St. Paul >Fhima's
Closed. The restaurant and lounge is closed and out of business. I will continue to type to make sure I use my minimum of 100 characters
Oops, closed.. Unfortunately, Fhima's is no longer open, so if you are looking for a bite in downtown Saint Paul, you'll be best off looking somewhere else. If you are interested in a menu from David Fhima, he is still the head chef at LoTo last time I checked, which is in lowertown St. P in the bottom of Galtier Plaza.
New Menu, Still Great Food. I've been to this restaurant a couple of times since it opened and was definately concerned this last year with all the bad media coverage Fhima's recieved as it has been one of my favorites...So, I stopped by for the first time in a while last Saturday and was pleasently surprised to see it fairly busy despite the bitter cold. My friend and I started with a drink at the bar, unsure if we were going to stay for dinner. We ordered two of their signature infused Martini - the Fantini - which is always good and chatted for a bit. While we were chatting the bartender mentioned that they had just made a change to their menu and offered to show us. We took a look and were interested in some of the new items so we decided to stay for dinner, The bartender arranged for a nice table by the window - a nice touch and we sat down to get started with our meal. On our servers reccomendation (she took us through the menu even though we had been there before but since it there were a number of new items we didn't mind) we started with the Wedge Salad (me) and a bowl of the Harira (my friend). The wedge sald was excellent with a nice combination of blue cheese and candied walnuts - definately my kind of thing. My friend thought the Harira was a little different from the soups he usually liked but found in interesting and I tasted abit and really liked the spices in it. For the main course I tried the new duck and my friend went with the Pesto Halibut. Now it was time for wine and unfortunately the list was a little thin - the server told me that they are changing the list - but we found a decent red at a good price that went well with our dinners. I loved the duck! Really cool presentation with a halved duck breast in some sort of plum sauce and a layered phyllo and duck pastry on the side. My Friend also enjoyed the Halibut - only complaint is that the menu is now ala carte and he missed the potatoes from the old halibut! Oh well! Glad to see Fhima's doing well again.
Good food, appealing ambience, and indifferent service.
A group of five of us dined here Friday 5 January. The entrees (bouillabaise, seafood risotto, chicken rigatoni, lamb tagine) were fine, although two other items overshadowed them: the addictive pita-like bread and a chicken leg appetizer (don't recall the name), both reaching the excellent category. A spinach salad was very good, with a dressing that I couldn't identify (or remember), but which I wish I could duplicate at home.
The ambience was quite nice, with a "hard" metal and glass decor, and an open kitchen for those seated at the back of the restaurant. Tables were nicely spaced, and decibel levels were at an acceptable level in spite of the hard surfaces.
There were some negatives, though: Our server, a blonde woman, was not exactly unfriendly, but she was certainly not friendly. Perhaps she was having a bad day - divorce, eviction, a death-sentence disease prognosis, upset about Bush's "troop surge" in Iraq, etc. I'm not sure a smile was detected during the entire meal. No small talk at all. Others said she wasn't particularly attentive, either, although I didn't notice that. I see other reviewers have criticized the service here, so notwithstanding the non-scientific, non-random survey aspect of such reviews, it seems to me there may be a persistent service problem at this restaurant.
Back to the food: A first course/appetizer of bay scallop seviche was tasty but overpriced at $12. The lamb in my tagine was very good but with too much fat and connective tissue. These aren't major criticisms; we don't expect every restaurant offering to be perfect.
Overall, very good food - but many other restaurants in the Twin Cities have very good food, too. In other words, it wasn't so good that we'll make Fhima's a regular stop.
And, admittedly, this was only one person, but the risk of getting the same server again is a disincentive to our return.
Not a bad place to stop. Stopped in here just for drinks before meeting friends at a different place. We sat at the bar. The bartender did make some great drinks but the service was slow. Apparently they had a DJ coming in too, because he was setting up while we were drinking. The place still has it's ambience and some of the trendy crowd still seems to be there, but it's lost some of it's lustre. I don't know that this can be attributed just to Fhima's though. For a while there St. Paul was the scene when all the places clustered around Lawson were new. They drew some of the Minneapolis crowd away and some of the 9 to 5'ers stuck around to check out the new places, but I think on the whole for the trendy scene St. Paul is played out. It seems with the new bars and clubs opening, once again Minneapolis is the late night destination.
So dissappointed. My husband and I both had our first experience at Fhima's this past Saturday for my birthday dinner. I was incredibly dissappointed with the service and the food. There was no hostess whenw e arrived so, after standing at the front for a minute or two, our actual waiter seated us. Our waiter, similar to the last review, came back 10-15 minutes after we ordered and asked us to repeat our order (we had no special requests so it should not have been confusing). They did not have the bottle of wine we ordered which was fine I guess - they brought us a decent substitute. The service was slow considering there were only 5 other tables occupied in the entire place (at 7:30 p.m.) And the food was mediocre - my husband's chicken and couscous dish and my seafood stew left something to be desired. At a different pricepoint the service and food may have been acceptable but for a dinner over $100 we would definitely take my business elsewhere.
Disappointing Anniversary. The only person who was polite to us was the Host. Our server was beyond rude. 30 minutes after we had order our entrees he came up to the table and asked what we had ordered. We repeated our orders and then he told me that they were out of the Salmon Wellington, which I had ordered. "What else do you want? I can get it out very quick, I'll put it on the fly." It seems to me that "very quick" would have been telling me that they were out of my dish before the half hour mark. He brought me a menu and left. 5 minutes later he returned and said that they actually did have the Salmon Wellington. 20 minutes after this, with empty wine glasses and our server nowhere to be found, our food finally comes out. I found it very odd that food orders that take almost an hour could be undercooked. I would have understood if they had been busy, but it was a Tuesday night at 8:00 p.m., there were 4 other tables in the restaurant. The worst part was that no one seemed to even care that this had happened. We weren't even offered so much as an apology from anyone in the restaurant. I was very disappointed with the food and the service and I will never go back.
Fhima's back. I have to admit that the last two times I visited Fhima's I found it to be stale and old,I gave it a try on Sat night ,it was amazing to see Mr Fhima in the kitchen work his magic the food was great ,service could have been better but the original feel of this St Paul gem is definetly back.
What the hell happened?!?. First, a confession: I was once a habitue of this pretty little downtown gem. My husband and I took many out-of-town guests here to enjoy the fab decor, the outstanding wine list, and the delicious Moroccan-French cuisine. However, we hadn't made it back for a few years until last night... and, simply stated, the entire experience was cringe inducing. Clearly, the spark has been snuffed out. Due either to owner David Fhima's monetary problems or an achingly bad attempt to satisfy the palates of the lowest of all possible common denominators, the menu was tired, hackneyed, and about ten years past its prime. The wine room -- once so beautiful and awe-inspiring -- was decimated and desolate. And don't get me started on the service, particularly in light of its past glory of attentive and sophisticated staff. My heart breaks for what this once was, what it truly tried to become, and the dismal place into which it evolved.
This downtown St. Paul eatery offers slick digs for the swank and adventurous..
It's for the see-and-be-seen of not only St. Paul, but all of the Cities. A few low tables and mini-bars are scattered around for lounging; a wall of wine bottles surrounds one table; a booth is strewn with swanky red and burgundy pillows. Chef David Fhima is known for strong French, Mediterranean and Moroccan flavors. Items include Greek nachos with pepperoncini, olives and feta and a crisp pizza balancing salty Gorgonzola with sweet red onions.
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