The Bungalow Club: Quick Info
Arancini rice balls!
$10-15 appetizers, $20-25 entrees.
Foodie dining in a retro, down-to-earth setting.
4300 East Lake Street
Minneapolis, MN 55406
Free street parking.
The Bungalow Club: Our Full Review
A few months ago, my Instagram feed began getting bombarded with images of a magical, vine covered patio.
Apparently, that patio belonged to The Bungalow Club, a new restaurant in X Minneapolis with a pedigreed past.
The Bungalow Club is owned by Chef Andrew Kraft. A longtime Minnesotan, he moved to New York to attend culinary school and begin a journey around NYC that included a sous-chef position at a Michelin Star restaurant and executive chef positions at some of the most successful restaurants in the big city.
Thankfully for us, at some point he decided to return home to Minnesota. And in April 2018, he opened one of the newest powerhouse challengers in Minneapolis’s ever-improving restaurant scene.
Armed with dreams of the magical patio, Lily and I headed to The Bungalow Club. First, just to grab drinks, although this was an experience that’d inevitably have us coming back for Restaurant Week, less than a month later.
Visit #1: Drinks and apps on the magical Bungalow Club patio.
Although we’d already scheduled dinner reservations elsewhere, Lily and I decided we’d take a low risk sample of The Bungalow Club with a pre-dinner dinner drink.
It was a chilly fall night, but that didn’t stop The Bungalow Club’s patio from being just as warm and inviting as we imagined.
The space appears to be a fenced in parking lot area, a description which totally does the beautiful space zero justice. By converted, I mean it’s fully fenced in with a wooden privacy fence, complete with pergola structures which double as trellis for lush vinery to grow over. Naturally, this mix of wood and greenery is lit with magical string lighting, which bounce of the romantic wine bottles used as each table’s water pitcher.
It’s an atmosphere just begging for a wine or cocktail, so that’s exactly what we did. The cocktail menu is impressive, and the wine menu even more so. (There’s about 3 dozen wine varieties to choose from.)
We both grabbed a couple of drinks. Lilly got a seasonal libation featuring honey and gin which did not disappoint, plus a wine choice which I’m wholly unqualified to discuss. I grabbed the Mezcal Paloma and Margarita (which comes standard with Reposado Tequila) and both were exactly the sort of fantastic, elevated classics I’d hoped for!
In any case, the result is absolute PERFECTION. This is truly one of the best appetizers in the city. (Apparently, we’re not alone in thinking this either; the waitrees let us know that some customers are known to simply place 3 orders of these for their whole dinner.)
Lily and I were blown away, and we swore we’d be back soon.
Visit #2: Restaurant Week 2020
Lured back by the siren call of those Arancini rice balls, Lily and I were estatic to see The Bungalow offering a restaurant week deal in October 2020.
Excited for a first full dining experience here, we got to ordering.
Mushroom Bisque – cashew, cauliflower, miso
This soup was a warm bowl of Fall that we found ourselves slurping up in a hurry.
Bloody Mary Ribs: Pickled vegetable salad, horseradish
Excuse me, Bloody Mary ribs? How is that even possible!?
Well, the ribs were packed with a vinegary sauce and sitting on a bed of pickled veggies. I’m tempted to say it tasted like buffalo wings, but the more accurate description? Like the pickled veggies on a Bloody Mary! They did it! Somehow.
PS – Yes, we absolutely ordered a side plate of the Arancini, too. But since we already devoted the entire previous section to that beauts, we won’t continue the love letter here. Other than to say that on the second go around, they still lived up to our mind’s hype.
BONUS DISH! Spaghetti – pumpkin & almond sugo, rosemary, and pecorino
We didn’t even order this one, but the waitress said the chef made some extra and wanted us to have it! How cool is that!?
We weren’t planning on ordering this and it ended up possibly being our favorite dish of the night! Compliments, and THANKS, to the chef!
Short Rib Agro Dolce – house made coffee rub, sweet potato, apple, and cheddar
OMG dear heavens, this dish was unreal.
These ridiculously tender short ribs fell apart at the touch of a fork. And when they dish, they fell into that delicious pool of sweet potato/cheddar sauce, with just enough sweetness from the apples to contrast. This is the type of dish I’ll be dreaming about for a while.
Roasted Trout – chickpeas, braised radish, green tomato salsa.
An interesting dish, and one where a lot of things could go wrong. But they didn’t and the result was perfectly cooked trout on top of a succulent salsa. The chickpea mixture was especially interesting, like the beautiful love child between mashed potatoes and hummus.
Buttermilk panna cotta – vanilla & apples
Panna cotta isn’t my favorite dessert in the world, but I couldn’t deny that the flavors were absolutely there.
Chocolate & coconut pudding – citrus, saffron, granola
An amazing twist on a classic. Just amazing.
Final Thoughts on The Bungalow Club
Two trips to The Bungalow Club later, and we’re confident in giving this place a STRONG recommend.
We know that restaurant week menu is totally different from their usual menu, so at the end of this review you might find yourself thinking, “So what? Those menu items are long gone! This review doesn’t help me at all!”
And to that all we can say is this…
If The Bungalow Club can make a entourage of dishes, drinks, and appetizers (across all different flavor profiles) consistently taste this good, then I have absolute confidence in whatever that kitchen turns out. It’s probably gonna be fantastic, so you get our official blessing to order whatever you want off The Bungalow Club menu.
If you don’t, we sure will.