New Year’s Eve 2018: Sanctuary – the restaurant

Over the past four months, we have had many food adventures in the Twin Cities, and I promise to write about those as I have time. However, to start off this blog, I wanted to write about the fantastic meal we had last night on New Year’s Eve. We’ve been wanting to try this downtown restaurant, Sanctuary, for a few months so NYE was the perfect reason to finally try it out.



To start off our meal, the server brought out a breadbasket with fresh bread, candied almonds, and an edamame hummus. I am not a huge fan of almonds, but the candied almonds were nice and crunchy and not too sweet. The edamame hummus was delicious.

Candied Almonds & Edamame Hummus with Fresh Bread

We also both ordered drinks off of their cocktail menu. Now that I am writing this blog, I’ll have to get better about remembering the drink details. We both enjoyed the cocktails, and even though they were a little pricey, they were definitely worth the money.

Delicious Cocktails

For a starter, we chose the lobster and steak bites. The dish came out quickly with a few slices of toasted bread on the side. The flavors were excellent.

Lobster & Steak Bites

For his entree, Scott chose the special, which was grilled mahi-mahi on a bed of crab, bacon, and red potato hash with a honey jalapeno glaze. Even though he grew up in Kansas, Scott will almost always choose scallops, swordfish, or tuna when dining out. This dish did not disappoint, as I managed to sneak a bite of it. The honey jalapeno glaze gave the dish the right amount of sweet and spicy, and you can’t go wrong with crab, bacon, and potato hash.

Grilled Mahi-Mahi with Crab, Bacon, and Potato Hash (with a jalapeno honey glaze)

I predictably chose the steak and potato entree. (You can take the girl out of Kansas, but you can’t take the Kansas out of the girl.) It was a grilled 10 ounce NY strip with cheddar mashed potatoes and a bacon jam. On a side note, another lasting effect of growing up in Kansas is having to overcome the thinking that every meal has to have a side dish made from some variation of potato. This dish actually had two versions of potato, as it also had a nice little surprise of fancy waffle potato chips as a garnish on top of the steak. I ordered it medium rare, and it was cooked perfectly.

10 Ounce Strip with Bacon Jam, Cheddar Mashed Potatoes, and a Fancy Potato Chip Garnish

As a side dish to share, we chose the oven roasted asparagus and mushrooms with a red pepper aioli.

Roasted Asparagus & Mushrooms with Red Pepper Aioli

To cap off a great dinner, we took our server’s suggestion and had the mulled wine and tres leches for dessert.

The mulled wine was served warm and garnished with an orange slice with cloves. It tasted like the best version of a warm cider. After my first sip, I remarked that it brought to mind a childhood memory of drinking warm cider after picking out our Christmas tree at the local Christmas tree farm. Then I laughed out loud as that sounded like a made-up memory from a bad rom-com – but it’s actually true! Growing up we would trek out to the Christmas tree farm outside of town and walk the rows of trees trying to find the perfect tree…then once we found the tree, we would go inside and have warm cider by the fireplace. Ahhhh….Kansas! (For my non-Kansan readers, click on that link for a nice surprise!)

Mulled Wine

The tres leches was decadent. I actually remembered to take a photo of the menu description for this one. It was sweet and spongy with a mint garnish and blackberries on the side. Yum!

Tres Leches

Overall, this restaurant and meal was a great way to end 2018. With its close proximity to our apartment, we will definitely be back again. They normally offer a different 5 course tasting menu for $35 Monday – Thursday so we’re looking forward to returning and trying that out.

Two Thumbs Up!

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