Smoking Martinis, Hearty Food and Fun Vibe at 300 First in Rochester, Minnesota

by Janis on August 21, 2014

During a one-night brief stay in Rochester, Minnesota, we were hungry after a long afternoon and evening of travel.  Yelp reviews led us to the 300 First restaurant within walking distance of our downtown Hilton Garden Inn hotel.

Despite our 9:30 pm arrival, we enjoyed a hearty meal and some interesting cocktails.
Spicy Prawns, 300 First, Rochester, MNAs we perused the menu, we ordered an appetizer to stave off our hunger. The Spicy Prawns (photo above) are served with Szechwan aioli.  The sauce was only mildly spicy to us, but quite delicious.

While Mr. Jones had his Kettle One martini with a twist, I couldn’t resist trying one of the signature Smokin’ Martinis, even though the menu carried  this somewhat ominous-sounding footnote: *The vapor look is harmless, if touched, the Dry Ice
will burn. Do not touch or drink dry ice.

Smokin' Martinis, 300 First, Rochester, MNI don’t care for sweet martinis. Our waitress advised that the French 75, made with gin, lemon juice and simple syrup, and topped with champagne, was the driest of the Smokin’ Martinis, so that’s the one I ordered.  As advertised, it came out smoking (see photo above.)

Smokin' Martinis, 300 First, Rochester, MNI have to admit that I was a little wary of actually drinking this drink. Eventually, the dry ice dissipates, and the bubbling subsides. I’m always in to trying new things, but the cocktail would have been better without the dry ice gimmick.

By now, we had made our menu choices. Mr. Jones loves prime rib, so his choice was easy.

Prime Rib, 300 First, Rochester, MNThe Slow Roasted Prime Rib is only available on Friday and Saturday nights. It was served with au jus, horseradish sauce, Providence mashed potatoes and your choice of the seasonal vegetable or creamed corn.  As you can see in the photo above, Mr. Jones could not pass up the creamed corn.  At least the world-famous Mayo Clinic is just a few blocks away, in case your arteries clog on the spot with this meal.

When I couldn’t decide between the Sea Scallops or the Boursin Chicken Breast, I asked our waitress for her advice. She recommended the chicken, which is described on the menu as chicken breasts stuffed with boursin cheese, then sautéed with mushrooms, tomatoes, and
a slightly spicy cayenne cream sauce.

Boursin Chicken, 300 First, Rochester, MNThis dish is much richer than I was expecting.  The sauce reminded me of a spicy Alfredo sauce. As over-rich as it was, I couldn’t stop eating this delicious, comforting mix of chicken, rice and spicy cream.

Neither of our entree selections would be approved under The Mayo Clinic Diet.  But they were delicious and we promised ourselves we would take an extra-long walk the next morning.

300 First restaurant, Rochester, MN If you are in Rochester, Minnesota, we do recommend the 300 First restaurant for its warm brick and copper decor, fun vibe and well-prepared comfort food.  Of course, you could always order a salad and the salmon.

Have you dined at 300 First? If so, what do you recommend we try the next time we’re in Rochester, Minnesota?  Please share in comments below.

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