The new upscale dining and entertainment venue in Edina has a lot going for it, but we left less than enthusiastic about returning. The large facility boasts fresh décor, sleek alleys, modern bocce ball areas, and open staircases that lead to multiple levels with spaces perfect for parties or groups. The front bar is clean and simple, and though we never saw it, the dining area offers breathtaking scenery with floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking a nearby lake. The expansive outdoor patios will be a summertime delight, and even though it was below zero, the firepit near the entrance (with a basket of blankets nearby for added warmth) was a fun touch.
Our group didn’t have reservations, but our wait felt unnecessary since the half-full restaurant didn’t pick up much throughout the evening. The hostess admitted to forgetting about our party, so we decided to grab dinner in the bar after waiting 90 minutes for a table. Just as we were placing orders, our handheld buzzer indicated the bowling lanes we’d reserved were ready. We further postponed dinner and trekked to the second floor, only to find that the group on our lane had just started another game. Long story short, a lot of standing around ensued. Without accomplishing dinner or bowling in our first two hours, Pinstripes was winning 2 to 0. We finally ordered something to eat, though the 10 of us ate haphazardly around nearby high-top tables watching other people bowl. The waitress did throw in two free apps, but only after we had already ordered all the food we wanted.
Pinstripes’ menu has a good variety. Bowlers and diners can order burgers, sandwiches, salads or more gourmet appetizers and flatbreads. The trendy offerings were fun, but it was clear that most of the food had been pulled from the freezer. Fig & prosciutto or shrimp & pesto are great flatbread combinations, but the ingredients weren’t fresh and the heavy amount of cheese made them incredibly salty. We’d rather have eaten the same amount of grease in typical alley fare like mozzarella sticks or simple burgers … and paid 1/3 less! Our waitress sent a complimentary cheese platter, but even though it was free, we weren’t impressed: the plate only had two small portions of cheese, surrounded by twice as many lunchmeats and breads.
In about an hour, our lanes opened up … and within the very first frame, both lanes malfunctioned. The maintenance crew spent 30 minutes attempting a fix until the manager informed us that the lanes would have to be shut down for the night. At least he refunded our shoes and the two games we’d prepaid (and at $40 for two of us, we’d decided the refund was better than the investment). Pinstripes racked up 3, still leaving us scoreless.
The shutout could have been worse. We were with fun people and still had a good time, even with sub-par food, flighty service and overrated (and overpriced!) entertainment. Plus, it deepened our appreciation for the cheap benches and domestic beers at neighborhood alleys. Next time we’re feeling strike-lucky, we’re going elsewhere … Pinstripes just plain struck out.
RATING (out of 5 ♠♠♠♠♠)
Menu Selection: ♠♠♠
Food Taste & Presentation: ♠♠
COMPLETE EXPERIENCE: ♠♠1/2
Total bill, post-refund: $75