Category Archives: Restaurant Review

Featured Food | Drink Restaurant Review

Restaurant Review: Bin Wine Bar

The view towards Mears Park in Bin Wine Bar | Photo via
The view towards Mears Park in Bin Wine Bar | Photo via

Saint Paul, Minnesota: Bin Wine Bar is in a great spot, nicely decorated, comfortably furnished and serves exquisitely delicious morsels of food that complement an intriguing wine list.

Set on the northwest corner of Mears Park, Bin is perfectly situated in the heart of a resurgent section of downtown, an area that has sprung to life over just the last few years.  The room is perched on Sibley Street and offers a relaxing setting with pillowed benches, decent space between tables, and a noise level that makes it easy to have conversation with your friends. read more »

Featured Food | Drink Restaurant Review

Restaurant Review: The Happy Gnome

The patio at the Happy Gnome
The patio at the Happy Gnome

Saint Paul, MN: The LSW and and I were driving through one of our old neighborhoods on a recent weekend in that happy quadrant that encompasses the University Club, WA Frost, Whole Foods and F Scott’s old townhouse on Summit.


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Food | Drink Restaurant Review

Restaurant Review: Pier 500

To celebrate the end of the school year and because we were feeling a bit restless, I took the brood to have dinner at Pier 500.

The restaurant is in a great spot.  Situated on the riverfront in downtown Hudson, WI, it has a large terrace overlooking the St Croix which throws off the same vibe as the deck of Lord Fletcher’s: great views of the river, near the Marina, and just the perfect spot to refresh yourself after a day of sailing.

The weather was cool and threatening rain so we ate at one of the tables off the bar.  The dining room and bar is a big, open space with an open kitchen. The restaurant was full without being crowded and everything had the nice hum of people relaxing at the end of a good week.

The food was good but not fabulous.  The Caesar salads were crisp and fresh but fairly standard. The chopped onion and tomato salad was flavorful and not overdressed.

The LSW raved about the Walleye cakes, which must have been good since I had no chance of trying any.  The kids split an order of ribs which were tender, flavorful and you could still taste the meat through the marinade. My choice of the Ahi Tuna and the Brie Cheese Curds was a good indicator of my restless mood.  Both were fabulous – just not when eaten together.

The service was attentive and the wine list showed a great range of choices.