Visited 19-Mar-2005


Solera is located in downtown Minneapolis at 900 Hennepin Avenue.    This is an upscale/stylish restaurant, though not too upscale or stylish that you wouldn’t feel comfortable in a pair of jeans.  (Though most of the customers I saw were dressed up a bit more.)    Solera is a Tapas restaurant/Bar.   Their web site definition of Tapas states that it is a “dining tradition that has long been a part of Spain’s culture.   Tapas dining encourages tasting and sharing a variety of unique foods to create a lively and entertaining atmosphere.”    Well, what does this mean to you and I?     It means that you’re going to get food in very small portions, and it will take many, many, portions, to fill you up.     So the Tapas is basically a tiny appetizer, that you order two, three, or four of, in what they call a “round”.  For Example, for round one you might order three cold appetizers.   Round two may be an order of 3 more appetizers, perhaps all hot ones.   Each appetizer varies in cost from appx $5.50, to $9.00, with most of the “good” ones costing $8.00 or more.   So your average cost per “round” is appx $24.    Also, each appetizer usually has 3 (small) single servings of something.   Which seems to work out a bit odd if you’re there with only two people.    You have to figure out who gets the third serving.    There were two of us and we tried 6 different appetizers while we were there.    Round one consisted of the Spicy Beef Tenderloin, the Piquillo Peppers stuffed with Goat Cheese, and a dish with mushrooms served on small toasted bread.    By far the Stuffed Peppers were the best.   I would rate their taste as excellent.  You couldn’t go wrong with ordering just a lot of these and going away happy.    The Beef Tenderloin was good, but not great.   The mushrooms on toast were very good.  I would recommend them as well.  (I can’t remember the actual name of this dish, and their online menu doesn’t seem to show it.)


Round two consisted of an order of 3 more appetizers, all cold ones.   (Whose names and types aren’t memorable 4 days later.  It’s either my memory, or it tells you how much the cold appetizers stood out in my mind.)   Though I can remember the general taste of the cold appetizers was good to very good, but not excellent.   


By far the best dish of all hot or cold appetizers ordered was the Piquillo Stuffed Peppers with Goat Cheese.    A MUST TRY!


Drink prices, as they are in all Minneapolis upscale/stylish restaurants, were pretty high.   


Overall I would recommend trying Solera if you have a lot of money to spend.   Expect to walk out paying $70-80+ for dinner and drinks for two.   (Much more if you have more rounds or more drinks.)    The food was generally good to very good, to excellent.    The atmosphere was relaxed and fun, and the service was excellent.   It was really fun to try so many different appetizers and have so many different flavors/tastes to experience.   You truly did not know what you were going to experience next.


For this type of Restaurant, I would rate it an 8 of 10 stars.   (Only because I started out first with the Stuffed Peppers with Goat cheese, which was the best, and everything else was good or great, but still paled in comparison.   For those with different tastes, you may like something else better.)