Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Murray's

Visited on Wednesday, September 24th

Murray's

Ben's Review
Last year for Christmas Erin's parent's gave me a gift card to Murray's in downtown and we thought it would be a good idea to use the gift card for our 3rd anniversary dinner last Wednesday. I had been looking forward to going ever since I had gotten the card, so I was very excited to try what is supposed to be one of the best steaks in the city.

Before our 6:30 reservation we went to Seven Sushi to sit on the rooftop and have a beer. The rooftop view at Seven is pretty cool, I think, even though it's not very tall. Just being three floors up still gives a unique view of the skyline that you don't normally get to see. As far as the bar at Seven, I highly recommend NOT going there for drinks, our two beers came to $12.70, ouch.

We only stayed for one beer since it was getting chilly outside and wandered over to Lyon's Pub next door to Murray's where we killed time at the bar until 6:30. The beers at Lyon's Pub were much better priced, and amazingly they tasted the same :)

Murray's is a short building that is nestled in between two much larger buildings. It seems a little out of place, as if the development of the area over the past decades passed it by. It's a smaller building, and frankly I would even say it's an ugly building after taking a good look at it during the daylight hours. Luckily the interior is much nicer than the outside. As you walk in there is a small bar and lounge area immediately to your left and the dining room goes to the back of the building behind the host. The dining room is kind of weird because there are no windows, which I think is odd for a downtown restaurant. Given that the building is squeezed in between two taller buildings there's really nowhere to put windows anyways, so it makes sense in that regard.

Murray's

We were seated right away and it was obvious that we didn't need reservations on a Wednesday night as there were several open tables (although maybe they were all reserved as well??). We had scoped out the menu before going and Erin convinced me that we should try the signature dish, the Butter Knife steak for two even though we could get more specific dishes for less money. The Butter Knife steak for two is a 28 oz. sirloin, carved at the table, that comes with a choice of potato and a salad, for $89. I figured by getting individual steaks (I had wanted a tenderloin) and sides we could save $15 or so, but being that it was their signature dish, we thought we'd try it out.

After looking at the menu again, however, I realized they had a similar dish, the Chateaubriand, which is the same as the Butter Knife except that it's a 24 oz. tenderloin and $4 more. This sounded like a great compromise, we'd get a signature dish AND I would get a tenderloin steak - perfect :) We both got Caesar salads and mashed potatoes for our sides and they were happy to throw some garlic cloves in the potatoes.

As we drank our wine the restaurant started to fill up, I was surprised at how busy it was getting for a Wednesday. We tried to guess the occasions that people were out for, it seemed like an equal mix of people out for a reason (like us) and business meals with an expense account.

Ceasar Salad

Our salads came out soon and they were huge salads and pretty good too. It's hard to have a bad Caesar salad, I think, and these ones did the job. A little while later our server wheeled out our steak and potatoes and proceeded to carve the steak right next to our table and serve us up. This steak was the best steak I've ever had. It was done medium, but even Erin thought that it would be better at medium rare. I'm at a loss for words to describe how good it was, it was just delicious, I think I could've eaten the entire thing myself. As it was we kept a lot of it for lunch the next day. I almost feel bad by not talking more about the steak, but there's not much more to say other than it was awesome.

Chateaubriand for Two

Erin ordered the Chocolate Mousse for dessert and I got a glass of Oban to go along with it. I wasn't hungry for dessert, but when the Chocolate Mousse came out I was inspired to eat more. Along with everything else at Murray's, it was fantastic and the glass of scotch was well poured :)

Scotch scotch scotch

I feel like I've written a lot, so I just want to recap that I thought this restaurant experience was awesome.
  • Service: Wonderful. The servers here are experienced and they provide a seamless dinner, no complaints at all.
  • Food: Best steak I've ever had. They accommodated the garlic in the potatoes too, which was sweet.
  • Drinks: Full bar and a pretty big wine list, I think I saw a $900 bottle on there.
  • Ambiance: Because of the low light and no windows it kind of feels like an "old boys" club. Someone at work commented that it's the kind of place you expect to see Sid Hartman at, I think that captures the ambiance pretty well.
  • Price: We knew it would be expensive but the tab came to only $150 for everything, which shocked me. I was expecting closer to $200.
  • Convenience: Not very convenient to get to, but nothing good is ever easy, right?
Erin's Review
Well, Ben pretty much wrote a novel about this experience, so I don't really have much left to say! (edit: uh, after writing my review it seems that I DID in fact have a lot to say... ) I do want to add my extreme shock over the drink prices at Seven too - I got a freaking Miller Lite and it was $6?! We will definitely not be drinking there again! I had read that they had a happy hour - $3 taps. However, there were no tap beers on the rooftop and definitely no specials... if anyone knows where in this large building that this mythical happy hour exists, please comment and let us know!

I have to admit, I was VERY skeptical about Murray's. Sometimes I find the most hyped restaurants to be totally disappointing, so I was fully prepared for the fact that I might not actually think that this meal was anything special. When we walked in and the place smelled and looked vaguely like one of those houses where someone has lived there 50 years and not updated at all... I grew even more apprehensive.

The bread and salad really did nothing to convince me that this would be a great meal. Both were fine, but certainly nothing spectacular. Their garlic bread kind of tasted like popcorn.

Bread

The moment I took my first bite of the Chateaubriand was when I finally believed that there is a reason many people think this is the best steakhouse in Minneapolis. This was the best steak I have ever had - it was so tender and perfectly seasoned and cooked. We still have a long ways to go in our tour of all of the great Minneapolis steakhouses, so I cannot claim that this is the best of them all. I have been to Capital Grille a few times and I liked this steak better than the filets I have had there, for whatever that's worth. The mashed potatoes were also wonderful, but would have been pretty bland without the addition of garlic.

Mashed potatoes, with extra garlic

I made a conscious effort to not eat too much so I'd have leftovers, but I really wish I had just eaten more that night - this steak definitely does not taste that great the next day. However, I really wanted to get dessert and I knew my stomach needed some room for that. The chocolate mousse that I ordered was awesome - I loved the caramel drizzle on the plate - it made the dessert a little different from how it is normally served.

Chocolate Mousse

One more comment about the wine list - their list of bottles is extensive, but as far as I could see, there were no bottles under $36, and the $36 bottles were few and far between - I think I saw maybe 4 or 5. The wines by the glass are much more affordable, with most being under $10.

Murray's

Deets
Murray's
26 South 6th Street
Minneapolis

Highly recommended
for their excellent steak

1 comment:

-Nate said...

Congrats on three years you two!

I have also wanted to got to Murray's for a while. It looks and sounds pretty nice. Have I mentioned how cool this blog is?