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  • Sanctuary

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  • Address:
    903 Washington Ave South
    Suite 150
    Minneapolis, MN 55415
    Downtown/North Loop
  • Cuisine:
    Contemporary American
    Price: $31 to $50

Sanctuary Details

  • Dining Style: Casual Elegant
  • Website: http://www.sanctuaryminneapolis.com
  • Email: sanctuary07@sanctuaryminneapolis.com
  • Phone: (612) 339-5058
  • Hours of Operation: Bar: 4:00 p.m. to 1:00 a.m. (may close earlier if slow)
    Dinner: Monday through Thursday: 5:00pm - 10:00pm, Friday & Saturday: 5:00pm - 11:00pm
  • Payment Options: AMEX, Diners Club, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
  • Cuisine: Contemporary American, French American, Global, International
  • Executive Chef: Patrick Atanalian
  • Dress Code: Smart Casual
  • Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
  • Additional Details: Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Cafe, Fireplace, Full Bar, Gluten-free Menu, Late Night, Non-Smoking Restaurant, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Personal wines welcome, Personal wines welcome (corkage fee applies), View, Wheelchair Access, Wine
  • Private Party Facilities: This is a small restaurant without separate rooms. A private party must reserve the entire restaurant facility.
  • Private Party Contact: Michael Kutscheid (612) 339-5058
  • Entertainment: Sexy underground European music plays softly in the background.
  • Special Events & Promotions: Monday - Thursday - Chef serves an exquisite, adventurous 5-Course Tasting Menu for only $35. A paired flight of four 1/2 glasses of wine with the Tasting Menu is only $14. Cocktail pairings to go with the tasting menu are $16. Fri. & Sat. Chef serves a Feature dish of fresh, seasonal food. The Bar has a special seasonal cocktails.

Getting there

  • Cross Street: Chicago Avenue
  • Public Transit: Washington Avenue buses run in front of Sanctuary. Light rail and other buses stop near the Dome - less than a block South of (behind) Sanctuary.
  • Parking: Private Lot
  • Parking Details: Private lots flank the 903 building on both sides and are $4 for the evening. A public lot directly behind the building is $3 on non-Dome-event nights. The Guthrie Ramp is between the restaurant and the theater - directly across Washington Ave.
A word from Sanctuary
Sanctuary, with its chandeliers and vaguely gothic ambiance - protected by gargoyles like the sanctuaries of Europe - is elegant, yet comfortable. It is meant to be a haven where food, service and music please the senses. A fireplace warms cold nights - a patio with flowers and herbs celebrates summer. With thick limestone, rough timbers and ceiling beams dating back to the 1860's, it reminds you of that small romantic place you'd love to visit again.

Sanctuary serves New American Cuisine, deftly combining immigrant influences from the Mediterranean to Japan into dishes that are delicious, amazing and satisfying. The menu stays enticing with weekday Tasting Menus, special creations Fri./Sat. and menu changes every other month. The StarTribune said, “[I] loved the well-paired wines, the genial service, the cozy surroundings and the kitchen's finesse."

