Cuisine: American, Fish & Seafood
Restaurant Features: Bar, Banquet, Hotel, Locally Sourced,
Location: Downtown Minneapolis, MN
Address: 615 Second Ave South Minneapolis, MN 55402 (612) 288-8888
Hours: Monday – Saturday 3pm-1am Sunday 3pm-12am
Atmosphere: Located in the newly remodeled Grand Hotel in Minneapolis, The Six15 Room is the newest, swankiest and most contemporary cocktail lounge in the heart of Downtown. Located just inside the Grand Hotel entrance, The Six15 Room is not just for guests of the hotel, it is also the ideal place for anyone looking to try fun and delicious artisenal drinks and foods.
The entire space of The Six15 Room is divided into smaller little areas, including a VIP area that has comfy purple velvet-covered sofas, fluffy pillows, and an entire wall filled with a variety of mounted metallic deer trophies.
One very fun feature of the VIP room is the 50″ Flatscreen TV fully equipped with a XBOX 360.
The far end of the trophy wall has a real wild boar’s head as the center piece. I wouldn’t have wanted to run into him in the forest, this bad boy has a big ol’ snout and some big curvy teeth. The Six15 Room is taking suggestions for naming the Wild Boar, if you would like to enter, simply submit your idea with the bartender!
Here is another seating area in the lounge; complete with sofas, tables, and more big TVs.
Menu: Some of the creative signature cocktails offered by Master Mixologist Troy have fun names such as Don’t Be Coy, Turn the World On, A-lo Down Low, Caught in her Web, Rose Creek, Bite the Bulleit, Six15, and Orangegasm. There are also a number of classic cocktails such as the Aviation, Dark & Stormy, Clover Club, Negroni, Last Word, Moscow Mule, Daiguiri, Manhattan, Margarita, Martini, Sidecar, Sazerac, and Whiskey Sour. There are also a number of local beers on tap as well as a large selection of domestic bottles. Big selection of wines as well.
All of the menu items offered in The Six15 Room have ingredients that are locally sourced. Options include Calamari Fries, Turkey Burgers, Grilled Sausage, Beef Skewers, Smoked Trout, Walleye Tator Tots, Grilled Shellfish, Mixed Greens Salad, and Cheese Plate.
You can also get a Tasting Portion of the Grand Entrees, including Fish Tacos, Braised Duroc Pork Shank, Creek Stone New York Strip, and Scottish Salmon.
Desserts include Mini Ice Cream Sandwiches, Ginger Creme Brulee with Almond Cookies, and Chocolate Lava Cake with Espresso Creme Anglaise.
Guests staying at the Grand Hotel also have the option of ordering off a larger menu for In-Room Service. Breakfast selections include the International Grand Traveler, Continental Breakfast, Eggs Benedict, Eggs Florentine, Belgian Waffle, French Toast, Beef Hash, Three Egg Omelet, Spa Egg White Omelet, Chef’s Favorite (bacon, eggs and pancakes), Berries & Granola, and Fruit Plate.
Dishes offered all day include Spinach & Artichoke Dip, Pork Pot Stickers, Chicken Wings, Chicken Tenders, Cheese Plate, Calamari Fries, and Poached Tiger Shrimp.
Soups offered are Cream of Wild Rich and White Chicken Chili. Salads include the Grand Hotel Salad, Caesar, Greek and Grilled Salmon.
Individual Pizzas are also available. Build-Your-Own, Three Cheese, Margherita, Thai Chicken and The White Pizza (alfredo sauce, caramelized onions, spinach, goat cheese and dried cherries).
Pasta Selections offered are the Spaghetti Carbonara, Mediterranean Primavera, and Noodles & Sauce.
Sandwiches include Grilled Angus Burger, Trio of Mini Turkey Burgers, Grand Club, Walleye Fish Tacos, The Duet, MLP (mushrooms, lettuce, and roasted peppers), Grilled Chicken Breast, Beef Stroganoff, and Fried Egg Sandwich.
Grand Entree Selections offered after 5pm include Eat Street Noodle Stir-Fry, Chicken Marsala, Duroc Braised Pork Shank, Creek Stone New York Strip Steak, Steamed Salmon, Walleye, and Mediterranean Primavera.
