Acouple of Saturdays ago I had the pleasure of visiting Erte Restaurant to have dinner with a few friends before going to a show. I had heard good things about the food and the location was near the Capris Theater (which I was going to be attending later that evening). For the record, Erte is technically not a steak house or a seafood restaurant, they consider themselves to be both. They also feature live music on the weekends, but we were there too early for that.
I had reservations for 5 PM, and arrived to a nearly empty restaurant – not surprising for the time of day as they do not open until 4 PM. There was no parking next to the building, but a sign directed me to free parking across the street. While it was easy to drive across the street, the parking spaces were not well-marked and I was not certain I was in the right area. This should definitely be made clearer to guests.
After retracing our steps, we entered by the side door and walked past a beautiful cocktail bar, the Peacock Lounge they call it. It had a retro feel, marble walls, shelves of booze, and a long bar wrapped in stamped tin. The bar also boasted a detailed, embossed tin ceiling that added to the aura of the room.
We were served iced water and sliced bread and whipped herb butter with olives and pepperoncini. While Erte boasts a decent wine list, I opted for a Cosmopolitan (Absolute Citron vodka, Cointreau and a splash of cranberry juice) and a black coffee. The Cosmo was prepared the way it should be and the coffee was dark and flavorful. I always appreciate when the server actually listens to the way I order coffee and doesn’t bring cream when I ask for black. She listened and it was nice.
We ordered a Beet Salad, Crab Cakes and the Erte Platter to begin, followed by the Porketta and the Lamb Chops, (the entrees were accompanied by a house salad).
Within minutes, the Crab Cakes were delivered – two plump Pacific white flake patties, griddled and served with homemade tartar sauce. They were very tasty and wrapped in a light crunchy batter, however, the tartar sauce was almost completely covering them and did nothing for the presentation. A side of tartar would have been more to my liking. This is really a great item to split amongst several people because two of these is really more than you would want – they are definitely on the rich side.
The dinner salads were a nice assortment of mixed greens with carrots and the house dressing. Fine as far as side salads, but nothing memorable. I could have done without this course completely and not missed a thing. A few more choices in regard to the salad would have been nice.
For dessert, we decided to split a slice of chocolate cake. This was a large and rich piece with a white frosting and a chocolate ganache, topped with a sprig of mint.
The check was promptly delivered upon request and payment taken quickly. The overall service was spot-on and earned our server 20% on a $100 bill. Erte is open Monday through Saturday and has a private dining room that seats up to 22 available at no additional charge.
Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars. Dining at Erte was a pleasant experience and I will definitely go back. Erte would have scored a five on my scale if the parking lot and front door had been more clearly marked, if the decor had been a bit snazzier, the napkins had been lint free, the Crab Cakes had not been drowned in Tartar sauce, the Porketta dish was not swimming in juice and if they served espresso.
323 13th Ave NE
Minneapolis, MN 55413