Nick and Eddie — January 6, 2011

8 01 2011

Nick and Eddie
1612 Harmon Place
Minneapolis
www.nickandeddie.com

Walking past the front windows, Nick and Eddie seems just big enough for several tables and a few chairs along the bar. But on the inside, the restaurant facing Loring Park stretches toward Hennepin with room for three times as many tables. It even has a small performance space, and the speakers along the wall hint that a regular evening’s low-key vibe amps up on nights with a show.

Our monthly group never wastes time testing the service, as we quickly notify our server of the various ETAs. Likely confused about which seat would arrive when and who was ordering for whom, the waiter passively shrugged his shoulders and rolled with the punches. Our water glasses were regularly refilled, and when we asked for more of the spongy bread or sweet parkerhouse rolls, he didn’t hesitate to keep filling the basket. (He clearly picked up on how much we liked the bread — later, he brought out what rolls the kitchen wouldn’t use for the night and take-home bags!)

Snickerdoodles and the extra bread; good conversations made us forget to take photos of anything else!

It’s odd that a large bar wouldn’t have a drink menu or wine list to browse (and blindly ordering drinks has bitten us on the bill), but the waiter knowledgeably guided us each toward satisfying picks. And, contrary to the other reviews we’d read, the wait between ordering and eating was hardly noticeable.

Jim had the chicken and dumplings – a chicken confit with potato gnocchi and sautéed vegetables and herbs. While the definition of a confit is a meat cooked in its own fat, this chicken seemed to have more fat than meat, making it overly greasy and hard to eat. Jim wasn’t impressed, and based on appearance of the plate, he shouldn’t have been. Conversely, when a server described the smoked pork tacos (listed under the starters) as rich and filling enough to eat as an entrée, I took the recommendation – and loved every bite. The juicy meat and citrus slaw were a creamy and tangy combination inside the tender tortillas, and it was the right size for an evening meal.

Perhaps the highlight of Nick and Eddie was the sweet surprise ending. After the dishes were cleared, the waiter brought two plates of cookies – one group with chocolate chips and the other with snickerdoodles. Soft and chewy, no. But bite-sized and sugary, yes. Plus, the price was right.

The fun company may skew our experience at Nick and Eddie upward, but the restaurant handled every part of our night with ease. Aside from a sloppy chicken, the food was slightly above average and the décor – from velvet-adorned wallpaper to large pieces of art – set a mood we’d call sophisticated chill. Though it misses the hype saved for the big hitters in town, Nick and Eddie proved its ability to attract attention for not only a beautiful location, but the food and drink as well.

RATING (out of 5 ♠♠♠♠♠)
Ambiance/Environment:
♠♠♠
Menu Selection:
♠♠♠1/2
Service:
♠♠♠1/2
Food Taste & Presentation: ♠♠♠
COMPLETE EXPERIENCE:
♠♠♠1/2

Total bill, including tip: $52

Nick and Eddie on Urbanspoon

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