*Can be considered a bit expensive ($110/two people for 10+ course tasting menu)
*Does not take reservations
Last week, I had the pleasure of dining at Travail Kitchen and Amusements in Robbinsdale. Although I am a person who frequently dines out, I will be honest and say I was a bit intimidated. My intimidation was not because I am afraid of trying new things but simply because unlike any restaurant I have been to before, Travail has a 10+ course tasting menu in which the diner has no idea what to expect and no choice in what they get. But thanks to the birthday celebration dinner for my best friend, I was able to experience one of the most entertaining, daring and delicious dining experiences of my life.
We went on a Thursday night and made sure to arrive promptly at 5:00 p.m. since Travail doesn’t take reservations and is only open until 10 p.m. Since we were still waiting for the rest of our party, the host wrote our name down on the blackboard painted wall and we headed to the bar to wait.
The bar area wasn’t too busy and we were greeted by two bartenders who happily answered any questions we had. I was immediately impressed with the care and effort that went into hand-crafting each one of our drinks. We eagerly watched as the bartenders began making their liquid art and stared on in amazement as they used a tweezers to delicately and meticulously place the garnishes on our drinks. After all was said and done, the drinks tasted as wonderful as they were beautiful.
The atmosphere at Travail can best be described as young, hip, relaxed and fun. When you combine the minimalistic décor, the open, inviting kitchen and dining room, the eclectic music playlist, and staff who were obviously having a great time, we were given the perfect blend of elements needed to create an awesome dining experience.
As for the food, all I can say is wow. As a person who dines out frequently, I like to think I know a thing or two about good food and Travail, by far, has some of the best I’ve ever experienced. Although the staff made sure to explain each dish, I couldn’t honestly tell you everything that we ate. The music (coupled with the excitement and chatter about what was put in front of us) outdid my ability to listen to all of the descriptions. But it didn’t matter. The courses were fun, inventive, and delicious and reminded me of things I have only seen on an episode of Top Chef. By the end of the meal, our party was satisfied, full and thoroughly entertained.
I would highly recommend a trip to Travail Kitchen and Amusements for anyone who is interested in having great food in an equally awesome atmosphere. If you haven’t been, you should definitely make it a point to visit. It truly is a one-of-a-kind experience.
Travail Kitchen and Amusements
4124 West Broadway Avenue
Robbinsdale, MN 55422
Open Tuesday-Saturday from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m.