Monday, October 11, 2010

Review - The Sample Room

The Sample Room
2124 Marshall Street NE
Minneapolis, MN 55418

I really enjoy the concept of The Sample Room. As the name suggests, you can try lots of different things in one visit. The menu is separated into categories such as; charcuteries, cheese, meat, and pastas. There's also a few entrées to choose from. Tony and I don't have huge appetites, three of the small plates will fill us up. If you have a larger appetite, share a couple of plates and have an entrée or sandwich for yourself.

I was surprised to find out the history of The Sample Room. The building was built in the late 1800's and opened as The Thies Hotel and Sample Room. I believe the restaurant that's there now opened in 2002, which also surprised me. I didn't find the place till this year and I feel like I've been missing out!

The Sample Room is at Mile 856.2 on the Mississippi River. So, if you want some great food as you're out boating, you can tie up at their dock, walk up, and sample some tasty stuff. Or, if you want to go to eat in a more traditional way, they are located at 2124 Marshall St NE, Mpls. There is plenty of parking in the back of the restaurant, by the Mississippi.

There's a nice cozy feeling to all dinning areas at The Sample Room. Including a relatively small dinning room with a bar counter to one side and a patio on the other. My favorite place to sit is the outside bar area. It's closest to the river and provides a great atmosphere when the sun is setting.

The pastas, sauces, and charcuteries are made from scratch. I love their dark mustards. They have a nice smooth heat to them. The Smoked Sun-Dried Tomato Risotto for $7.50 is one of my favorite dishes. It's slightly smoky and beautifully creamy.

Too hot to eat, but too good to wait.

The only thing that's failed to impress me at The Sample Room has been the Roasted Yukon Gold Potatoes with chives for $3.95. They looked great, golden brown and crisp on the corners. But, they were dry and bland. I think the potatoes would be better if they were served with a chive sauce instead of being tossed with a few chive slices.

The severs are very attentive, friendly, and maybe a bit trendy. They help bring a fresh, active feel to the place. Overall, I have enjoyed each of my visits to The Sample Room and I can't wait to go sample more of Executive Chef Matt Paulson and Sous Chef Adam Beal's creations.

Pork Pâté with Beer Mustard and Cornichons (Only $3 during happy hour!)

Shrimp and Crab Gazpacho (We ate the shrimp before I could snap a picture.)

Warm Camembert with Caramelized Onions

Chicken Sausage with Mustard

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