A romantic dinner by a roaring river is best enjoyed in a restaurant and not around the neighborhood's open fire hydrant. Retain your amorous appetite with today's Groupon: for $25, you get $50 worth of fine international cuisine and drinks at Nicollet Island Inn.
The winner of Best Brunch 2011 from Citypages and Best Romantic Resaturants from City's Best in 2010, Nicollet Island Inn’s executive chef, Adam Droski, crafts award-winning international haute cuisine from locally sourced ingredients. Raise dinner’s velvety curtain with appetizers such as diver scallops with butternut squash, apple, arugula, and pancetta ($12). The lobster and steak ($49) brings together nature's two mortal enemies over truffled mash, toasting to peace with champagne-vanilla sauce, and the beef tenderloin ($38) offers taste buds 9 ounces of cut tenderloin with a savory rosemary mushroom duxelle.
Guests can nibble away hours in the subdued charm of the restaurant’s main dining room overlooking the Mississippi River or drink in views of the city on the inn’s outdoor patio. Retire to the piano bar for melodious reveries amid the low-lit singing and ivory tickling of the inn's vocalists every Saturday night. Knock back a few rounds of wine by the glass, carefully selected scotches, or vintage ports. Reservations are strongly advised.
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.