Esker Grove

4.5
460 reviews
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$31 to $50
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Contemporary American
As a contemporary, casual restaurant, Esker Grove is a favorite destination in Minneapolis for lunch, Saturday and Sunday brunch, and dinner six nights a week. Esker Grove’s menu is thoughtfully designed around the seasons. The light-filled, 94-seat dining room and bar offer dishes created by James Beard–nominated chef Doug Flicker and are inspired by local farmers’ harvests, regional cheese artisans and protein purveyors of the highest quality. The 60-seat patio is surrounded by a grove of honey locust trees and boasts views of both the downtown skyline as well as the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden.
What 460 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.5based on recent ratings
4.5
food
4.5
service
4.5
ambience
4.1
value
Noise · Moderate
94% of people would recommend it to a friend
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TB
Minneapolis
7 reviews
Dined on May 12, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Mother’s Day brunch was wonderful. The Avocado Toast and King Crab Sandwich were both delicious. The atmosphere was bright and lively. We enjoyed it!

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DB
Minneapolis
23 reviews
Dined on May 12, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 4ambience 3

Bustling Mother’s Day at the Walker and same at the restaurant.
Cordial service and great food as always.

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CD
Phoenix
1 review
Dined on May 11, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Excellent food and service. Great for vegetarians. So many delicious unique vegetarian dishes.

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AD
Minneapolis
5 reviews
Dined on May 4, 2019
Overall 3food 4service 2ambience 4

I was expecting better presentation of the food, knowing its history of James Beard nominations. Our service was very spotty and lackluster. For example, our waiter didn't seem to know the menu very well and admitted he didn't work there often, which seemed to be a poor excuse for not being able to offer recommendations and showed a lack of finesse - why not ask another server and come back to us? We had called ahead because it was a special occasion and had asked that a bottle of champagne be presented to our guest of honor. That never happened. It's a beautiful space and the food was good but I was very disappointed in the overall experience they offered.

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CR
1 review
Dined on April 25, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

The server's suggestion to share each dish was a great idea. My guest and I both loved the salad we chose and the skate wings, which neither of us had ever had. The artichoke dish was ok but wouldn't order it again.

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LM
Minneapolis
8 reviews
Dined on April 21, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 4

We love this neighborhood restaurant. The quality and preparation of the food is excellent. Great views of the sculpture garden as well. Our only concern is the noise level...it's difficult to have a conversation at times. I don't know how this could be rectified but it would improve our dining experience. However, we will continue to dine at this outstanding restaurant....

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m
Minneapolis
11 reviews
Dined on April 20, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

We had a lovely dinner because it is a great space, the noise level is civilized and the tables are spread far enough apart. I had the lamb and loved it. I think everyone at our table was happy with their entrees. My only quibble is that the kohlrabi salad was so over-salted that it was almost inedible. I should have sent it back but I rarely do that in restaurants and feel self-conscious about sending something back after taking a few bites. Anyway, I hope that was an accident but I do notice a lot of over-salting in restaurants. I should note that I am not on a low-salt diet and I love salty stuff but there is such a thing as too much.

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s
Minneapolis
126 reviews
Dined on April 14, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Enjoyed lunch before touring the galleries. We each had the toasts - one avocado & crab, the other the salmon. Delicious!

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s
Minneapolis
17 reviews
Dined on April 14, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great service! Beautiful views and great food!

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S
Minneapolis
18 reviews
Dined on April 13, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Spring has arrived and Esker Grove is a wonderful place to take in the sunshine with their giant windows facing the garden. They have also made some menu changes for the new season and they were outstanding. We stopped in and ate at the bar and enjoyed the roasted asparagus with crayfish and little lemon sections. It was delicious as was the eggplant side. Can't ever go wrong with the fennel and blue cheese salad. Sweet and salty and crunchy!
We had such a good meal that I returned the next day for brunch. First time with the brunch menu and it didn't disappoint. We sampled veggie hash with poached egg and the avocado toast with crab. Both were spectacular
and hearty in size and substance. Gem in the city!

