Would we go back:
80 S. 8th Street
• Grilled shrimp and spicy sausage on roasted red pepper toast $9.00 (shared)
• Sea Bass special $28.00
• Red velvet cake $7.00 (shared)
Steve had a challenge with the fact that it used to be Aquavit, I didn't have that challenge as much as it is sad to see this great location and space wasted on a mediocre restaurant.
Nothing was terrible, but at the same time nothing impressed me all that much. The appetizer was adequate, but for $9 I was disappointed. My sea bass was cooked well. But the "loaded" potatoes were a bit much and the sauce was bit too sweet for the entire dish, again adequate, but not for $28.
Why we continued on to dessert I am not sure, but we shared the red velvet cake and it again was adequate, but not great. It was a fairly large portion so the $7 was some what justified.
Overall it was expensive mediocre food and in the end it is all the more sad because it replaced one of the best restaurants in town.
• Grilled pork tenderloin, fried potato, Asian green salad $22.00
Visiting Mission just kept reminding me how sad it is that Downtown Minneapolis lost Aquavit. I know that it was all too good to be true: an upscale, nationally trendsetting restaurant in the Twin Cities. But for that moment in time, the IDS Center shined and regained its status as the place to be. Mission could not have, and has not, matched the level that Aquavit achieved.
Mission really struggles to claim its own identity. There’s not defining cuisine except American, and that fails to capture what they’re trying to do, which I couldn’t figure out at the beginning of the meal, and I was even more confused when we left.
The shrimp and sausage starter was a clear case, in my mind, of the lack of synergy in food. They used good shrimp, decent sausage, and okay crostini. It’s just that all together it tasted like each of its parts. The accompanying sauce added little to bring it together. I was disappointed with the starter.
The pork tenderloin was served sliced in salad, which was a fine concept. I expected more out of the sauce and a more flavorful pork tenderloin, even though the meat was serviceable.
he red velvet cake similarly did not meet our expectations. It seems harder and harder to do dessert well these days, and I give them credit for trying something new (at a reasonable price – the cake is enough to share). But it seems that the dessert at Mission really is not worth the bother either.
Maybe, if we’re lucky, Mission will find itself and turn into something special. Or maybe we’ll have to wait and see if an ambitious restaurateur and chef take an interest in the IDS Center.
$20 and up
December 17, 2005