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Continued: Marin Restaurant finds a home at Le Meridien Chambers

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  • Last update: September 12, 2013 - 3:23 PM

The setting is a home run for Shea Inc. Seven years after tackling the space’s initial gallery-like iteration, the Minneapolis design firm has returned, replacing those cool, remote whites with inviting autumnal tones in slate, copper, leather, stained glass and other luxuriously tactile materials.

The problematic lower level, now dubbed the Library, seems to have found its rightful purpose as a clubby refuge. Meanwhile, the hotel’s courtyard has been buffed up into what is easily downtown’s most appealing outdoor dining venue; well, at least one that isn’t perched on a rooftop.

Bartender Mike Rasmussen has made the patio his warm-weather habitat, and the venue has inspired him to devise a summery, highly drinkable mix-and-match roster of gins, house-made tonics and syrups formulated from aromatics cultivated in the bar’s herb garden. There’s also an impressive array of flavor-saturated juices and smoothies; don’t miss the alcohol-free Bloody Mary, which wields a feisty wallop.

That wake-up call in a glass is one of many reasons why mornings are so pleasant at Marin. Naturally, the menu emphasizes health-conscious options: bulgur porridge, quinoa waffles, a protein-packed oatmeal with house-made peanut butter.

But Rakun also cleverly repurposes ingredients used later in the day. That terrific chicken sausage becomes a breakfast sandwich foundation. A paint-by-numbers a.m. burrito is transformed by that zesty hummus. Best of all is a Benedict, with the silky corn sauce from the dinner menu’s superb scallops masquerading — quite nicely — as hollandaise.

Among Marin’s many appealing traits, that flexibility may be its most endearing. Business breakfast? Absolutely. A pre- or post-“Wicked” nosh? Yep. This week’s date-night destination? Sure. Another reason to head downtown? Totally.



Follow Rick Nelson on Twitter: @RickNelsonStrib

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