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OT
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on April 13, 2019
Overall 3food 2service 4ambience 3

Two of the 5 items we ordered were really undercooked (artichoke, pasta) and the rest were just ok. Nothing special to warrant this price point. I was hoping it would be good because the location is great.

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K
1 review
Dined on April 13, 2019
Overall 1food 1service 1ambience 2

Our server was sullen, the popover was hard and cold, the skate was tasteless and served in broth - weird!, the scallops were so-so, the chairs were cafeteria style plastic with nowhere to hang a purse. What's there to like??

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DC
1 review
Dined on April 10, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 5ambience 4

The view was very nice because of the snowfall. The prices were reasonable because it was happy hour. The service was excellent because that is what is expected. The food left a lot to be desired - grilled asparagus that was served charred black on one side; meatballs were dense and tasteless; kohlrabi salad was fresh but tasted like nothing. I probably will not return.

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Y
Minneapolis
5 reviews
Dined on April 3, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Dined prior to attending a lecture at the Walker

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OT
New York Area
6 reviews
Dined on March 30, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The Walker Center is beautiful and the modern and airy space of Esker Grove lets that all in, great views of the sculpture garden. The service was familiar and friendly, and overall a really great experience. The food was all delicious, my table got the hominy (omg so good), avocado toast, chicken sandwich (I did not personally try but heard only good things), and popovers. Everything was amazing, good wine selection and cocktails too. Highly recommend for lunch after the museum or just a regular brunch.

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OT
New York Area
1 review
Dined on March 30, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The food was amazing. So fresh with outstanding flavor.

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OT
Austin
7 reviews
Dined on March 28, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Attentive service, inspired food. The duck breast was cooked perfectly, and the basil panna cotta is sublime.

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PC
Minneapolis
1 review
Dined on March 24, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Esker Grove is one of my favorite places for weekend brunch.

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S
Minneapolis
1 review
Dined on March 23, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 4ambience 4

It's the perfect restaurant to go to before a show at the Walker. The food has been consistently great! The ambience is good and not noisy. Plus the large windows are super for looking out at the sculpture garden! super waitress.

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M
Minneapolis
15 reviews
Dined on March 22, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

I would like to see more selection, especially entrees. I come here and often find only 1 or no entrees I want. Soup and salads here are great! Service also great!

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LF
Los Angeles
3 reviews
Dined on March 17, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Third time I’ve been. Continue to be pleased and must satisfied. Excellent menu.

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j
Minneapolis
12 reviews
Dined on March 16, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Fabulous food and ambiance

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OC
Minneapolis
4 reviews
Dined on March 8, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I’ve been dining at EG for a while. It’s a fantastic experience, brunch, lunch or dinner. Variety and creativity are some of the keywords. Wine list is well crafted without being overwhelming. Service is stellar. I will keep coming back, it’s probably one of the best fine dining spots in the Cities.

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VP
Minneapolis
1 review
Dined on March 7, 2019
Overall 2food 2service 1ambience 5

We usually love the food at E.G. but it was very spotty. Duck and arincini were poor. Service was slow and needed to ask for silver ware plates and wine.

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BM
Minneapolis
2 reviews
Dined on March 7, 2019
Overall 1food 3service 2ambience 4

The service was very slow, the food mediocre and the restaurant ran out of bread. Not a good value.

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NP
Minneapolis
11 reviews
Dined on March 5, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 2ambience 4

Had a lovely lunch here one day last summer, and friends had a nice brunch recently, but last Tuesday night was less than satisfying. We were a pre-theater party of six, which we told our host and our server, but we ended up rushing through our meal. We were told that the restaurant hadn't expected such a large crowd on a Tuesday night, but others who came after us were served first and left before we did. Only half the salads arrived, and after 30 minutes - and we had to remind our server that we expected three more. The entrees came more than an hour after we sat down and we had barely 10 minutes to eat them and settle the bill. My escarole salad was unevenly cooked and a the sauce a bit oily, rather than creamy; the arancini were dull, with not enough sauce; my companion's scallops were too charry, as was the toast for the duck mousse, which was a bit too boozy. I think we will not have dinner here again, and certainly not before a play, though we will undoubtedly try lunch or brunch again come summer.

