Complimentary valet parking was a nice touch as there isn’t much for street parking in the area and we were greeted upon entering the restaurant. We arrived a few minutes early and grabbed a drink at the bar and the bartenders were very accommodating, friendly and seemed be well versed on their drink and beer menu. The only thing I didn’t quite understand was why the bartenders needed to be wearing tight, black spandex-lycra tops and similar fitting yoga pants. I get that the restaurant is supposed to exude that type of young, hip and healthy atmosphere, but it made me feel like I was gawking at something more accustomed to 1st Avenue hotspots downtown or the Lake/Lagoon Uptown bars than suburban Minneapolis. This is truly nit-picking as I’m just not expecting that type of attire in a restaurant bar.
Moving into the dining room, we were promptly seated and service was great throughout dinner. Water refills and a knowledgeable server go a long ways here. Wine list wasn’t huge, but had enough variety for anyone looking for a basic glass or bottle of white or red. Our friends ordered the swordfish special of the day and the filet, while Jenny got the seared dayboat scallops and I got the miso-glazed Chilean seabass. All the dishes were excellent and served over vegetables or whole-grains (or both). Nice presentation with very basic and clean flavors. Nothing really crazy or overly complex about the dishes, just simple and straight-forward proteins, grains, starches and veggies with good presentation and plating. In fact, I’d be willing to take our parents and our in-laws here as there is a bit of something for everyone. The ladies got dessert as well, desserts served in shot glasses and warm cookies. All of which were consumed quickly, so they must have been good. Again, the presentation and flavors seemed to be right on. So we’d definitely recommend Mill Valley Kitchen if you’re looking for a suburban setting with some touches of Uptown or Downtown flair. Prices are comparable and hopefully you don’t leave the Northern California setting in the western suburbs of Minneapolis location disappointed, we definitely did not.