Eating at the BANK

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Oh how we love mellow Sunday evenings in Downtown Minneapolis! It’s one of our favorite times to dine out there.

On this particular Sunday evening, a Groupon brought us to BANK Restaurant located in the Westin Hotel. We had been to BANK once before out of the recommendation of one of my husband’s co-workers. But that was back before my blogging days; so I can’t even remember what I ate there.

This is proof that my blog has also become my memory.

At least we liked it enough that when Rob saw that this deal included a four-course meal for two with a bottle of wine, he begged me to book it.

BANK’s interior is sleek because they have very much retained the look and feel of what used to be the Farmers & Mechanics Bank back in the 1940s. (Hence the name of the restaurant.)

Source: bankmpls.com

Source: bankmpls.com

In the photo above, you’ll see the Chef’s Teller Counter to the left. This is where the actual teller counter was located back in those banking days. Behind the counter is now an open kitchen. Diners can pull up a seat to the counter and watch their food being prepared. I’d say that it’s a nice way to be entertained if you are alone in town on business!

We made our way to the Gold Bar in the center, which is a great open layout to facilitate the meeting of others. Remember, this is a hotel bar and restaurant!

The restaurant itself is a very big, open space. I found this comment on Groupon a little humorous:

“Great service…due to high ceilings, the temperature was a little warm.” 

Uh. What?! The high ceilings are part of the allure, in my opinion.

These were our choices for a bottle of wine included with our Groupon:

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Of course, wine included in these sorts of deals is usually on the lower end. However, we were still pleased by the Casa Lapostolle Merlot that I was surprised Rob chose. It’s a fantastic value wine, as are many wines from Chile. Though BANK does boast offering more than 70 bottles from around the world.

TIP: Make a trip to the restroom while you are at BANK and you will walk by the Wine Vault. This is the original bank vault converted into a wine cellar! It’s quite clever.

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For the record, this was way too much food.

Had I known this, I wouldn’t have devoured my portion of our shared starter:

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Mac & Cheese – torchio pasta, mornay, cornflakes

Yes, those are really cornflakes. I expected them to be pulverized into breadcrumbs; but instead it was like that someone just pulled out a box and shook some over the Mac and Cheese. I also had never had torchio-shaped pasta before. That was another first.

After sharing that, we each had a choice of soup or salad:

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Chicken Tortilla soup with avocado and crema

I was a bit underwhelmed by the Chicken Tortilla Soup, but I liked the added avocado. Both the mac and cheese bowl and this soup bowl were much deeper than the bowl of pasta Rob had back at Lyn65. At this point, I was a bit smarter and didn’t finish the soup.

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Roasted Golden Beets w/sunflower seeds and sprouts, whipped ricotta, orange confit

Did you know that Rob loves beets? He was enamored with this beautiful dish. Still, he only ate about half of it. We were both already starting to get full!

My entree was the chicken:

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Pan Roasted Chicken – confit chicken thigh, roasted carrots, fingerling potatoes, lemon thyme reduction

This was beautifully plated, rich and flavorful! It was still so much food, even if I were to just have had the entree! I probably only ate about half of it, and that was only because I pushed myself to do so because it was so good!

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Hanger Steak – with oven fried tomatoes, yucca, grilled scallions, chimichurri

Rob was equally pleased with his perfectly medium-rare cooked lean steak. {This is definitely not the best photo to illustrate that.} We had a bit of an argument about what chimichurri is, but a quick google search settled the score: “a green sauce used for grilled meat, originally from Argentina. It is made of finely-chopped parsley, minced garlic, olive oil, oregano, and white vinegar.”

In any case, Rob says that it will always remind him of our friend Brendan, because he cooked us up a beautiful steak with chimichurri when we went to Charlotte to visit.

I love that the sauce is plated around the steak, not drenched over it. You can dredge the steak in just the right amount of sauce that you desire. And with my undying love of tomatoes, I would have eaten those on Rob’s plate if I wasn’t already so full myself.

I have no idea how we ate this dessert:

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Olive Oil Cake – with orange zest, creme anglaise, vanilla ice cream

Even sharing this moist, delicious Olive Oil Cake was difficult! It’s certainly a great, refreshing end to a fulfilling meal because the flavors are light and citrusy.

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And now that I think of it {and peruse the online menu}, I do remember the cocktail I ordered on my first visit to BANK.

Ten Thyme Smash

refreshing and sophisticated – fresh thyme, cucumber, and lime shaken with ultra-premium tanqueray ten gin, and white cranberry-the perfect aperitif

I remember that I ordered it because Rob’s co-worker had recommended it. I loved the herbal flavors!

Just a quick note on what was different about this Groupon. In order to purchase it, we were required that I make reservations through the Groupon website, something we’ve never had to do before. But it was quick and easy! We had no trouble at all. And because of this, after checking in, we never even needed to show our Groupon. They already had our information. Don’t be turned away by that requirement! You can even cancel your reservation 60 minutes beforehand without forfeiting your voucher.

I do like using OpenTable to make reservations. However most Groupons that require reservations want you to call the restaurant directly rather than book online. Booking through Groupon was a nice alternative.

Do you book restaurant reservations online?

What do you like or dislike about doing that?

Cheers~
Carrie

 

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  1. Pingback: More Marin | Season It Already!

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