Monday, September 24, 2012

The Lowry Brings Burgers and Oysters to Uptown

Gleaming, polished wood. A roaring wood fire. Friendly service from beautiful people.
This description may sound like an unreachable Aspen ski-lodge fantasy, but it actually portrays Uptown’s newest addition, The Lowry. Formerly a Hollywood Video, the location was completely transformed by local architecture and design firm Tanek this summer and is now open.
The Lowry’s sumptuous menu includes perfectly prepared American classics, including juicy burgers (the two heavenly bacon-cheese varieties are best paired with thick sweet potato fries), and a highly-recommended roast chicken that comes with a side of mashed potatoes (sorry, grandma, they’ve got you beat).
For those who are more interested in The Lowry's liquefied offerings, there are several noteworthy cocktails and a tap list that includes all the local staples and some varieties from farther afield (our recommendation: Brooklyn Pennant Ale British Pale Ale; the full drink menu can be found here).
If you’re looking to sample The Lowry before committing to a full-on meal, happy hour is a good time to order from an abbreviated menu that includes fresh oysters as well as the State Fair-worthy pickled, deep-fried vegetables.
Just as notable as the food is the Lowry’s excellent service, which is well-rounded and quick: your food may come faster than your drinks. The restaurant is occasionally overstaffed, but isn’t that the best kind of problem to have?
In fact, the only major gripe about this sweet new spot is the lack of parking, particularly since an enormous parking lot owned by the Masonic Lodge next door sits infuriatingly empty night after night. Make sure to carpool or transit to Hennepin for this trip.
The Lowry is located at 2112 Hennepin Ave. South, Minneapolis. They are open from 6 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday and Tuesday; 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday; and 6 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Sunday.
Other notable new additions to the Twin Cities dining scene include:
Bachelor Farmer, 50 North 2nd Ave., Minneapolis: This not-so-secret hideout in the North Loop has it all: clean and cheery Scandinavian d├ęcor, a swoon-worthy menu with well-made classics such as popovers, meatballs, lingonberries and mashed potatoes; and a downstairs bar- Marvel, run by our very own drinks columnist Pip Hanson- to sneak off to once you’ve stuffed yourself.
Element Wood Fire Pizza, 96 Broadway St. Northeast, Minneapolis: If you’re in the camp that can eat pizza any day, any time, and partial to the wood-fired variety check out this charming, counter-service spot. The newest addition to Northeast offers a menu of specialty pizzas inspired by the four elements, like the Earth pizza, topped with artichokes, salami, garlic and fresh basil.
Grand Szechuan, 187 Cheshire Lane North, Plymouth: Just two years ago, the owner of this new shop in Plymouth broke off from Little Szechuan in St. Paul to start his own restaurant in Bloomington. Bring a few friends to share an order of these top-rated dishes: chung king chili chicken, Szechuan dan dan noodles with ground pork and Szechuan green beans.
Kinsen Noodle Bar, 1300 Lagoon Ave. North: Culinary influences span all of Asia in this new restaurant housed between the Lagoon Cinema and Bar Abilene. The spot boasts a full bar with early and late happy hours, and the cuisine can range from Japanese udon in a fish flake an seaweed broth with your choice of shrimp tempura or grass-fed beef, or the brown curry with yams and all-natural breaded chicken breast.