Eating Out: Murray's

I have a vivid recollection of my dad taking my brother and me downtown to enjoy a meal at Murray's off of Nicollet.  I couldn't have been more than 11 years old which would have made my brother 15.  We walked into the salmon and mint green colored dining room and looked at ourselves in the mirrors that covered almost every wall space.  My dad ordered the meal for us before we even had a chance to look at the menu.  Later, a Silver Butter Knife Steak would be delivered to our table.  This was a meal I would never forget.

Recently, my husband and I returned to Murray's.  This was my first time back since my magical experience with my dad and we were both so looking forward to it.  I'd been reminiscing about the steak for some time. 
Upon entering the first thing I noticed is the room’s color. I suppose the it had been updated to be less offensive to the general dining public but I was nostalgic for the original 40’s decor.  The walls, curtains and fixtures are now shades of ivory and gold.  The good news is they still host an old- fashioned piano player in the dining room for authentic ambiance and the original bar remains intact!  
We took our seats for dinner and ordered up some cocktails, a Sapphire martini up and dirty (try it, even if you're a gin hater you'll like it) and The Godfather (made with Scotch and Amaretto).  Both were prepared expertly.
A moment later bread was delivered.  The buns and bread crisps are absolutely nothing to get excited about.  I would say skip them, but I was hungry and imbibing so I couldn't skip them.  My advice?  Avoid anything but the pumpernickel roll.  The rest is all too salty or garlicky.
For dinner we agreed on the famous Silver Butter Knife Steak for Two ($94), a 28 ounce strip sirloin carved table side.  It came with a choice of salad (we both opted for the very vinegary Caesar which I LOVED but my husband did not) and two sides.  We shared a no-fail baked potato, perfectly crunchy green beans and some juicy sautéed mushrooms. The sides weren't special, but the meat is what it's all about anyhow!  We looked on as the server carved our sirloin, eyes bigger than our stomachs, stomachs wailing in excitement.  The first bite was glorious!  It was everything I remembered but better. 
After indulging in the rich and perfectly cooked meat the server tried to entice us to review the dessert menu.  We looked but just couldn't invent the space to pack anything else in.  We were both feeling pleasantly full and totally content.
I’ve happily taste tested every steak in the great city of Minneapolis and still find Manny's (housed in the W Hotel) to be the most palate pleasing.   Atmosphere is a personal preference and I much prefer the modern city steakhouse environment at Manny's to the fancier throwback dining room at Murray's.  Maybe the fancy dining room would be more appealing if the suggested dress was a bit more formal to match the space.  The Twin’s fans sitting next to us wearing jeans and jerseys seemed out of place.  While Murray’s Silver Butter Knife is top notch and the cocktails are delicious I yearn for better sides and a more cohesive atmosphere. 
A word on leftovers: Even before our remaining steak slices were packed to-go I began concocting a leftover idea.  A couple of nights later I made some divine little steak sandwiches on crusty baguette bread with a simple horseradish sauce.  We gobbled them up before it occurred to me to take photos for my Kitchen Commando feature.  A great idea nonetheless!
Rating: B
Murray’s, 26th South 6th Street, Minneapolis
(612) 339-0909


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