My wife and I ate here on a Saturday night (26 May 07), principally because we had a $90 gift certificate. In short, the food was fine, but the experience didn't justify the rather pricey tariff. If two people are going to spend well over $100 (with 4 glasses of ordinary wine and dessert), there are many other places with far greater value. Appetizers were odd (baked brie with a caramel sauce) and unimaginative, among which was the ubiquitous artichoke and cheese dip which we nevertheless got because we're suckers for it - and it was a good version. A spinach-goat cheese salad was fine. My wife had a Kobe steak for $30 (why so inexpensive for Kobe?) which was tasty, and I had a Creole scallop with mango relish special. The scallops were nicely done, but the relish was uninteresting and there was little Creole ""zip"". A large pile of accompanying vegetables was, as they frequently are, a minor distraction, and the potatoes featured an odd tasting tarragon dressing. A German chocolate cake and a volcano chocolate dessert were quite good. The service was very friendly and efficient. Ambience was ""clubby"" and low decibel. Overall, this is a very traditional restaurant. Nothing at all adventurous. The menu refers to ""a unique dining experience"" - but it isn't. Aren't there enough Buffalo wings on local menus? Filets mignon with bearnaise sauce? Chicken Oscar? The restaurant may do all of these very well (we had only one dinner there, to be fair), but it probably appeals more to those who are, let's say, ""comfortable"" with standard preparations. I should add that we aren't food snobs, but Lake Elmo Inn is a bit of a throwback to an earlier time, but with downtown Minneapolis prices.
Pros: Nice for those whose tastes are very traditional
Cons: Same as the ""pro"" above