Greetings from Carmela's Cucina,
Level Five at the Guthrie gets just a 5 out of 10 in my opinion. A group of us went to the Government Inspector the other night which is a very funny production for the Guthrie. We wanted to keep things simple as everyone was coming from work and we had limited time. One of the group suggested that we eat at Level 5.
We showed up at about 6:00 p.m. without a reservation and our group of 5 was seated right away at a very nice and comfortable table. Our waitress was friendly and eager to serve us and took our drink order right away. Score 1 for the wait staff and hostess!
The bread basket we requested had a nice selection of dinner rolls including a multi-grain one that was nice and soft on the inside with a crisp crust. The butter they brought with the basket was especially creamy. Another point!
I wanted to eat light so, I ordered from their "Starter List." I selected 2 appetizers that sounded interesting, the Minnesota sweet corn chowder with fried tortilla confetti and the lemon-ginger grilled shrimp skewers with glazed peppers and onions.
I was very happy with my soup which was nicely seasoned and full of corn and chunks of potato, the tortilla confetti was a very nice touch, giving the soup a little crunch with each bite. Another point!
The dinner went down hill quickly when they brought out the entrees. My shrimp were artfully arranged on the plate, three skewers of shrimp, onions and peppers, shaped into a pyramid. But what a huge disappointment. The shrimp and vegetables were so dry and flavorless that I could not even get them off the skewer. They had been grilled to the point that they were so dry that the shrimp could not be eaten and there was no hint of either lemon or ginger as promised on the menu. Perhaps if a lemon wedge had been served with the skewers there may have been some salvation. The onions and peppers were hardly glazed and I would say more like burnt crisp. I really should have sent everything back, but I didn't want to do that with the group that I was with.
Later as my husband said," at the prices they charge we should send back food when it is not done right." Others in the group had a Caesar salad with grilled chicken breast, but I could not bring myself to order that yet again and one member did order the Grilled catfish, which may have been the best selection of the evening.
The company was great and so was the play so they get 2 more points. Giving our evening at Level Five and the Guthrie a 5. Oh, did I mention the view from the bridge? It is awesome. So if you are in the area, go to Level Five for a drink and stroll out on the bridge for a great view of a wonderful city. But try eating at another restaurant in the area.
Carmela Tursi Hobbins