After Manny’s and Oceanaire moved out of the Hyatt in downtown Minneapolis, the hotel’s dining cachet slumped. But one $25-million-renovation later, the Hyatt has spiked its Spike’s sports bar and replaced its dated bistro, Taxxi, with the sharp new Prairie Kitchen and Bar.
The last several years have been a boon to local hotel diners. As new boutique accommodations incorporated ever-hipper eateries—Cosmos and Porter & Frye among them—the mid-range chains upgraded, too. The Hyatt’s vast, high-ceilinged lobby now looks modern and sleek, with chic wood-and-fire decorative elements. And the adjacent restaurant takes the same neat, unfussy approach with its fare.
Prairie showcases Midwestern cuisine, sourcing many of its ingredients from sustainable providers in the region (Nueske bacon, Ames Farm honey, etc.) and offering kids free refills on milk. Smoked-trout cakes are served with sharp mustard, delicate radishes, and microgreens. Pillowy veal meatballs, a riff on the Swedish staple, arrive slathered in gooey chardonnay-gruyere gravy studded with morel mushrooms. Desserts can be ordered in tiny trios, among them berry pudding with basil-infused crème anglaise, deconstructed bananas Foster (with aquavit in the caramel), and tangy goat-cheese ice cream served in a miniature Red Wing crock.
In downtown Minneapolis’s competitive dining scene, Prairie won’t likely lure locals away from the more established eateries. But it’s certainly a good option for Orchestra Hall patrons who formerly made do with the late, behind-the-beat Staccato.
1300 Nicollet Mall, Mpls., 612-596-4640, prairiekitchenandbar.com