THE HUNGRY LENS: MINNEAPOLIS EDITION - CRAVE
825 HENNEPIN AVE, MINNEAPOLIS, MN
For those of you who don’t know, I am originally from Minneapolis. I moved to Atlanta about six years ago for college. This summer I went back home for two weeks to spend some much needed family and friend time. While I was there, I experienced some fantastic restaurants. So the next few blogs will be The Hungry Lens: Minneapolis Edition.
The weather in Minneapolis during the summertime is amazing. It was mid-80’s, sunny skies, and no humidity so I knew I wanted to experience a few roof tops. My mother and her friend took me to Crave. They have locations in several states, but in the heart of downtown Minneapolis, this two story restaurant features a mix of American food along with an awesome sushi menu with one of the best roof tops in the city.
Crave features an indoor dining floor and their outside rooftop. We obviously opted for the rooftop. Sitting in the heart of downtown Minneapolis with almost a 360 degree view, this rooftop is hard to beat. The mix of high top and low top tables, bar seating, and lounge-style couches makes the atmosphere laidback and sexy. It is the perfect place for a light lunch or summer cocktails while watching the sunset. It would also make an awesome first date location. With a partial kitchen on the rooftop, you get a sneak peek of the chefs cooking your meals fresh to order. I absolutely loved the vibe at Crave.
Look at that view!
We opted to sit under the shaded bar area and the bartender definitely took care of us. She greeted us immediately and was very prompt with taking our orders and making sure everything was up to par. Other servers also checked in on us throughout our meal. Overall the service at Crave was great.
I started with a pineapple mojito and it was so delicious! The perfect balance of sweet with the fresh kick of mint. It was very refreshing on this hot summer day.
Crave has an awesome menu that features a lot of diverse choices. For our first appetizer we chose the guacamole and chips. I am a huge guacamole lover, I usually eat it 3-4 times a week. The guacamole at Crave was great. It was fresh with bright citrus flavors and well-balanced with the flavors of cilantro, onion, and jalapeno.
Next I tried the Sunomono octopus salad. This was a mixture of cucumbers, daikon, and carrots mixed in a sweet rice vinegar dressing topped with octopus. The fresh crunchy vegetables topped with the bright vinegar and distinct seafood flavor of octopus was a perfectly balanced dish. It was so light and refreshing and beautiful to look at.
For my entrée I decided to go with sushi.
The first roll I tried was the Crunchy Tuna roll which a combiniation of spicy tuna, red tuna, and albacore tuna topped with crunchy flakes. All of the different tunas melted together to create a beautiful, light, rich flavor. The creaminess of the avocado added great texture to the roll. Overall this was an awesome roll.
The next roll I tried was the King Kong roll. This roll is made of sushi shrimp, fresh tuna, cream cheese, avocado, jalapeno, spicy mayo, and unagi and hibachi sauces. This roll definitely packed a punch from the fresh jalapenos but the cream cheese and avocado cooled it down and balanced the flavors out. The sushi shrimp was so fresh and flavorful. It tasted like the sea. And of course you can never go wrong with spicy mayo. I was not disappointed with this roll at all.
The price at Crave is comparable to most other sushi places. Basic rolls range from $8-$10 while specialty rolls are around $15. Appetizers are around $10 as well. This is not the cheapest place you will find sushi and appetizers, but the roof top experience along with the great cocktails and extremely fresh food makes it worth it to me.
Based on all of the following criteria discussed above I give Crave an A. The food is very fresh and flavorful and the cocktails are amazing. The staff is very friendly but the star of the show is definitely the roof top patio atmosphere and view. If you are ever in the Minneapolis area you definitely need to check out Crave!