Loring Park's New Kitchen and Bar is Perfect for Locals—But Others?

What do the Cities’ newest restaurants have in common? Nothing. But here’s your guide to their delights. We started with D’Amico Kitchen and Om, and now, touch on Loring Kitchen & Bar. For the complete version of this feature, please see “The New Restaurant Scene.”

If you live on Loring Park, the new Loring Kitchen & Bar is a godsend: Basic diner chow, with no need to sacrifice your precious parking spot! If you don’t live in the neighborhood the place is less of a draw, for it’s hard to imagine a more basic and conservative menu than the one on offer here. Calamari, pizzas, caesar salads, short ribs, ahi-tuna steaks, burgers, roast chicken, walleye with tartar sauce, waffles at breakfast, and chicken-noodle soup. It’s all very competently done. The hand-cut French fries, for instance, are sweetly, appropriately potato-like, brown and nubby, appropriately salty and appropriately yummy. The most craveable offering is their fried chicken, charmingly served with a little honey bear. The restaurant’s stark, angular granite and smoke-toned interior is elegant in an executive-office suite sort of way. Yet for everything this new restaurant does right, it’s hard to imagine it as a city-wide destination. Basic and conservative are all well and good, but they’re not qualities that inspire diners to travel great distances. Loring Kitchen & Bar, 1359 Willow St., Mpls., 612-843-0400, loringkitchen.com

Dara’s take on other restaurants can be found in “The New Restaurant Scene.”