750 S. Second St.
Minneapolis Minnesota 55401United States
Spoonriver is so committed to organic, local cuisine, but bold flavors get left behind.
Spoonriver is located in Mill District of downtown Minneapolis, immediately next door to the Guthrie Theater. The restaurant is small and reservations are recommended; however, walk-ins will be seated if space is available. The menu is simple with special emphasis on local, sustainable food. Expect to see phrases like "Schultz Farm Chicken Sausage" in the rigatoni pasta, "Minnesota Farmed Lamb" in the Spoon burger and "Sliced Free Range Chicken" in the chicken udon salad. Unfortunately, the food seems so focused on sustainable sources that flavor to get lost in the shuffle. The quesadilla appetizer with chicken, squash and cheddar seems dull, in need of a bright bite of lime and cilantro. The sauce of the tofu green curry seemed thin, needing a bigger hit of heat and coconut flavor. Overall, the food is fine, if not fabulous. Aside from the owner Brenda Langdon, the staff can come off as lukewarm, even snobby. Spoonriver is a natural place to stop for a drink or a meal after seeing a play at the Guthrie Theater next door, and you can hold your head a little higher knowing that you supported local farmers in the process of dining. However, as admirable as Brenda's determination to bring local, sustainable food to the masses may be, the truly great flavors and excellent service, the hallmarks of a great restaurant, are missing.