130 Warwick St SE, Minneapolis, MN | Directions 5541444.963423 -93.211694
Neighborhoods: University, Prospect Park
The best place in the Twin Cities! – I live in this neighborhood and when I moved here a neighbor recommended that I try this place.
Walking in I didn't know what to think. There is a lot of liberal paraphernalia around--and I'm just not used to seeing things like that in restaurants. But part of me immediately liked the honesty of the gesture.
The food on the menu is simple--I didn't know how to take that either the first time I was there. Nothing on there needs to be "googled" like some places I've been to. However in this case, simple does not mean boring. This food proves that when quality ingredients are cooked well--they are delicious--no fancy gimmicks needed! I was so impressed that I’ve become a “regular.” I’ve met the owners who are always nice (Nathalie doesn’t hang around tables chatting like some of the older reviews I’ve read—so she must have changed.). Most of the time the service is excellent—sometimes it’s a bit spotty (seems to coincide with training someone new), however always pleasant and friendly.
The food is on the pricey side--but I know that the owners buy locally when they can and take great pride in sourcing ingredients that are ethically and humanely farmed, and I'm sure that costs more. Also I'm sure that the cost of running the place is high too.
I come here as often as I can afford. I’ve brought work colleagues and also my parents and my in laws (all hard to please in different ways and all very impressed with this place!) I always request this place for celebrating special events. Try this out—you might question it at first, but once you take a bite you will be won over! The pork short ribs and the bread pudding make for the best measl I've ever had--everytime I have it!
Romantic bistro - outstanding food – I have eaten here many times in the past few years and can truly say each meal has been wonderful, romantic and memorable. Two of these meals were incredibly outstanding and both were fish creations. I had Arctic Char recently with a mustard reduction sauce - out of this world, and another with lemon caper sauce was one of the best meals I have ever had in my life. Want a place that is romantic and feels like a romantic bistro in a European hamlet? Well - this is it! A gem with a great central location that borders St. Paul and Mpls. Go at five and still have time to get to the theatre or symphony. Great wine selection too. And the creme caramel is outstanding. The only thing I really miss is seeing the neighborhood cat who used to visit several times an evening several years back... The owners have always been very gracious whenever I've eaten there.
Great lunch! – The restaurant was a bit difficult to find (thank you GPS) and that probably explains why it was not necessary to have a reservation. The clientele was professional-looking - a mix of people in suits like myself or casual - like they made their money already :) The wine list was very decent and the lunch was delicious.
Great Owners-I've actually met them – I can't believe someone would write a critcal opinion of the owners of a restaurant to which they have not been! I had to write to say I have eaten here several times and have not only found the food delicious but the owners friendly and helpful. I recommend this restaurant to anyone. It is quite small and cosy so if you aren't into that then maybe it won't work for you, but we love it.
bad ownership – I was looking for a good place to eat brunch with my wife. I've heard their advertisement a lot on Air America. But after reading the reviews, I don't think I would want to go. Sometimes the wait staff problems can be fixed. However, it seems like the bad experience there was due to the owner of the restaurant. This makes me really reluctant to visit the restaurant. Until I hear otherwise, I think it would be safe to stay away from this restaurant. There's nothing worse than bad service.
Neighborhood Gem! – Just took my second trip to Signature Cafe for a special occasion. Again, it was just great on a beautiful summer evening. They had a four course dinner option with accompanying wines which were outstanding. The patio is perfect for relaxing. I have thoroughly enjoyed both of my trips here.
Problematic: whiney owner, overpriced, mediocre – In principle this should be a delightful place...in practice it is merely adequate. We went (two couples) and partook of a decent tasting menu and wine flight. It was underwhelming overall from a culinary standpoint. I feel that Signature is resting on its reputation as a "liberal joint" rather than turning out good food.
Mind you, my politics are pretty much the same as the owners, but I don't care to mix politics with food, but the rather bitter, overbearing owner couldn't keep herself from espousing her views to our table, and then proceeded to complain about the political environment in general. Then she proceeded to complain about how tough the restaurant business is (yes, I know!) and carry on at length despite the fact that we kept edging towards the door.
So, I think its a "liberal-trap" (sorta like a tourist trap). It left a bad taste in my mouth psychically and cuisine-wise. The wait staff was dopey and slow, too. Finally, it was really pretty pricey.
I know the owner is unabashed in her views, but I can't help but think she's part of the problem with civil discourse in this country...we would not think it very charming to go to the Rush Limbaugh cafe....so why does Signature get a pass?
I was hoping for more – After hearing so many commercials on Air America radio about this place, I decided to stop by. It was 5:30 on a Friday night, but most of the tables were empty, so I thought they'd be happy to have a customer. They asked me if I had reservations and I told them I didn't; they said they could seat me, but I'd need to give up my table by 7:15. I thought that's a bit odd to start out a customer's experience telling them when they need to leave by; but I wanted to try out the food, so I stayed.
It took forever for my server (who seemed to act like he didn't want me there) to take my wine order. When I finally got my soup- it was so hot I couldn't eat it for 10 minutes (microwaved?). My seared scallops weren't seared, in fact they were basically raw. The flavor was great, but the texture made me gag. I was never asked how my food was. I would've told them- and told them that the triangle thing they gave me was flavorless, along with whatever my scallops were resting on. I couldn't wait to get my bill- which took about 15 minutes to get.
I wanted to try some of the things that show up on their online menu, but those things weren't on their menu in the restaurant. I was really looking for something middle eastern inspired, but nothing.
I love Air America and I want to patron the places that advertise with them, but this place needs serious work from top to bottom for me to go back.
Not good for groups- and don't let the owners know it! – A group of 8 went to the Signature Cafe for dinner. We were told on the phone that we could only order from the group menu, which was fine. Not told of the price of the group menu though!
I have went to this Cafe many times before and had a wonderful experience. This time I was pretty surprised.
Later I wrote the owners a letter telling of my surprise, and that I had always enjoyed the restaurant in the past. I got a response via email that said that noone else has ever complained about this and perhaps my group is better suited to eat at a corporate restaurant. After this experience I will not be back.
Great Food, Friendly service, Great wine list – We have been twice to the Signature. Both times we have been treated like family. (only better because we did not have to do the dishes) Nathalie is a genius in the kitchen, Everything is fresh and flavorful. On the first occasion we had the special pizza for lunch. Organic chicken sausage, spinach and goat cheese. The flavors blended so well every bite was delicious. The second time was for there tasting menu. There were three of us so we were able to try most of the items offered. Each item was cooked perfectly and beautifully presented. The wine selections matched the food very well. It is small so for dinner you will need reservations, but lunch is not so crowded. You have to park on the street, but even when the were very busy we were able to park just across the street.
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