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Back in the bad old days of the late 1800s, the Minneapolis riverfront was a rougher place than it is now. Prostitution was largely tolerated in the red-light district, and among the madams running the show there was Mattie St. Clair, a notorious figure whose adventures were chronicled in the local papers. She is the namesake for the new Mattie's on Main (full name: Mattie St. Clair's House of Spirits on Main Street), a new bar, restaurant, and venue just across the river from the old houses of ill repute that's looking to bring an element of dangerous fun back to this part of town -- in a cleaned-up 21st-century way, of course. The kitchen is turning out dishes with a wide range of influences, mostly along the lines of elevated bar food with some fine-dining flourishes. Flavors drawn from East Asia, Scandinavia, Greece, and elsewhere coexist mostly happily, though there were a couple of clunkers in the bunch. It seems you can't go wrong here, though, with appetizers: Lefse nachos, wontons, Monte Cristo Dippers.The rest of the food menu consists of salads, pizzas, burgers, and sandwiches, plus four entrée plates. Mattie's also offers several menu pages' worth of specialty drinks, an all-local craft tap beer selection, and a long list of bottled beers as well as a shorter wine list. And with all of Mattie's classy touches -- great service, cloth hand towels by the sinks of the gender-neutral restrooms -- it's bound to draw a clientele more desirable than that of the old red-light district. PHOTOS BY ALMA GUZMAN
Check out our review of Mattie's on Main!
Mattie's on Main
43 Main St. SE, Minneapolis
Published on August 12, 2014