Located one block from the Guthrie, it is the perfect place for dinner before or after a show.
Foodspotting photos
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Awards voted by OpenTable diners
  • Diners' Choice WinnerBest Ambiance
  • Diners' Choice WinnerBest Service
  • Diners' Choice WinnerContemporary American
Diner Reviews
  • "The appetizers were creative and very good. The barramundi fish was bland; the tuna was tasteless. Very disappointing. The ambience and staff were both excellent. "
    Dined on 4/19/2014
  • "Greated by name. Very good service. Small menu. My lamb was excellent. Wife's chicken was tough. Chef is french trained but tries to put interesting combinations together and sometimes it's a hit and other times misses the mark. Enjoyed the evening. "
    Dined on 4/17/2014
  • "After my first visit, I now have a new "favorite" restaurant!"
    Dined on 4/17/2014
  • "2nd time to sanctuary...first time for the tasting menu...absolutely wonderful!!! Best restaurant in the twin cities in all categories...food, service, ambiance...etc."
    Dined on 4/10/2014
  • "We love this place! Visit for dinner & drinks or desert & coffee after the Theater. The staff is always attentive without being annoying and they are very friendly. They actually all seem to love the food, drink specials and their jobs. The menu is adventurous without being strange and even if you aren't up for trying something new, there are a lot of great main dishes you've never tasted quite like they do it here. Yum! I hope you enjoy it as much as we do...every time we go!"
    Dined on 4/11/2014
  • "Interesting dishes that tend to be more subtle. Very good value on the wine menu. Took excellent care of us on our anniversary."
    Dined on 4/12/2014
  • "We took a friend from out of town to the restaurant. Everything we ordered was very good with the exception of the lamb entree. My wife told me that it was too bony, which is surprising for me to hear. Stephan"
    Dined on 4/10/2014
  • "I suspect this place is better than we experienced. We had a terrific waitress who was highly attentive to our timing. However the food prep could have been better, and I suspect the kitchen rushed it so we could get to the Guthrie on time. In short, the steak was rare when it should have been medium; the cauliflower soup didn't really have any cauliflower, the wine was a bit too warm."
    Dined on 4/5/2014
  • "Loved it! The bruschetta was small, but the waitress was very welcoming! Loved the host as well, very good main meal, small desserts though"
    Dined on 4/4/2014
  • "We loved the food, atmosphere, and coziness of this gem of a restaurant. Food is made and presented thoughtfully and elegantly. We will definitely return!"
    Dined on 4/4/2014
  • "They change their menu every 60 days, and their tasting menu more often than that. The chef's French/Mediteranean/Japanese background is my ultimate 3 favorite plates meshed into one. Things like miso caesar salad (sounds fishy, tastes WONDERFUL) and the halibut (crunchy on the outside, flaky and fresh on the inside. Every dish had layers and brightness and flavors galore. Plating was excellent, but not overly artistic. The restaurant itself is decked out. They have a bunch of two person booths on the side of the bar. Awesome people watching and fairly romantic. Went on a weeknight and would have been a great, yet expensive first date place. If doing the tasting menu, allow time, as the 5 courses for $35 took us 2+ hrs!"
    Dined on 4/2/2014
  • "The restaurant was great dont get me wrong it was just a little too pinky up. Our grouo was going for a more low key environment. The tasting menu sounded great until the waitress got to the word tongue. We ended our stay after appetizers all of us wanted it to work but it really wasn't our place."
    Dined on 4/1/2014
  • "What a perfect pre-theater spot and a short walk to the Guthrie. Service caters to the timing for a pre-show meal. Outstanding food. Exceptional flavors, combinations and topnotch creative presentation. Moderate wine prices with god selection. Couldn't have been more pleased."
    Dined on 3/22/2014
  • "Went there late at night, after a play at the Guthrie. Service was very good, very friendly and attentive. Food was innovative and very good. We will be back."
    Dined on 3/22/2014
  • "My wife and I went to Sanctuary as part of a romantic night away from the kids. It was wonderful on ever dimension. We immediately felt warmed and welcomed by the friendly matre 'd and the decor of their half-basement location, rich with ancient beamed walls and ceiling, old brick, world-themed artwork and soft lighting. Our table-for-two featured wide, comfortable seats that felt like mini-booths. Our server was charming, attentive and enthusiastic and knowledgeable about the food. The food itself exceeded our expectations. The chef, Patrick Atanalian, originally from Marseille, creates poetic, sometimes whimsical Asian-influenced dishes with a solid French foundation. The house cocktails were delicious as well. We'll be back!!"
    Dined on 3/22/2014
