Erté in the Arts District
If your idea of “Nordeast” Minneapolis is one of countless polka bars, churches, and veterans’ club posts, you’re behind the times. The area has had a major renaissance, with numerous art galleries and loft conversions opening, and the redevelopment of the Ritz Theater.
The neighborhood also claims two nationally recognized restaurants: the Modern CafÃ© and the Sample Room. But a third great little spot hasn’t garnered the attention it deserves. That would be ErtÃ© Restaurant.
Proprietor Patte Kraske, who purchased the operation three years ago, refers to it as a “steak salon.” The appellation derives partly from the cozy but dramatic interior, including a staircase reminiscent of a grand European hotel. And partly, it reflects Kraske’s effort to offer an experience like that of a continental salon—a place where locals gather to talk, dine, and be entertained. Friday and Saturday evenings, the buzz is supplemented by eclectic live music. The handsome Peacock Lounge hosts daily happy hours.
As for the steak part, the recently revamped menu includes a filet, a bone-in New York strip, a 16-ounce rib-eye, and a signature culotte-cut sirloin, all notably high in quality and less pricey than similar cuts at other local steakhouses. But there are many excellent choices, among them top-notch crab cakes, tender brisket of Angus beef, and sunflower seed–crusted Star Prairie rainbow trout. Side dishes are equally compelling, including superlative hash browns, creamed spinach, and sour-cream-and-chive mashed potatoes.
Depending on how the trade changes during the inaugural season of the Ritz, pre- and post-theater specials could be added to the mix. And for anyone in search of an offbeat venue for a business dinner, ErtÃ© has a private salon available at no charge that seats up to 22 people.