There’s a lot of talk around town about The Inn, the newest project from Tim Niver, Strip Club Meat and Fish’s principal, and the former Town Talk Diner’s partner. The Inn is receiving respectable reviews for a reason—it’s serving up good food and drinks. Town Talk Diner, on the other hand, changed hands and eventually closed its doors in January, so I was curious about the Strip Club and whether it was continuing to charm its patrons in the small dining room on a hill in St Paul.
A recent visit on a Saturday night squelched my curiosity. We had guests in town who wanted to try some grass-fed steaks, and who loved the Town Talk Diner back in the day, so I suggested the Strip Club. The restaurant serves up grass-fed, family farmed steaks in a brick storefront building with glass windows that offer a sparkling view of downtown St Paul.
They open for dinner service at 5 p.m. on Saturdays. We arrived for our reservation shortly after 5, and the dining room was already 30% full. We were greeted warmly by Nivers and award-winning bartender Dan Oskey, and by the time we ordered our drinks, the bar was full. By 6 p.m., the dining room was full and lively.
As for our cocktails and food, we were pleased. The brandy old fashioned sweet was sweet, spicy, and a bit fruity. The bacon bourbon Manhattan was made with bacon-infused bourbon, offering a subtle smoky flavor to the cocktail. The duck confit was meltingly tender inside, the skin was crisp and well seasoned, and it was served with greens, red onion, and tangy vinaigrette—it’s one of my favorite small plates in the Twin Cities. And the steaks? Why they’re still the beefy, peppery, juicy, grass-fed steaks they’ve been serving all along. They were seared on the outside and medium rare on the inside, as ordered, and were delivered with a large portion of tender, sautéed carrots on the side. And for dessert, French silk pie was on the menu and ordered—creamy, buttery, silky chocolate topped with whipped cream, perched on a layer of flaky pie crust.
Questions were answered, palettes were pleased, appetites were sated, and out-of-town guests were happy. The end.
The Strip Club Meat & Fish
378 Maria Ave., St. Paul