Beacon Public House invites you to stay

Hotel gastropub brings great fare to the table for locals and out-of-towners

As far as the larger plates, Beacon serves many of the comforts of steakhouse classics and Midwestern meat and potatoes. It also makes a noticeable number of dishes that contain some variety of blue cheese: Maytag-stuffed dates, unidentified blue cheese on the not-so-crispy crispy chicken wings with cancha and lime crema, roquefort-crusted filet mignon, and a rather delicious burger (the turkey version was impressively juicy as well) topped with short ribs and creamy gorgonzola sauce. "I wish people ordered our burger more, actually," Dixon says, "if not just for the burger itself, then for the fries. I used to think Barbette's were the best in the city, but now I think we've taken over that title."

The elaborate way some dishes were described set up the expectation for big, complex flavors and well-paired components, but sometimes they just didn't come together quite right. At lunch, a dish of gnocchi was written up as "housemade, with forest mushrooms and preserved vegetables," but it tasted a hair too much like the penne rosa from Noodles and Company. A flourless chocolate cake with candied pineapple and toasted marshmallow sounded gooey and fudgy and fun but was ultimately lackluster and dry.

One thing that was very consistent, however, was the handling of the meat and fish. A nice, hard sear on a generous portion of salmon left the deepest part of the interior a perfect medium. The flat iron steak got fantastic flavor from the grill without being a hint dry, even at the edges. Perhaps the item that left the best impression was the lovingly prepared swordfish. I honestly haven't seen better preparations since the Strip Club, a restaurant so confident in its handling of proteins that its URL is domeats.com.

Alma Guzman
Alma Guzman

Location Info

Map

Beacon Public House

615 Washington Avenue SE
Minneapolis, MN 55414

Category: Restaurant > American

Region: University

Details

Appetizers $6-$16; entrees $19-$34

As far as hotel restaurants go, out-of-towners staying at the Commons should be pleased with Beacon's offerings and polished, gracious service, but the restaurant's challenge will be in making its food special enough for locals to want to come their way, too. I have every reason to believe that is Beacon's intention as it works to create a locally sourced menu. In the meantime, the lounge is a comfy, cozy spot to hold a meeting over drinks or for an out-of-the-ordinary first date. Should things go well, you can always order some nibbles, because the full menu is also served in the lounge. One thing Beacon will definitely make the short list for — in fact it may be the only viable option — is a place to go for a really decent craft cocktail before a U of M game. When the Gophers are playing, Beacon's bar opens bright and early at 8 a.m. Remember what I said about beer for breakfast?

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