What You'll Get
The monopoly tycoons of the 19th century traditionally did their wheeling and dealing at exclusive restaurants, cleverly concealing the fact that they still lived with their moms. The same principle applies in the romantic realm, as today's Groupon proves: for $25, you get $50 worth of fine dining and drinks at Nicollet Island Inn, located (in a shocking twist) on beautiful Nicollet Island. The restaurant, nestled inside the one-time Island Sash & Door Company building, has won Best Hotel Dining from Citysearch in 2006 and Best Romantic and Special Occasion Dining in 2007.
Executive Chef Adam Droski's menu raises your stomach's velvety curtain with appetizers such as diver scallops with butternut squash, apple, and pancetta ($12); gnocchi à la romaine (vegetarian dish arranged by the chef, $8 for one, $16 to share); and fromage, a selection of three to five artisan cheeses and accompaniments ($10 for a single, $18 to share). If you have no date to woo, you can always woo yourself with the irresistible temptations from the Innkeepers' Favorites, such as the Innkeepers' Steak (eight-ounce cap steak with sauteed mushrooms and onions, and fries or seasonal vegetables, $20) and the Innkeepers' Fish (fresh market whitefish served with fries or seasonal vegetables, $20). The steak and lobster ($38) brings together nature's two mortal enemies in the form of six ounces of cap-cut sirloin and stuffed lobster Newberg over truffled mash. Other entrees worth your entreaties include the 14 ounce ribeye with red onion tarte tatin and tomato fondue ($35) and the corn-crusted walleye with grilled asparagus and smashed sweet potatoes ($25). Top your feast with a dessert of crème-fraiche cheesecake, sticky toffee pudding, or warm apple tart ($8 each).
Once your date has finished inspecting each foodstuff and beverage for engagement rings, retire to Nicollet Island Inn's outdoor patio for after-tipples, plus gorgeous views of the Minneapolis skyline, even the part of it that's always on fire. The Mississippi dampens the downtown din so that nothing disrupts your flirtatious conversation. If it starts raining men, retire to the piano bar and lose yourself amid the low-lit singing and ivory tickling of the inn's songstresses, plus a few rounds of wine by the glass, carefully selected microbrews, small-batch bourbons, or vintage ports. Reservations are strongly advised, so call ahead.
This Groupon is not valid on holidays, including New Year's Eve, Valentine's Day, Christmas Eve, Father's Day, and Mother's Day.
- They sat us for dinner at a window table overlooking the River. Our waiter was friendly and informative, our dinners (steak for me, salmon for her) were well-prepared and delicious. – EFCalhoun, Citysearch
- Our dining experience was excellent and the service superb. – OpenTable user who dined on 03/20/2010
- The staff from the desk and the restaurant couldn't have been more accomadating. – PortlandPatty, TripAdvisor
The Fine Print
Promotional value expires May 14, 2011. Amount paid never expires. Limit 1 per table. Tax and gratuity not included. Not valid on holidays, wine dinners or during restaurant week. Not valid with other offers. Merchant is solely responsible to purchasers for the care and quality of the advertised goods and services.
About Nicollet Island Inn Bar Restaurant and Hotel
If the limestone walls of the Nicollet Island Inn Restaurant could talk, they would have riveting things to say. They would relate recent memories of romantic weddings and elegant special occasions, filled with the popping of champagne corks, laughter bouncing off the water from an outdoor patio and garden, and soft music wafting from the piano lounge. But the inn's more distant past is what distinguishes its true character; the building is one of the few that survived an island-wide fire soon after its construction in 1893. The site was rehabilitated in the early 80's. Double-hung windows have transformed the industrial exterior with welcoming turquoise awnings, and the old loading dock was glassed in to create a dining room with scenic views of the Mississippi River.
Though steeped in historical charm—including hand-carved woodwork and stained-glass windows—the inn appeals to the modern traveler with world-class amenities such as Pharmacopia organic bath products and plasma TVs.