasted hoagie with a side of herbed mayo $10.99
Cooper is definately more a bar than restaurant and if you stay on the bar side of the menu and have a few drinks and face your chair toward the bar, I think you will find Cooper enjoyable.
I had the walleye sandwich which was pretty good, nothing spectacular, but more than edible. I was not as big of a fan of the calamari, they were a little greasy for me.
The bar itself is beautiful, you could almost imagine being in an old bar in the middle of Europe, but oops you look around and see big TVs on every wall and outside you see the new typical American strip mall and the illusion is destroyed.
• Kerry Gold Shrimp and Salmon Wheat Fettuccine. Fresh pasta with a touch of cream, mushrooms, and fresh dill. $14.99
I really wanted to like Cooper, but in the end I didn’t. I really liked the beautiful wood bar that was “born in Ireland and shipped across the Atlantic” (does that mean it was made in Ireland, or just designed in Ireland?). The woodwork throughout the restaurant is fantastic. Then, you look out the window and see a multi-story Doubletree Hotel amongst a new planned development and realize you’re in sterile suburbia. That’s not all bad because Coopers will prosper, it just takes away from the charm.
The calamari were nice. The cocktail sauce was surprisingly mundane, but the calamari themselves were light, fresh, and hot. The wheat fettuccine was fantastic and served in a delicious mushroom dill sauce. But the shrimp were overcooked, and I didn’t know whether to be sad or angry. The salmon was overcooked or not fresh or low quality or some combination thereof, and I was a bit sad and angry.
One other thing was surprising. We sat next to the server’s station and saw the healthy stash of catsup and malt vinegar. The server brought catsup to the table for the French fries that accompanied the two other meals, but inexplicably, no malt vinegar. It made us wonder why they bothered to stock malt vinegar if they’re not going to bring it to the table automatically.
If you go, I recommend going for drinks (Irish beer on tap and Irish whiskey) and happy hour. Parking in the underground, one-story ramp is free and plentiful for the time being, even though it’s a bit confusing why you have to exit the ramp into the Minnesota cold and walk at least ½ block to any of the stores, including Coopers.
February 28, 2010
4" acrylic grinder