Tag Archives: seared ahi salad

On the Corner of Lake & Irving


For the second Friday in a row, things were crazy enough at work that I didn’t eat lunch. For the second Friday in a row, when I got home, I was hangry.

My friend Jen said she’d come pick me up for dinner if I picked a place. It was the most perfect possible weather you could possibly have in Minnesota. It was 70 to 75 degrees. The sun was out, but not beating down unbearably, nor was there any need for shade. There was no wind nor humidity. And the best thing yet: There were no mosquitoes! There is a really short window for a day like that in Minnesota.

There was no reason to be indoors.

I had to find a dining spot with a patio.


After much indecision, I finally chose…


Lake & Irving is on the corner of – you guessed it – the corner of Lake and Irving in Uptown Minneapolis. I chose it because it not only had a patio, but also because of its proximity to Lake Calhoun. When choosing a restaurant, I was worried that the patios would be too busy because of the beautiful day. Lake Calhoun would make a nice walk afterward so that we could at least enjoy some of the weather if outdoor seats could not be had.

I really dig Lake & Irving’s menu!

That’s one of the other reasons why I chose it.


The tap beer selection includes a dozen craft beers – some local, some not. None of those taps are wasted on Mich Golden Light! The list changes frequently and includes what’s up next in the rotation.


The selection of wines is a well-rounded list that doesn’t include any of your Usual Suspects. I like that. In fact, I rarely order something I’ve already had, unless it’s something I know I absolutely love, the value is a good one or it’ll make a good pairing with my meal.

Craft Cocktails

While Lake & Irving lists their inventory of liquor, they also have a small list of selective craft cocktails. Le Sureau {Prairie Organic Vodka, St. Germain, lavender simple syrup, grapefruit juice, lemon} interested me, but if I would have ordered one that night, I probably would have fallen asleep at the table. L&I’s version of a Johnny Jump Up is called a Power Up, made with a local cider and Powers Irish Whiskey.


For the record, we did get a seat on the patio. 😉

Upon seating, we were immediately offered complimentary still or sparkling water. They serve it in a bottle so that they don’t have to keep refilling your glass.

The menu looked so good that I had a number of things that caught my eye – the Seared Ahi Salad, the Salmon Quinoa, the Caprese Panini and the Kalua Pork Sandwich.

My decision-making skills aren’t very stellar in general; but they are even worse when I’m hangry. Jen made up her mind pretty quickly.

CAPRESE PANINI  10 mozzarella, tomato, mac nut pesto, sourdough

CAPRESE PANINI – mozzarella, tomato, mac nut pesto, sourdough $10

{Side Note to Rob: The fries are nothing to write a blog post about. You can skip them.}

But you will be happy to know that I narrowed the menu down all by myself and didn’t even ask the server for any help.

SEARED AHI SALAD  16 Asian slaw, soy vin, mac nuts, cilantro,  avocado, sriracha aioli

SEARED AHI SALAD – Asian slaw, soy vin, mac nuts, cilantro, avocado, sriracha aioli – $16

This salad was just what I needed and complemented the weather perfectly! It was fresh and all of the flavors came together in just the right way. The tuna was a little chewy, despite the fact that they cooked it just how I requested – medium rare. But it was a minor detail when you put the whole salad together with those sauces and the crunch of the slaw and wonton crisps. I’d order it again.

The service was a bit slow, but we didn’t mind one bit. That was more time to sit and relax out on the patio! Once again, hangriness was cured. And just a few blocks away was Lake Calhoun, which drew a healthy-sized crowd that night. Still, the lake was calm and everything just seemed… peaceful.

What is your favorite place to relax on a patio?

What makes that place special?