I need some advice for a quickly upcoming dinner with a friend in downtown Minneapolis after work (we're meeting at 5:15pm on Thursday evening).
After looking around I suddenly realize that outside of some fine dining gems, I'm very ignorant of good dinner options downtown. My friend is new to Minneapolis and I'd like to go somewhere non-chain. But this friend is also more of a Perkins than a La Belle Vie kind of eater, so I don't want to induce food culture shock.
I was trying to find somewhere like the Modern Cafe or the late Bobino, only downtown and in easy walking distance of Nicollet mall. Also the whole point of getting together is having a chance to chat, so really loud or crowded places are not a good idea (so I suspect Solera is out).
We're meeting on Nicollet very near Zelo. But Zelo is a wee pricier and fancier than I'm looking for. Is it too much to hope for a spot with good food, a decent wine list, but not fine dining and not packed to the gills at 5:30 in downtown MPLS?