Price guide: Small Plates $9-18 Grand Entrees $15-35
What we ordered: I had a chance to meet with Executive Chef Kris Koch, the master behind the menu. Born and raised in Minnesota, Koch has deep roots in the area and well-established relationships with a number of local farmers, and sources ingredients locally whenever possible. Many of the items he has created have a fun twist on traditional local favorites.
One of the first items we tried was the Smoked Trout from Rushing Waters. This pretty-plated dish also included toasted bagel chips with lemon-herbed cream cheese, Koch’s spin on the traditional cream cheese and lox. This was so good! There is just something about cream cheese and smoked fish that speaks to me and then when you add in the buttery crunch of the bagel, you have the perfect combo of textures.
Mmm, take a closer look at that deliciously smoked trout. Slightly salty and smokey, the trout had a nice, light and flaky texture without any fishiness. It was served with lettuce and pickled red cabbage.
We also tried the Calamari Fries. You may have noticed that i order calamari at many restaurants. The calamari fries at The Six15 Room rank up there with the best. These calamari strips were double-dipped in tempura batter and then fried just perfectly. The batter was crispy yet the calamari was tender and delicious. Thin slices of slightly pickled peppers were arranged on top, adding a slight bite and interesting contrast. A lemony mayonnaise was served for dipping, a light and fresh compliment to the calamari.
Another item we tried with the first wave of goodies was the Grilled Sausage Platter. It came with two varieties of sausage, one that was Maple flavored, the other with bits of bacon ground in. Both sausages were excellent but one of my favorite parts of the dish was the apricot mustard. Yes, you read that right. Pureed apricot with stone-ground mustard blended in. A delicious combo of sweet from the fruit and spicy and slightly piquant flavor of the mustard. The dish also came with several slices of buttered, grilled whole wheat toast.
One of the first cocktails we tried was the Don’t Be Coy. It may come as no surprise to you that I am a Margarita Girl, so this drink was perfect for me. Made with Herradura Tequila, raspberry syrup, Licor 43 and fresh lime, this was a wonderful blend of tart, sweet and agave. Loved!
Another drink we tried was the Whiskey Sour. Normally I wouldn’t think I would enjoy anything made with whiskey but I immediately changed my mind when I tried the Whiskey Sour at The Six15 Room. This drink was fabulous! Made with Jim Beam Black bourbon, lemonade, and a touch of egg white. The egg white gave it just a tiny hint of froth, which I thought was a great touch. The next time I drink whiskey I hope it tastes as good as this!
After eating and drinking all of the above, a second wave of food and cocktails were brought out to us. I was especially excited to try the Fish Tacos, a favorite food of mine. These may have been the first fish tacos I’ve had made with locally-caught walleye. Served on double white corn tortillas, each of the two tacos had a nice size fillet of pan-seared walleye topped with pickled cabbage and cilantro. Excellent and very filling!
We also tried the Scottish Salmon, served with brussel sprouts, jasmine rice and a sweet-yet-savory carrot ginger puree. This salmon was very good, perfectly (under)cooked so that it retained the right amount of moisture and light flavor of the fish. It was lightly seasoned with just salt and pepper but was dressed up by the accompanied ginger-carrot puree.
The last food item we tried was the Walleye Tator Tots. How perfectly Minnesota is this dish? The walleye was finely blended with mashed yukon gold potatoes, spiced up and then formed into shapes about the same size as a marshmallow. Lightly breaded then fried, these were wonderful little treats that anyone would like. Served with a citrus tartar sauce.
The second wave of cocktails included the Moscow Mule, made with Absolut Vodka, house-made ginger syrup, fresh lime juice and soda. Light and refreshing!
We also tried the Rose Creek cocktail, made with pear brandy. I can’t recall having pear brandy before this, but I was pleasantly surprised to smell the sweet smell of pear about 6 inches before I brought the glass to my mouth. It tasted just as good as it smelled! made with Clear Creek Pear Brandy, fresh lemon juice, real grenadine and Angostura (a secret blend of herbs).
Overall Impression: I was very excited to try the new Six15 Room once it opened and after trying it, I am just as excited to return. Executive Chef Kris Koch has a real knack for creating dishes that are not only creative and delicious, they are made from fresh, locally-sourced ingredients. Everything that is offered on the menu is appealing to both locals and those who are in town and would like to try a true taste of Minnesota. The Grand Opening of both The Six15 Room and The Grand Hotel is taking place tonight, June 16, 2011.