  • "My husband and I had dinner at Sanctuary prior to attending an event at Orchestra Hall. We had reservations at 6 p.m., but arrived a bit early. The host took my coat and was happy to seat us. He also inquired about our plans in order to time our dinner properly. Our waiter Victor was attentive and friendly. We enjoyed a Hemingway cocktail - a lovely combination of limoncello and absinthe - and were briefed on how to enjoy the artichoke tart by another waiter with an endearing French accent. Dinner timed well. I would recommend Sanctuary for a lovely cocktail, for dessert or a romantic dinner for two. The prices are on the higher side, and parking nearby is $4, so keep that in mind when planning your visit. I plan to go again with friends!"
    Dined on 3/21/2014
  • "We went to Sanctuary before the Guthrie, just a two block walk from the restaurant. As always, it was difficult to choose between the tasting menu and the printed menu, so we did one of each. Everything was fabulous, interesting, and delicious. Also lovely to be able to converse with my dinner companion without shouting--unlike many restaurants, Sanctuary's not designed to generate high noise levels. Great bar with interesting cocktails, excellent wine list, intimate atmosphere. And moderately priced in comparison to restaurants in its league. Actually, Sanctuary's moderately priced even compared to much more casual restaurants. Really a great place to dine."
    Dined on 3/19/2014
  • "Fantastic meal before heading over to the Guthrie... Our return visit included cocktails, baby kale salad, wine, lamb and halibut entrees and tres leche cake which were all wonderful. Thanks to our server Geneva for being attentive, not making us feel rushed and getting us out the door on time!"
    Dined on 3/21/2014
  • "Love this fantastic little gem of a restaurant. From the first time you step through the door 'til you're taking your exit, the dining experience is sure to surprise and please. Smiling faces from all the staff and the feeling that you've been friends with them for decades. The food is exceptional - don't pass up the opportunity to have one of Dan's outstanding Manhattans - best in town."
    Dined on 3/20/2014
  • "This used to be our favorite pre-Guthrie dining option. They've been in something of a rut the past year or so, as chef Patrick recovered from an accident, but our dinner the other night was as good as it gets. Highly recommended."
    Dined on 3/19/2014
  • "First visit - such a nice greeting when we arrived. The server was wonderful - pleasant and informative aboout everything!! Started with octopus tacos that were delicious- tried the bone marrow which was very good. Salad and soup were wonderful. Entries - Duck with waffles, great presentation and flavors, but the duck was tough - same with the steak. Those with the pork and the fish were very happy! Will definately be back - loved the size and the perfect service!"
    Dined on 3/15/2014
  • "So I wanted to take out my best friend who recently became my girlfriend on a date that signified how special our relationship was, and Sanctuary was just the place for the occasion. The service was excellent, the wine flight was paired great with our food, and the duck was cooked to perfection (she said it was better than what she had in Paris a week or so ago). We both left feeling very happy, not stuffed, and it set us up for the rest of our evening. A great place to take that special someone in your life, and all for a quite reasonable price!"
    Dined on 3/11/2014
  • "Unexpected delight. Great chef and reasonably priced. Everyone in the party was thrilled."
    Dined on 3/14/2014
  • "We've been to the Sanctuary several time and continue to be delighted by they creative offerings...not just a spot for pre-Guthrie dining...a must-try for all!"
    Dined on 3/14/2014
  • "We had been to Sanctuary once before and found it a beautiful romantic restaurant with a great location for the Guthrie Theater and really creatively prepared food. This time around most of the things were still there, but we ended up finding the food really expensive for the very small portions (except for my wife's baby kale salad and soup). The entre was very, petite, shall we say., and quite expensive for basically pulled pork over a small serving of rather pedestrian mashed potatoes. It had all been described as having a number of exotic ingredients, but the meal ended up being a bad value for rather mediocre, though beautifully described, food. I don't think we will visit again."
    Dined on 3/13/2014
  • "Sanctuary is our go-to Mill District food spot. The menu is always a draw and the food that comes off it rarely disappoints. The waitstaff does a good job of being attentive without intruding. We keep coming back because eating there makes us feel good about having chosen to go there."
    Dined on 3/7/2014
  • "I came into Sanctuary with high expectations as I have had a few friends rave about it. Each dish was so creative and fun I wanted to order them all! Unfortunately, the flavor platte wasn't was out of this world as the presentations would suggestion but still very good. I would overall recommend. PS: Service was outstanding!"
    Dined on 3/8/2014
