Renee Steve

601 First Avenue North

(612) 312-1168

Date of Review
January 14, 2005


Entree Price:
$20 and up

Our Total Bill:








Renee's Side Steve's Side

  • Celery Root Pear Ravioli - Orange Beet Brown Butter, Mache, Horseradish $13
  • Pan Roast Diver Scallops - Frissee, Mushroom, Walnut, Preserved Egg, Bacon Mushroom Emulsion $13
  • Confit of Sea Bass - Cauliflower Risotto, Basil, Caper, Olive, Tomato Jus $26
  • Cosmos Chocolate Globe - Pistachio Cremeux, Chocolate Financier, Sesame Nougat, Raspberry Sorbet, Finished Tableside With Warm Chocolate Sauce $12

I am going to give you a little insight in the pettiness of Renee. Even though reviews had been good for Cosmos, and the Chef is known to work for organizations that I care about such Share our Strength, etc, I have refused to put it in our basket because it is in Block E. Finally this year Steve asked to go there for his birthday so I gave in.

It was one of the best dining experiences I have had, everything was perfect from the moment we walked in to the moment we left. Both the service and the food transcended all but one of the dining experiences I have ever had.

I am not even sure that I have the words to describe the experience, I think it takes a writer with more talent than I to do it justice. First the service was amazing, they were able to make you feel like a star, when we were obviously not.

The food was a perfect union of flavors. Even though each dish contained many flavors, they all melded perfectly together to form a greater flavor. As you were eating, it was hard to imagine the dish with out any of the particular tastes, it was as if taking one out would ruin the entire combination, but adding just one more would do the same.

The only time they may have went just a touch over board (and at any other restaurant I would have laughed outright), was for one of Steve's courses they added aroma. They had the plate in a larger plate that they had juniper branches in, they then added hot water to make the juniper smell. In the context of the dish it did work for me, but it was just a hair over the top.

I would highly recommend anyone going here, yes it is a special occasion restaurant for most of us...the prices are high, but not any higher than many other of the high end restaurants in the city and really much better than most.

  • Tasting Menu $60
    • Amusement
    • Trio of Tartare, Scallop Tobiko, Ahi Tuna Smoked Char Roe, Hamachi Tomato
    • Chili Butter Poached Lobster Tail, Heart of Hawaiian Palm, Shellfish Nage
    • Intermezzo
    • Grilled Venison, Butternut Spaetzle, Huckleberry Preserves, Morel Ice Cream
    • A Taste of Artisan Cheese
    • Buttermilk Panna Cotta, Macerated Blueberries, Toasted Almond Ice Cream

Everything youíve heard about Cosmos is true. It is foodie heaven. It is one of the best restaurants in town, if not the best. What isnít true is that itís not as expensive as you might think. You could easily walk out of the restaurant with a bill about the size that youíd pay at one of the downtown steakhouses, and itís so much better.

I really had a hard time figuring out even the smallest of complaints about the food. The best I could come up with was that I didnít exactly care for the texture of the Roe, but that may have been attributable to my lack of familiarity with the food. Even the morel ice cream served with a venison meat course worked wonders on the palate (and who ever heard of morel ice cream? Was this some mushroom hunterís last resort to preserving the crop?). Every course was done to perfection; the combinations of food on the plate were simply magical.

The dessert: if more places served panna cotta this good with this many delicious accompaniments, I would order it more often. Weíve been sorely disappointed recently with sub par desserts, and we were amazed and overwhelmed when we finally got to a place that does it right, and Cosmos does it right.

Some other notes: the service is also among the best in town. They are attentive, engaged, and they want to be there. They know theyíre working for one of the best, and they are proud to be there. Compare that with some other restaurants where the staff may lack that something that totally dedicates them to your table.

I can only hope that Cosmos can maintain this high level for years to come and that Twin Cities diners appreciate this restaurant and the talented chefs and staff.

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