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S
Minneapolis
19 reviews
Dined on March 2, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We love dining at Esker Grove. It's so easy to park and in the Minnesota winters - especially nice to not have to walk outside. Atmosphere is peaceful and attractive. Large glass windows look out onto the Sculpture Garden. The bar is very pretty with a nice array of cocktails and wine choices. The servers are well informed and efficient. I love the parsnip soup so it's hard for me to order anything else. I did try a new salad which was really interesting- kohlrabi and gouda cheese in a delicious dressing. The endive and walnut salad is a perennial favorite along with the Esker Salad of mixed greens. My dining partner enjoyed the special which was a huge pork chop with Brussels sprouts. It was cooked perfectly and he loved it. Had leftovers for lunch the next day.
We make it in to dine at least once a month at this excellent restaurant! Have tried most of the items on the menu and are never disappointed. It's a great lunch place as well.

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JS
1 review
Dined on March 1, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The servers were friendly and knowledgeable about the food and drinks. The food was really good and the portions were appropriately sized. The feel of the restaurant is cozy, you can visit with your friends without being drowned out by the sound of other diners! Yet you feel the energy of the space too.

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AK
Minneapolis
1 review
Dined on February 28, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great service, food, atmosphere. Enjoyed it very much.

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D
Minneapolis
28 reviews
Dined on February 23, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We have been to Esker Grove twice now and loved it both times. Full bar with interesting drinks and great wine and beer varieties. The food was interesting and tasty and presented very beautifully. Lots of really interesting small plates to share. The server was really great too. We will be back!

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T
Minneapolis
8 reviews
Dined on February 23, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

Very good value. Creative food good quality ingredients. Very knowledgeable server

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JS
Minneapolis
5 reviews
Dined on February 22, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

A little inconsistent with service and pretty small drinks for the price, but overall a good experience. Interesting menu. Good choices. A little under-seasoned.

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AT
Minneapolis
1 review
Dined on February 22, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Loved the skate entree and endive/blue/farro salad, service was outstanding and made me feel like I was hanging out in a cool place, ambiance/design of the place and tables (we sat right by the windows and the bar in the corner) were outstanding. We had a great time and will be back!

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v
Minneapolis
1 review
Dined on February 21, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Very good selection for vegetarians. Very creative menu/ GREAT cocktails.

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D
Minneapolis
33 reviews
Dined on February 19, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Wonderful place. Went there on restaurant week and was not disappointed. Everything we had was great. Since it’s a limited menu, I ended up getting the chicken which doesn’t usually appeal to me. It was delicious. Very glad I got it. The chocolate/peanut butter ice cream dessert is a must-have.

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SJ
Minneapolis
28 reviews
Dined on February 19, 2019
Overall 4food 3service 4ambience 4

Food was very good. Beautiful space. Liked, but did not love the kohlrabi appetizer. The skate and chicken entrees were delicious as were the desserts.

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OT
1 review
Dined on February 15, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

Very trendy atmosphere with incredible food and knowledgeable staff! Would definitely recommend if you’re looking to try something different!

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m
Minneapolis
21 reviews
Dined on February 15, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

A little dark and loud but great overall. Superb service and fabulous, unique food offerings. Loved the cocoa forward, blood orange special dessert.

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OT
2 reviews
Dined on February 14, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 3ambience 5

Food was good. Drinks took too long, we were done with dinner by the time our second order came. Ambiance was great.

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OB
Minneapolis
1 review
Dined on February 14, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 3

It was an event night, and some of the seating was obviously added temporarily, so we got a hella wobbly table. Other than that it is a kickass place, good people, good food, good cocktails. it was valentines day, so we got seated at the edge, by the window, on crappy furniture, but that was the only thing i could find to complain about. Check this place out.

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