Seven Sushi and Steakhouse has embodied much in its nine years on the corner of Hennepin and 7th Avenue. A steakhouse. A sushi bar. A nightclub. A rooftop. A meat market.
When the place was sold in December amid legal and financial difficulties, its future was uncertain. Current business partners Ro Shirole and Ken Sherman – who owns Lumber Exchange building, and other Warehouse District properties – believed in it.
“This city needs a place with fantastic food, but with a pulse to it,” said Shirole.
He’s not wrong. Can you name a place that scores high marks for food, music, an upscale vibe (though they emphasize a strict dress code will no longer enforced), and its bar? So all of those elements were preserved and upgraded, with the help of a famous chef, in the new Seven.
Inside, the sprawling space is similar, but with more neutral tones and adult touches. Tasteful chandeliers anchor the room, and local gadfly L.A. Nik has hand-placed thousands of black beads in something of a work of art under the bar glass.
The food has been transformed by local celebrity chef Sameh Wadi, who owns renowned Uptown restaurant World Street Kitchen, cult and Intsagram favorite ice cream parlor Milkjam, and formerly white tablecloth Middle Eastern institution Saffron. His narrow miss on the Food Network's Iron Chef in 2010 put the chef on the national food scene and he’s been enjoying the fruits of his fame ever since.
Sherman took a chance on a 22-year-old Wadi a decade ago, offering him a space in his building on downtown’s North 3rd Street, and when Sherman came in search of a chef for the revamped Seven, Wadi said yes.
The steak menu
The new Seven menu is a modern version of a steakhouse. Example: Choose your beef from seven (natch) well-known cuts: filet mignon, New York Strip, ribeye, etc. From there, choose shared sides, apps and salads if needed.
In true Minnesota steakhouse form, they've kindly made allowances for non-steak lovers. Pork and lamb chops are there, along with a roast chicken for $21, and a fish selection for surf types.
The sushi menu
Wadi says he worked with the established sushi chefs to put a luxe spin on things, so get a load of the “Baller” roll, with king crab, caviar, and gold flake for $26, or its counterpart the “Shot Caller” with uni, caviar, and, yes, gold flake, for $23. More standard rolls and nigiri remain.
Those familiar cuts are helpful , but then old faves like a shrimp cocktail and even "buffalo nuggets" for $14 make an appearance. And, if you’re so inclined, pay special attention to the Parisian Gnocchi, a Saffron classic with black truffle and Taleggio fondue. At $23, it's a relative bargain for a downtown steakhouse with a certain swagger to its name.
When a name as big as Wadi throws his weight behind a place, you know it won’t be for long. His role is as consultant and hype guy. Meaning, if you’re looking for an awesome party in the coming weeks and months that happens to also be very delicious, look here. If they can keep it going beyond that, it will be even better for Minneapolis.
The full space opens to the public on Friday, August 18.