Rare Steak & Sushi

Business lunchers, rejoice!

The restaurant of the Grand Hotel Minneapolis has long been an oasis for classy business lunches on the restaurant-free, east side of downtown. Now, it has morphed from the odd-duck Zahtar (Moroccan-ish) to the more forthright Rare Steak and Sushi, and it’s better than ever. What do they have? Steak, of course, but not just any steak: it’s sourced from the excellent Grass Run Farm in Dorchester, Iowa, and is therefore the best grass-fed steak in a downtown steak house. (Grass-raised steaks are gamier and richer tasting than their corn-fed cousins and contain higher proportions of good fats, like Omega-3’s and CLA, and don’t have the negative environmental impact of feedlot beef.)

Rare also boasts good sushi, which downtown bargain-hunters will like because of their great happy-hour deals (from 3 to 6:30 p.m. weekdays), and the frequent all-you-can-eat sushi bargain nights (friend them on Facebook for up-to-the-minute offers). I was especially wild about their seaweed-salad roll, a vegetarian offering with razor-thin slices of lemon offsetting the pine-green seaweed with a deep mineral and iron taste. It was tart and original in the best way. As a restaurant hound, I’ve found it interesting to watch this restaurant reinvent itself time and again, always keeping what works and losing what doesn’t. The sushi has remained constant through every iteration, though now it bills itself as sustainable. (Hooray! But then why is there Chilean sea bass on offer?) The healthy elements have also been retained from Zahtar in the form of lots of steamed or otherwise oil-free vegetable options. Now the only thing this place needs is customers. “I’d call this the number-one place to try to dazzle and steal your competitor’s top sales guy,” quipped my lunch date, surveying the nearly empty restaurant around us. It won’t stay empty once word gets out, though, so if you work in the Campbell Mithun, Accenture, or Ameriprise buildings downtown, attend! Rare Steak & Sushi, 615 Second Ave., Mpls., 612-752-9595, rarempls.com