Thu. May 28th, 2020

Binary Blogger

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Binary Review – Union Rooftop Restaurant – Minneapolis, MN

4 min read

This past weekend Mrs. Binary and I attended the Josh Groban concert at the Target Center and before the show we had dinner at the Union Rooftop in downtown Minneapolis. This is my review of our experience.

We were going to the concert as a treat to ourselves for our wedding anniversary and when we made the reservations we had told the Union this. When we arrived the greeters were pleasant and directed us to the elevator to take us to the 3rd floor, the roof. When you walk in you are immediately hit with the view. The eating area is right on the roof with large sliding glass sections for the roof that in the warmer months slide open, which would be amazing. But since it’s fall in Minnesota it was in the 30s when we arrived so the roof was closed.

We were led to our seats and immediately tended to. Very friendly staff, everyone seemed pleasant, and the place was packed. A big bonus to the Union was the fact that they acknowledged our anniversary, most places ask you and maybe throw out a congrats to you when you arrive but the Union Rooftop went above and beyond. First they gave us a place card on our table with a congratulations but when we look inside the entire staff signed it. I have never seen that before. Then the server informed us that they were going to give us a complimentary dessert. Double bonus.

We started the night with drinks, my wife being pregnant she asked the server for non-alcoholic choices and he jumped right in and offered a mixed, spritzer concoction which was quite good. I got a dirty Grey Goose martini with Goat Cheese olives, they didn’t have Blue Cheese stuffed olives. So far so good.

The menu is very diverse from pasta to veal, you can check it out on their website. My wife got the Ravioli with nettles & ricotta, brown butter, apple balsamic & parmesan $20.95 and after a short chat with the server I was talked into the Grilled Bone-in New York Strip with Smoked Bone Marrow Bordelaise & Sautéed Gnocchi $38.95. I ordered my steak medium rare.

We got our food incredible fast, within 10-15 minutes. The ravioli was phenomenal, the apple balsamic was a nice twist to it and it’s pretty hard to screw up pasta. The New York Strip on the other hand, not so much.

I know my meat, I cook, own several grills both gas and charcoal, and two smokers. I know my way around a cow. Technically you can call it a New York Strip cut I guess but it look like it was a factory cut that came out of a shrink wrapped box at the grocery store. It was a perfect circle, little marbling and I would guess that every one looked almost identical in size and shape. I ordered my steak medium rare and always do in restaurants because the definition of medium varies greatly and I would prefer the meat more bloody than well done.

Medium rare is very pink in the middle with the outer edges having a nice cooked texture to it. When I cut into my steak, it definitely pink/raw in the middle but there was no transition to the edge. It was well done on the edge and right to pink. It looked as if the mean was pan seared on high, 2 min each side and put on a plate. There were grill marks on it but it looked and tasted more like it hit a pan that was way too hot. What happens when it’s cooked like that is the meat gets real tough and when you cut it, it tears and chews just as hard. It wasn’t a bad piece of meat but for $38 for a 12oz (maybe) I expect to get a quality on par or better than my weekend on my deck. This was not.

For $38 you get the steak and some gnoocci that’s it. No potato, veggies, side salad, nothing. That made the price and the steak harder to swallow. I was very disappointed in the steak for the price.

The gnocchi that was on the steak excellent however which was the highlight of my plate.

For our complimentary dessert we chose the carrot cake which came with a creamsicle. That was darn tasty as well and satisfied two people just fine. I finished off the desert with a lemon drop drink, I expected it in a short glass and it was served on the rocks. That was excellent as well.

Overall I was satisfied on our experience at the Union Rooftop, not disappointed aside from their meat and not blown away to drag friends and colleagues to it. I can say I have eaten there but I will not go out of my way to go eat there again. The drinks were just fine and what I expect from downtown Minneapolis. The location and view was unique. However, the food was way overpriced and no where near the quality to justify it.

If you want to try it out I would suggest you wait until the spring and summer months when they have the rooftop open to the Minnesota air, have drinks, but go eat elsewhere.

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