Generally good.... Definitely glad it's here. The have a nice wine list and the food is good. Sometimes the specials tend to be be redundant (e.g. two seafood specials at the same time) and it can be noisy when they have music. I prefer it much more for lunch than dinner which seems to be a better dollar value.
I have a tendency to write a review when something was bad, but this experience was new and fun and I think Ingredients is DEFINITELY worth your time :)
We went to Ingredients Cafe on recommendation from friends. Our group of five gathers about once per month to try "new to us" restaurants around the cities. My friends from White Bear are frequent guests at Ingredients & said we absolutely had to give it a shot. We usually tend to go to the "downtowns" and surrounding areas so I was a bit sketchy about trying a small place in the 'burbs'. I read many great reviews, but also saw one that wasn't so hot; so feeling a bit nervous about going on a weekend eve with live music, we gave it a try...and WOW, are we lucky we did.
The place was packed with a fun bar crowd, a patio crowd and a small wait for a restaurant table. While waiting we were offered a small glass of wine to sip on while waiting and listening to the music, nice touch. Once seated, we had a super server who seemed to know everyone in the restaurant and made us feel part of the crowd. Meal was spectacular! One of my group has diet restrictions and the chef made every effort, and succeeded, in adjusting the meal for his needs. Can't talk enough about the mussels...mmmm!
We decided to stay and listen to the music for a while after we finished the meal and asked if we should move to the bar to do so. The server told us we were totally welcome to stay where we were, and she would come and get us when a bar table was open and clean. Low and behold, ten minutes later, she came and brought us into the bar. We ended up staying until the music ended and the place closed, which we had ZERO expectation of doing.
Obviously we went there on advice from friends, but we will ALL be back, sooner rather than later!
I would not recommend Ingredients. Our party of four went there for dessert, drinks and music. We asked to sit in the bar area because we were not having dinner, but the bar was full so we were seated in the dining room.
We ordered desserts, coffee and a glass of wine. The desserts were good but the service was not. Coffee was not refilled and our server didn?t check back so we could ask for refills. We were prepared to order cocktails while we listened to the music but our server brought us the check without asking if we were finished.
We decided we should then move to one of the open tables in the bar, which seemed reasonable since there was no longer anyone waiting to be seated. After that, we were intentionally ignored.
The table had not been cleared from the previous customers, so we eventually carried the dirty dishes to the bar. No one came to our table to wipe it off or wait on us. There are only a few tables in the bar and the other tables were being attended to just feet from us, but the server would not come to our table. I felt we should leave, but the others wanted to stay and listen to the music.
After almost an hour at the table with no service, my brother-in-law went up to the bar and ordered a couple of drinks. At that point, the drinks were brought out and we were given the excuse that they didn?t see us, which is unlikely because we made eye contact with the server several times. We have never before been treated with such intentional rudeness at a restaurant.
A hidden gem!. Where do I start? This chef driven restaurant is a hidden treasure! It is about time one would run into an establishment that supports fresh, locally grown ingredients! How refreshing to enjoy a farmer's salad with juicy heirloom tomatoe's! The ever changing fish specials are sure to please, my favorite is the Halibut. I am convinced that there is no other restaurant around or near the White Bear Lake area that can compare to Ingredient's..I have never been disappointed in my meal. Not to mention the approachable and affordable wine list which has seemed to be carefully selected for the wine lover like me, I love Malbec! Friendly and casual service adds to this great dining experience! I gaurantee whether you go there to celebrate a special occasion or out for just a bite to eat....your culinary senses will be awakened..and you will go back! Enjoy!
Best neighborhood cafe. I was shocked to find that the Ingredients Cafe did not have any reviews. My wife and I have been going to Ingredients for 3 years plus because of the great food, great service, and the relaxing atmosphere. The two main chefs, Ben and Tony, are extremely creative and take pride in the dishes they serve. Presentation is always great and the experienced wait staff can answer any and all questions that you might have. The bartenders are also constantly trying new and creative concoctions. The 3:00 to 5:00 happy hour is a bit early and should be extended to 6:00. Whether is is for a party or just a night out with a friend or significant other, it is a great place to go. We are happy that it is in our neighborhood but would travel to go their if it wasn't.
awesome food cooked to order!. I have never been disappointed with the food or service. VERY creative and yet VERY accessible to the "average" eater. The staff and chefs are very accomodating to individual needs. Not to mention that Sunday and Monday are half-price bottles of wine nights!! Even the fish and chips aren't "average." VERY YUMMY!! The salads are great. As someone who has lived in North Carolina, considered a major BBQ state, the pulled pork sandwich is AWESOME. The staff is VERY friendly and helpful. A WONDERFUL restaurant in it's own right, but even better considering the location in White Bear Lake!
Better than any downtown restaurant!. We brought our four kids in this afternoon for a late lunch/early Easter dinner. The entire meal was flawless! My husband had the lamb, I had pumpkin seed crusted halibut served on mashed potatoes & asparagus with a tomato caper herbed cream sauce (delicious!), our oldest daughter had seafood minestrone. Turned out to be more like a bouillabaise or cioppino, because it had no noodles, but it had a hint of curry in the broth and was fabulous. The littlest kids had chicken finger meals. The chicken fingers & homemade fries were better than some adult entrees we've had at other restaurants. We topped off our experience with two desserts that we split among the six of us. We had the Chocolate 3 Ways and Banana Cheesecake. To die for! We've eaten at Ingredients numerous times since it changed ownership and have never had a bad meal. I can't believe there's not a line out the door every night of the week. The regular food is fantastic, but when you go on holidays or for one of their wine pairing dinners they have special menus and the food is phenomenal. I can't recommend this restaurant enough. The only down side to this restaurant is the fact that it's in a tiny strip mall. Don't let that deter you. This is one of those great little gems that everyone wishes was in their neighborhood.
A place for foodies in the burbs!. Under new ownership! (2005?) Unlike any other resturant- and the food is WONDERFUL! Leadership in the kitchen include the Head Chef who is a graduate from the widely respected Culinary Institute of America, and the food definatly reflects that. Trendy and friendly - do not miss this! Go for the food and the experience! There is also live music late nights!
An ambitious menu of food to go--or to eat in the minimalist digs..
Couples and friends gather in the spartan dining room, decorated with muted colors and furnished with too-close tables. Patrons wait for their takeout orders on stylish couches or grab a quick meal at the curved bar. This restaurant focuses on fresh ingredients, thus the name, and include fish and chips, lamb shank and red beans and rice. There's also artichoke dip with sun-dried tomatoes and the Jack burger on focaccia.
Ingredients. This is a trendy type place that has good value. Not a warm atmosphere, more functional. We waited at the small bar for a table and were lucky to have a friendly bar tender serve us. All four in our party had a rice bowl. Those who ordered the black bean and the spicy sweet and sour (?) really enjoyed it. Stay away from the curried rice bowl. Curry flavor was weak. I even asked for more curry sauce, which didn't improve things much.
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