Upscale dining has come to Canterbury Park, as it introduces Little Chicago Chophouse, opening Thursday, May 16 at the popular suburban Minneapolis entertainment destination. Modeled after an East Coast steakhouse, the menu offers full cuts of Black Angus beef, fresh seafood, and pastas prepared with locally sourced ingredients. An extensive wine list and unique craft cocktail program accentuate the traditional menu offerings of the dining room. Chef Seth Teiken, a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America and former executive chef at Pazzaluna Urban Italian Restaurant in St. Paul, will guide Little Chicago Chophouse, serving dinner Wednesday through Sunday as well as family-style brunch on Saturdays and Sundays.
Tucked in a cozy yet open room just off the casino gaming floor, the 60-seat Little Chicago takes on the flare of a speakeasy as mixologists prepare cocktails tableside.
The cocktail menu features many classics including Martinis, Manhattans, the Old Fashioned, and Negroni . “We mix all classic recipes and some twists on those classics,” Shanti Jensen, Senior Manager of Restaurants, said. Many very accessible wines are available plus an extensive offering of reserve wines by the bottle. “Wine is an extremely important component of the Little Chicago dining experience. Our professional servers are prepared to suggest the perfect pairing to our guests,” Jensen said.
The name Little Chicago invokes Shakopee’s past when, from the 1920s, throughout Prohibition, and well after into the ’40s, Twin Citians would venture south of the river for a smaller and much more conveniently located version of the Windy City where authorities were paid to look the other way. In Shakopee they found what they could not elsewhere: illegal gambling and forbidden liquor, often accompanied by a thick steak.
“Little Chicago Chophouse incorporates the history of Shakopee into the present where you can get a cold drink while enjoying a steak in a city that is still known for gambling,” Jensen said.
Gambling at Canterbury Park takes place in its 24/7 card casino, year-round racebook, and at the seasonal live horse race meet. Canterbury Park also hosts myriad special events. Recently introduced was Canterbury Commons, a multi-use redevelopment expected to attract more than $400 million in private investment. The initial phase of the project, the upscale Triple Crown Apartments with more than 300 units, will begin leasing in the coming months.
“Little Chicago Chophouse is like nothing else in this area. Business is booming and people are moving in. There are millions of visitors annually to Shakopee. Our new restaurant will be a very welcome addition to a flourishing city,” Jensen said.
Reservations are recommended and can be made through OpenTable.com.