room with a view
821 Marquette Ave | Minneapolis, MN
|in the land of nuts and honey|
Minneapolis impressed me from the moment I saw its skyline. This city built on flour and sawmills, towering over the Mississippi River, which is wider here so far north than I’d have guessed, though I can’t say why; perhaps it’s that my primary point of reference is so far south, near the wide mouth, where it splits New Orleans along its East and Westbanks.
We stayed at the W, which welcomed us with its customary low light and pink neon, a contemporary twist on the refurbished Foshay Tower (completed in 1929) that it inhabits. Kudos to the design firm for maintaining much of the Deco opulence of the original, from the ceilings to the floors to the doors (well, the elevator doors at least).
Dinner was at Bar La Grassa, situated in what seems to be the classically gentrifying warehouse district of Name-Your-Major-American-City... fringe of downtown, near a stadium, just past the strip of run down sex toy shops. There’s the valet. Give him the keys and cross your fingers that he didn’t just leave the “theatre” down the street.
Our food was superb. Soft eggs and lobster with truffle oil on bruschetta. Fresh pasta colored black with squid ink, sea urchin chili, mussels and tomato. Foie Gras tortellini. Ok, some things were a little rich and absurd. Not the martinis.
Next morning our sunny May gave way to wind and lightning. I… groggy, comfortable, eleven stories up and watching the rain pour, nevertheless… made my way out of downtown towards General Mills World Headquarters, just outside the city. It’s less a headquarters and more a campus. Glass and steel modernism constructed across five decades, with the main building (completed in 1958) used as the foundation and reinterpreted in those that followed. The walls were adorned with an impressive collection of contemporary art that augments the aesthetic...
… and the cereal was great.
BAR LA GRASSA
800 North Washington Ave
Minneapolis, MN 55401