Restaurant: FireLake Grill House & Cocktail Bar
Web Site: http://www.firelakerestaurant.com/moa.php
Address: 2100 Killebrew Dr, Bloomington, MN 55425
Phone: (952) 851-4040
Minnesota’s Mall of America is largely a touristy place. A lot of the local population avoids it and it is a big production getting in and out of the mall because of its size. In the mall, most of the food vendors are typical national chains with the same menus they have anywhere. FireLake is a local “chain”, two locations: the mall and downtown Minneapolis.
FireLake is not in the mall proper but attached to the mall and part of the Raddison hotel directly connected. The decor is slick, with a lot of natural stone, wood, and glass looking south from the hotel. Very full bar service with a more than expected whiskey list. There must have been at least 200 available on the list, broken
We were in during a weekday evening in September, so well past tourist season. It was not very crowded and the service was very attentive and the timing was a nice leisurely meal. This is probably good, the interior was largely hard surfaces and I imagine it gets pretty noisy there if the place is full.
Two very nicely presented salads, very fresh and well put together. The local fish, walleye, was panko-crusted and exceptionally cooked. The salmon was a special, glazed with honey from bees kept on the roof somehow (not sure how they find their way down from that tall building). The salmon was a little sweeter than I would have liked, but that’s OK and mostly personal preference.
A nice wine list reasonably priced.
Restaurant: St Boni’s Bistro
Web Site: https://stbonibistro.com
Address: 8516 Kennedy Memorial Dr, Saint Bonifacius, MN 55375
Phone: (952) 446-1600
We were on a long drive through the Minnesota countryside, on our way to The Biggest Ball of Twine in Minnesota (which is a story for another day). It was one of those stretches of rural highway without many places to stop except the occasional gas station. We were going to pop into a Subway when a work call interrupted us enough to bother looking at a map and seeing we were a few blocks off the beaten path from St. Boni’s Bistro.
This is not a place that is visible from the highway, back a block behind a park. However, well worth a stop. Its a small neighborhood place and has a little of everything. A wide variety of tea, coffee including a really nice nitro cold coffee, a varied menu, indoor and outdoor seating. Its clearly a hangout for the little town of Saint Bonifacius, which is one of those nice salt-of-the-earth towns that are all over the Land of 10,000 Lakes.
We hit it at late
A place that would be recommended no matter where it would be located. In its current location its a great find out in the country and worth a bit of a detour as you drive along.