Ring in the Holidays-December 2011

Ring in the Holidays-December 2011

Where to celebrate (or escape) the season with your clients.
For centuries, people have celebrated the winter solstice with feasting and merrymaking. Even though the run-up to Hanukkah, Christmas, and New Year’s Eve can feel increasingly chaotic and commercial, our ancient selves still appreciate a hearty meal during the final month of the year. Now, while there’s still time on your calendar, invite your favorite colleagues and customers for dinner at one of the Twin Cities’ most festive restaurants
Jimmy’s Food and Cocktails
A favorite of businesspeople from Minnetonka-area companies, Jimmy’s always offers a warm welcome. Decades ago, owner Mike Jennings’ father started Jennings Red Coach Inn in St. Louis Park, and the supper club vibe continues here, with classic cocktails, steaks, chops, ribs, and other specialties. Ask for a table by the fireplace and enjoy Jimmy’s elegant holiday Renaissance-inspired palette of amber and chartreuse, a welcome respite from the traditional red and green. Minnetonka, 952-224-5858, jimmysfoodandcocktails.com
The St. Paul Grill

In any season, but especially in the holidays, this charming corner of St. Paul—illuminated by the twinkling lights of Rice Park—feels more like Europe than the Midwest. Sit by the window and sip a glass of 15-year old Macallan. On such a festive occasion, pull out all the stops and order the shrimp cocktail, a ribeye, au gratin potatoes, and a side of creamed spinach. St. Paul, 651-224-7455, stpaulgrill.com
Murray’s signature sea foam green exterior and glowing vintage neon sign beckon you inside like a loving great aunt, but you’d be wrong if you thought this lady is living in the past. For the holidays, she dresses up in a very stylish outfit of winter white and silver, with a tall tree, wreaths, and twinkling lights. Next to the escargot, Chateaubriand, and scaloppini, you’ll find walleye and wild rice spring rolls, ahi tuna tartare, and a portabella mushroom “steak.” Minneapolis, 612-339-0909,
The Capital Grille
If Murray’s is a beloved great aunt, the Capital Grille is your father’s well-dressed, cigar-smoking younger brother—the one with a penthouse in New York, a condo in Miami, and a suite at the Bellagio. For the holidays, this gentleman is outfitted in traditional holiday garb—a fine addition to the magnificent mahogany-paneled walls. Soothed by the soft lighting and the sound of martinis being shaken, this is the perfect place to sit back and savor a bowl of rich lobster bisque, double-cut lamb rib chops or grilled swordfish, and a bottle of Silver Oak. Minneapolis, 612-692-9000, thecapitalgrille.com
W. A. Frost and Company

Cozy, convivial, and perfectly turned out for the holidays in classic holiday style, W. A. Frost is the ideal place to say “bah humbug” to the doomsayers and toast the ghost of Christmas present. Gather your best clients in a private dining room, complete with a Dickensian-style crackling fire, and enjoy a bottle of Plumpjack Reserve and a platter of artisanal cheeses and charcuterie, followed by elk striploin, potato puree, and a classic crème brulée. St. Paul, 651-224-5715, wafrost.com
When you can’t stand the sight of another Christmas tree, wreath, Santa, or red bow, it’s okay to check out of the holidays for a while. Here are our top picks for enjoying this time sans Christmas decorations.

D’Amico Kitchen
Hand your keys to the black-clad valets and disappear into the (relative) anonymity of Chambers, adorned only with the hotel’s award-winning art collection. For maximum privacy, request the curtained table and let your server know that, unlike the rest of the world, you’re in no rush. When you’re ready, request a bottle of Brunello di Montalcino, order your food in Italian, and toast to “la bella figura”—the inimitable Italian way of life. Minneapolis, 612-767-6960, damico-kitchen.com
Crossroads Delicatessen
If it’s been too long since you kibitzed and noshed, here’s your chance. Head to arguably Minnetonka’s best deli and a true non-holiday zone. Order a bowl of Scott’s Famous Matzo Ball Soup or a restorative cabbage borscht and the pot roast, if it’s Tuesday. Otherwise, get the corned beef sandwich, made with meat shipped in from the East, of course. Minnetonka, 952-546-6595, crossroadsdelicatessen.com 

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