Would we go back:
13th and University NE
• Olives and Bread
• Cherry wood Smoked Trout Dip $7.00 (shared)
• Mixed Green Salad
• Scallops Teriyaki with Shitake Mushrooms $14.00
• Hash browns $5.00 (shared)
• Apple Kiwi Sorbet $1.50
At long last a restaurant to fill the Mighty Fine Cafe vacancy. The interior has changed drastically instead of interesting murals and shrines to Prince, it is now painted in burgundy and mustard yellow with leopard skin and black accents. As much as I liked the previous decor, this was a nice change.
It has been billed in all the local papers as a low cost steak and chop house. With Jax and Little Jacks all within a mile (both of which would be considered a low cost steak houses), I was surprised by this. True this was a more low cost with entrees under $15 -- amazing for a steakhouse. The problem is I don't think steak is their strongest suit. It turns out they have a connection with a fishery in Alaska and get fish flown in to them direct daily. With this in mind, I am even more puzzled as to why they would choose to focus on steak. Why not complete with the seafood places none of which are in NE Minneapolis.
Being a new restaurant they have some kinks to work out, but overall I was impressed. As you arrived they gave you marinated olives and bread. The olives were amazing. We started with the Trout Dip which I found a bit bland. The trout itself was wonderful, but the other components just drowned out the flavor of the trout. The salad was a nice mixture of greens and since it came with the entree a great value. I tried the green goddess and blue cheese dressings both house made and both excellent. The scallops were the biggest I have seen in a while and six of them for $14 was a bargain. They were done to perfection. The Shitake mushrooms that accompanied them were wonderfully roasted. The teriyaki sauce complimented the scallops well, but may have been a bit too sweet. The hash brown side was mediocre and expensive in the traditional steakhouse fashion. For dessert we tried the house made sorbets both of which were very refreshing and a great melding of flavors.
I will be a regular customer, but not to eat steak. I will be there to check out what fresh fish they have. While they don't have the selection of Oceanaire, it is just as fresh. And hopefully as I become a more recognizable regular, I will try to convince them to put the focus on the fish. Steak places are a dime a dozen in this town -- fish and seafood this good is hard to come by. As I was leaving I noticed a brunch menu with Eggs Benedict over Crab cakes, perhaps I will also be showing up for breakfast as well.
• Cream of Mushroom Soup $5
• 7 oz Filet $14.00
• Blueberry Champagne Sorbet $1.50
Would I go back to Erte? Yes. But I don't think I would choose the Filet Mignon. The Filet Mignon is much better at Jax, just a few blocks away. I found the cut of meat to be tough and it didn't have much flavor. I was also a little disappointed that I ordered it medium rare and it looked and tasted more like medium well. I would have to agree with Renee - the seafood is the better choice.
I also regret ordering the Cream of Mushroom Soup a la carte. The soup was good, but I kept thinking about the price. It's very difficult to make a cream of mushroom soup worth five dollars a bowl.
The service was friendly and prompt. The server and owners were interested in our opinion of the food because the restaurant is new. One of the earlier patrons had car problems, and the owner took our iced tea for them as they waited for a tow truck. It's that kind of thoughtfulness that will serve the restaurant well.
Finally I do have to comment on the leopard skin decor was not what I expected, nor do I think it has lasting value. The restaurant also takes a chance with black button down shirts as seat covers.
May 13, 2000
8" Acrylic and Chrome