The hibachi and sushi chefs at Murasaki Sushi Japanese Steakhouse and Sushi Bar concoct specialty rolls, tempura, and hibachi-style dishes such as the calamari steak dinner. While enjoying teppanyaki with groups of friends or new acquaintances made while trapped inside a speeding bus, diners can drink sake martinis and cocktails such as the Lotus Blossom, a mix of cold sake, lychee, and lime juice with a sugar-coated rim. Murasaki Steakhouse is only open during dinner hours.
In 1934, Don Gulden opened a tavern next to a golf course. Over the next 40 years, this tavern saw a forced relocation, several name changes, and even a disastrous fire. Yet the undaunted Gulden's always reopened and forged on, buoyed by the reputation of its mixed drinks and much-discussed holiday parties. Long after Mr. Gulden sold the building in 1974, it fell into the hands of Mike and Brenda Gengler, who paid tribute to its creator by renaming it Gulden's Restaurant & Bar.
In keeping with the spirit of the original, the new and improved Gulden's still hosts special dinners for holidays such as Mother's Day and Thanksgiving. A downstairs banquet hall offers catering for special events and a private place for the building's ghosts to convene at night, but it's the restaurant's everyday menu that continues to attract regulars. Chefs grill tender sirloin steaks, slow-cook hickory pork ribs, bake lasagna from scratch, and coat frog legs in crunchy beer batter, so there's truly something to satisfy everyone.
Jensen's Food and Cocktails is a type of place that would not seem out of place in the 1950s with its Midwest prime rib roasted for 18 hours, its surf ?n? turf combos, and its extensive martini list. It?s a place where large groups go to celebrate special occasions?it can accommodate groups of up to 100?and where popovers and house salads accompany each entree.
The eatery is partly an homage to owner Doron Jensen?s grandfather Al, who founded Jensen?s Cafe in Nebraska in 1947. Doron worked in that caf? until his grandpa passed in 1979. He wanted to take over the family business but was too young at the time, so he moved on to work in the restaurant industry, even founding a steak-house chain. But Doron eventually grew tired of chains and, in 1996, decided to open a local supper club that would pay tribute to his grandfather and a simpler era with its uncomplicated?but delicious?food and lack of robot waiters.
Lewis Walter "Lindey" Lindemer spent years trying to find a Minnesota restaurateur who would serve his steaks. And when he finally found one who said yes in 1958, he was only allowed to set up shop in the St. Paul restaurant's basement. It was no matter, because even from that subterranean dining room, word about his delicious steaks spread quickly, and within a few years he was putting a deposit down on his very own restaurant.
Lindey's Prime Steak House opened in the spring of 1961 in Arden Hills, with their menu that, to this day, remains refreshingly simple. At dinner, there are only four options: Lindey's special sirloin, prime sirloin, broiled shrimp, or prime chopped sirloin. Though Lindey's sons now prepare each steak, they use the exact same recipe their father crafted more than a half-century ago. The decor is similarly vintage?the dining room resembles a mid-century cabin with knotted-cedar paneling, and a stone fireplace.
Along with the end of Prohibition, 1933 brought sweeping changes across the country. It definitely changed the building at 1928 University Avenue NE in Minneapolis, which had been functioning as a hardware and furniture store for nearly a quarter-century. Proprietor Stanley Kozlak immediately went out and obtained a liquor license, transforming his retail shop into a bar and restaurant.
It would prove to be a smart decision?more than 80 years and two generations of Kozlaks later, Jax Cafe stands as a Minneapolis institution whose reputation has spread throughout the Midwest. This is thanks in part to singular touches such as reserved tables set with personalized matchbooks for expected guests and a stream on the lush covered patio from which diners can net their own rainbow trout for dinner. It?s no wonder Travel Channel foodie Andrew Zimmern has gushed that this restaurant is ?dripping with character.?
Part of that character comes from a certain adherence to traditions. Jax is furnished with patterned carpet, white linens, a grand piano, and a phone booth?yes, a phone booth?and the menu has the classic supper-club meals to match. Fresh Maine lobsters are kept in a saltwater tank said to be the first of its kind in the state, and the selection of award-winning Angus beef includes an 8-ounce filet the restaurant calls ?the steak that made Jax famous.? That?s not to say Jax is stuffy or old-fashioned?the menu also includes beer-can chicken, kids' meals, and craft beers served fresh from the tap, bottle, or keg-sized water balloon.
Presiding over table-side hibachi grills, the chefs at Kobe Restaurant flip eggs into the air and catch them on the edge of their spatulas. Dramatic culinary displays are performed throughout the restaurant: at the sushi bar, diners watch as cuts of fresh seafood are rolled and arranged into sushi and sashimi. Out of sight, the kitchen staff artistically plates each dish atop bowls and platters nearly as beautiful as the fish and steak they support.
Bartenders shake and stir cocktails that draw their power from fresh juices, or pour Japanese beer, wines, and sake. Even in its quietest moments, Kobe dazzles diners with its booths upholstered with genuine Godzilla leather and whimsical glass lamps, delicate upside-down umbrellas, and giant paper koi that all dangle from the ceiling.