Jax Café has been surf-and-turfing its way into the hearts and duodenums of Minneapolis since 1933, when the end of Prohibition finally let its chefs sterilize cooking utensils with alcohol rather than throw them away after a single use. Treat your liberated taste buds to a thoroughly modern tickling with a glass of effervescent champagne, versatile red, or intriguing white wine from Jax's extensive wine menu, best when paired with a plate of palate-pokers such as Jax's "famous" crab rolls ($8.95), N'awlins cajun shrimp ($9.95), or gorgonzola cheesebread ($7.95). But Jax Café's menu is best known for its steaks and chops. Carnal connoisseurs can get their professional-grade protein in the form of slow-roasted prime rib ($28.95) seasoned and served with au jus, creamy horseradish, and a baked potato; center-cut New York strip steak ($38.95) served with a baked potato; bone-in steer tenderloin ($42.95) topped with a giant mushroom cap and served with a baked potato; and twin lamb chops ($31.95) served with mint jelly and a baked potato. Seasoned seafarers, meanwhile, can pick out their own whole Maine lobster ($48), pan-seared scallops ($26.95), and rainbow trout ($26.95) out back before getting reacquainted with it under slightly more cooked and lemon-buttered circumstances in the burnished glow of the dining room. All entrees come with your choice of soup or house salad.
Amid scenic views of the Mississippi River, the two-tiered patio and all-glass-enclosed dining room treat diners to breathtaking vistas of North America's largest river system and its mermaid inhabitants basking on the shore. Not just about the scenery, at Mississippi Pub, the cooks maintain a strong passion for the food they dish out. Plating traditional pub grub and fresh seafood entrees like fish tacos and shrimp po' boys, they take a fresh approach with their menu. A full bar, boasting bottled and draft beers, shots, and cocktails, complements hearty American fare, including burgers, sandwiches, salads, and weekend breakfast options.
C&G’s Smoking Barbecue's owner and head chef Greg Alford has spent 40 years perfecting smoked barbecue ribs, tender beef-brisket sandwiches, and crispy, in-season perch that Heavy Table writer Jason Walker called, "the best I've had in a while". Rather than adhering to contemporary trends, the restaurateur dazzles Minnesota mouths with his unique blend of traditional cooking techniques borrowed from both Louisiana, where his family hails from, and Detroit, where he was raised. His ribs––which attracted Minnesota Monthly's July 2010 feature on the best barbecue spots in Minneapolis––are the joint's most popular item and arrive with an even tenderness that is the result of a three-hour smoking and heat-distributing process. Barbecue sauce is served on the side, according to the preference of both Greg and his regular customers, who believe that the best meat should be seasoned and balanced enough to perform alone or with the subtle accompaniment of doo-wop-singing french fries.
At Sam’s Grill, formerly known as Oak City, the menu's bounty of sizzling and hearty dishes reflects the best of American cuisine by incorporating a variety of our country's ever-present international influences. Though stir-fries and pastas abound, the Mediterranean is clearly the restaurant's greatest inspiration—dishes such as filet mignon kebobs and pizzas topped with gyro meat create a fusion of local and overseas flavors, and more traditional American dishes, such as the Cajun burger or baby back ribs keep palates firmly at home. Meanwhile, wine-savvy waiters educate clients on the wines available by the glass. Sam's Grill also adds a splash of nightlife to the mix by bringing in DJs with Thursday nights dedicated to Latin music and Friday and Saturday nights focusing on Top 40.