Had my first meal at Birchwood this past week. The local cheese plate great, if delivered with no indication as to what cheese was what, and it came with a small smoked trout fillet that sent my wife giving me permission to cook trout again (It seems I've had my share of culinary trout bombs).
The swiss chard agnolotti in a lemon-dill butter were absolutely fantastic, although I wish there were more of them. Half-price wine gave us a Jumilla with its typical southern-spanish heat (it came in at 14.5%) and vague (read: somewhat flabby) spiciness. Although for 11 dollars what do you expect?
We sat outside.
This was the keystone to our experience. Had we not snagged an outdoor table in the particularly nice weather, I have to say that the arch of it all comes down, for the primary reason that the inside seems like something of a Soviet cafeteria.
I mean, I get that it is a "cafeteria," but it doesn't have to look like one--especially given the food and service they're doling out (fantastic).
If the owners took a moment to consider putting in something like a darkened booth atmosphere around the perimeter, making it look like some place with character in which I'd be happy to spend my pennies, I think they'd have a better thing going. I've heard more than a few people suggest it seems like more of a breakfast/lunch place to them---and the interior, I'm sure, is the reason.
I've seen this happen elsewhere around town--most recently at HauteDish, whose interior is impossibly strangely laid-out, with two large televisions above the bar, directly behind which is a Gaza strip of bad carpet and then a string of low, un-private booths. The "HauteDish" dish was good, but I felt like I was at a VFW, and am in no hurry to return.
Why wouldn't these people put more effort into the surroundings?
3311 E 25th St, Minneapolis, MN 55406