Has it finally happened? Have I finally found a restaurant without a mailing address in Minneapolis or St. Paul that I’ve fallen in love with?
It has. It’s in Richfield. And in fairness, it’s only three blocks from Minneapolis. But still! It’s a suburban restaurant, and it’s awesome!
Chef/owner Ben Rients is a six-year veteran of Restaurant Alma, one of the best restaurants (and best training grounds) in the cities. Lyn 65 is not Alma, though. It has an great burger made with short rib, ground chuck, and ground sirloin. It’s juicy and fatty and decadent—the flavor is amazing. The menu describes it as “house cured” for 48 hours in a salt/peppercorn/spices blend. Then they add American cheese and a really cool sweet pickle relish on top. Incredibly, our server warned us about the burger, since 9-year-old Seth was ordering it, saying “It’s not safe,” meaning not a safe choice, not a standard burger. If ordering the Lyn 65 burger is dangerous, I’m ready to permanently live on the edge. The burger came with crispy duck fat fries, which were almost hollow on the inside ($13).
Fried chicken is the food of the moment, but it seems there’s more talking about it than frying it. Lyn 65’s buttermilk fried chicken is also cured for two days then poached in duck fat. Why not? The chicken was incredibly juicy, the batter was perfectly crisp. Grits were so creamy and delicious, by far the best grits I’ve had in some time. And that’s saying something since I essentially bathed in grits during a week-long vacation to North Carolina.
What else should you order? The arugula salad is lovely ($12)—a huge portion of arugula with a generous amount of burrata cheese. Topped with roasted corn, lemon, and mint. It’s great. There was a special bruschetta ($8) with heirloom tomatoes so fresh and sweet – I’m still thinking about it. We loved the baby octopus appetizer, with tentacles in a giant bowl of couscous and squid ink chermoula ($12). I also really liked the house-made Portuguese sausage ($24) served with a lively romesco sauce with pickled okra.
Cocktails: some good stuff happening here, and all $9. We had a very nice Sazerac, a tasty/interesting Six Five Rye (I might dial down the port wine reduction as it obscured some of the flavor of the ryes), and a wonderfully spicy tequila drink called The Sun Also Rises. Our server did warn us that another drink I was tempted by was probably too sweet, and I always appreciate that. Balancing the needs of a suburban crowd more used to the chain restaurants in Richfield with the more adventurous diners will be a fun challenge for the staff. Am I serving a Houlihans fan? Am I serving a former Alma guest? I trust they’ll get that figured out.
I look forward to returning to try some of the pastas/grains such as crab gravy benedict or the sage pesto tagliatelle. The pizzas, too: duck sausage with roast summer vegetables (soon to be fall root vegetables?)
Lyn 65 doesn’t take reservations unless you have a group of six or more (I hate this! This place is going to be incredibly popular. It should be incredibly popular! But just like I don’t go to Tilia with my kids at night, it’ll be hard to wait more than 20 minutes with my kids at Lyn 65. We’ll see how it shakes out.)
But this may be the best suburban restaurant I’ve eaten at in years. In fact, I can’t think of a suburban restaurant I’ve liked more than Lyn 65. (CALM DOWN TRAVAIL NATION! Travail is in its own category—it’s dinner/theatre/experience. Is it even a restaurant?)
It has only been a couple weeks, so it may take some time to get everything ironed out, but obviously it has me eagerly anticipating my next visit.
Lyn 65 Kitchen & Bar, 6439 Lyndale Ave. S, Richfield 612-353-5501, lyn65.com