  • "The Service was prompt and polite. The food was outstanding. The wine list had abundant choices. The atmosphere was pleasant."
    Dined on 3/8/2014
  • "Chef Patrick is amazing! The staff was VERY friendly and accommodating! Look forward to our next visit"
    Dined on 3/7/2014
  • "My husband & I went with another couple. We all thought the food was nothing special. My friend could not even eat the Lobster Pho dish. She said the "broth" tasted like bath water. We like great, interesting food and will try most anything, so this was a disappointment. We will not be back."
    Dined on 2/28/2014
  • "A lovely evening. The food was some of the most nuanced & well done that I have had in over 20 years dining in Mpls. I ordered the tasting menu and my spouse had the steak. Both meals were aesthetically pleasing, & carefully balanced in terms of flavor and presentation. The chef is a treasure! My scallop was buttery, cooked to perfection & accompanied by the best imaginable combination of roe & citrus garnish to set off the flavor. Service was exquisite. Our server was knowledgeable & helpful. The manager was affable & welcoming. The decor is cute, a combination of gothic gargoyle chic and Salvador Dali. Prices were reasonable given the quality of the food and they were understanding about dietary restrictions. What more could one want?"
    Dined on 3/4/2014
  • "This restaurant was recommended by a friend. It was delicious & I will definitely return! Presentation was great ."
    Dined on 3/3/2014
  • "We were very surprised with the quality of food as the restaurant had great reviews. The service was slow to start but it picked up. The food was below average. We ordered the bone marrow dish where the marrow was cold and resembled eating cold butter but slightly harder. I have eaten the dish numerous times but not "cold" . Despite our complaint, the waitress insisted that this was the chef's recipe, which was strange as the other bone had completely soft melted marrow, the way it should be. Although, I must thank them as they gave a complimentary bread pudding as we were celebrating my husband's birthday."
    Dined on 3/1/2014
  • "Never had been here before and decided to have dinner there on a Saturday night. I was skeptical because it was easy to get a last minute reservation. Their menu is small but that us usually a good thing. We had hot red wine, bone marrow, lobster pho and steak. Everything was to die for! Our server was also very friendly and passionate about the restaurant."
    Dined on 2/8/2014
  • "I had very high hopes for this restaurant. When I got there, I thought the space was beautiful and the staff was wonderful. That is the extent of what I appreciated about this restaurant. We went there for restaurant week. Course one. Quisedilla with goat cheese (good) and tomato soup (think byerleys deli quality). I had the vegetarian option for my entree which was devoid of all taste. Seriously. Finally, dessert....honestly I don't remember (and I love dessert)...some sort of choc dish w raspberry sauce. I remember liking the sauce but everything else tasted like...absolutely nothing. I finished my meal and felt like I had barely eaten (and I am not a big eater). The worst part was the bill. Do not drink at this place...prices are insane."
    Dined on 2/28/2014
  • "My girlfriend and I went here for a romantic dinner. The setting is so lovely, dark wood, nice lighting and very quaint. We started off at the bar for a martini while we waited for our table (we were early for our reservation). Christopher was our bartender. He was very attentive and made a mean Manhattan :) We got our table and Christopher remained as our server. We chose several small plates instead of full dinner entrees. The octopus tacos were divine! We ended up having a 3 1/2 hour dinner. We can't wait to go back."
    Dined on 2/27/2014
  • "It's restaurant week and it's time to try new places and new foods. I had never been to Sanctuary and neither had my friends. Table for 9 and set 3 course meal and we were set. Food was amazing (loved the truffle tomato soup and the scallops were prepared perfectly), the service was just as good. Thanks to Michael for treating us well! Look forward to my next visit."
    Dined on 2/27/2014
  • "Blissful. Cozy, friendly, intimate. Needing 24 more characters is redundant."
    Dined on 2/26/2014
  • "We were over 45min late getting seated. very disappointing. Host bought us a round of drinks. Service was adequate. The bone in strip that i got came out well done on a Med Rare request and it was tough. I had to send it back and the second one that came out was almost done correctly but it was tougher than select beef found in a grocery store markdown section. Very disappointeing. The rest of the food and wine was delcicious. I have been frequenting this place for the past 5 years and go there 2-5 times a year as it has always been one of my favorite spots. I know this was just a one time incident and I will most definately go back as i think it was just a bad night and not characteristic of any of my past experiences."
    Dined on 2/26/2014
  • "Very enjoyable place. The food was excellent. Service was great and not for one moment did we feel rushed."
    Dined on 2/26/2014