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Minneapolis St. Paul Magazine Best Restaurants 2015

How about Christina Nguyen of Hola Arepa?

Or Ann Kim of Pizzeria Lola and Hello Pizza.

about 1 hour ago
Jordan in Minneapolis-St. Paul

Haute Dish

The "HD Classic" (steakhouse salad/crab mac n' cheese/hot dish) is as solid as solid can be. Their menu changes often, so I haven't had most of the other dishes they are featuring now.

Mar 03, 2015
Jordan in Minneapolis-St. Paul

Do all Thai places in TC have too-sweet food?!?

Joy's is our go-to for Thai, due to its proximity to our house. It's not the best in the Twin Cities, but it's more than decent.

Feb 17, 2015
Jordan in Minneapolis-St. Paul

Social hour gathering spot for small group

I don't think "good happy hour" and "quiet" go together.

Crave is pretty decent and has a big bar area set up for that sort of gathering. No real opinion about the other places on your list.

Jan 27, 2015
Jordan in Minneapolis-St. Paul

ISO date night spots

I don't think you'll go wrong with either option.

Have you been to either al Vento (Nokomis area) or Rinata (Uptown)? Similar menus of pastas and northern Italian meat/fish dishes. Great food, but homier than what you'll get at Bar la Grassa. Also, smaller and warmer spaces. They have date night menus - four courses for $20/person, which is a great deal. I know you said you weren't looking for bargains, but this one is hard to resist.

Jan 27, 2015
Jordan in Minneapolis-St. Paul

ISO date night spots

Following on Brad's thoughtful post, it sounds like you enjoy places that are informal but innovative, with a bit of buzz to them.

If you like Broder's and 112, you will enjoy Bar la Grassa, another restaurant owned by the same fellow who runs 112 Eatery and Burch. Bar la Grassa is oriented around pasta, with unusual and terrific combinations. You can order a lot of dishes in small sizes, very good for sharing while not completely stuffing yourselves. One downside is that it is a pretty noisy room.

If Bar la Grassa is the love child of Broder's and 112, then Haute Dish is the love child of 112 and Heartland. Local, Midwestern-focused menu with an incredibly playful and humorous take on "comfort food."

A third option, a little farther afield, might be Brasserie Zentral. This is a modern re-imagining of classic Central European cuisine -- schnitzels and spaetzel and cured meats done in ways you haven't seen before, with an entire menu section devoted to foie gras. Another place where it's very easy to share an entree, pasta dish, and appetizer. They have a wine/nosh bar in the same building which has fabulous tasting plates of cheeses, speck, and so on.

BYO-Low/No Corkage

Lettuce Entertain You still has several restaurants in the Twin Cities area: Tucci Benucch and Twin Cities Grill at the MoA, Wildfire and Big Bowl in assorted locations. I don't know anything about their corkage policy.

Dec 12, 2014
Jordan in Minneapolis-St. Paul

Latkes!

I do! But I only serve them at my home.

Can You Get A Tongue Sandwich In the Twin Cities??

It looks like a restaurant designed to appeal to the Orthodox Jews in the St. Louis Park area -- upscale food prepared in a kosher kitchen. There's certainly a market for that in the community, though it's questionable if the market is big enough to keep the restaurant open. It's a very successful model in places like New York, though.

Dec 06, 2014
Jordan in Minneapolis-St. Paul

Spoon and Stable - Anyone been?

It makes me think of cleaning out a stable… with a spoon…

So, yes, an awful name.

Chicago style pizza in MSP?

Yep - looking forward to it!

Giordano's does stuffed pizza, which is a slightly different style than the deep-dish pizza of places like Pizzeria Uno and Lou Malnati's. I think their crust is not quite as good but its otherwise a good Chicago pizza.

Nov 24, 2014
Jordan in Minneapolis-St. Paul

Andale Taqueria y Mercado

We were there last night. They've been expanding the menu. The array of choices is a bit dizzying now. I really appreciate that they actually have hot salsas. (The chile de arbol is a knockout, and the green avocado salsa they serve with many entrees is pretty potent, too.)

Nov 16, 2014
Jordan in Minneapolis-St. Paul

Solo diner, near UMN or downtown

Those are three fantastic dishes that will change your opinion of what a house salad, mac & cheese, and "hot dish" (casserole) can be. I highly recommend them.

[Edit: I just realized you might mean the $80 chef's menu rather than the $36 HD classics menu. I don't know what's on the chef's menu.]

Oct 23, 2014
Jordan in Minneapolis-St. Paul

Solo diner, near UMN or downtown

I concur with ChillyDog, and I would also add for your consideration Saffron and Brasserie Zentral. Both excellent, both distinctive, chef-driven takes on traditional cuisines (Middle Eastern and Central European, respectively).

Salt and Vinegar Fries

Twin City Grill used to have them, but that was many years ago. Is there any reason you can't just go to the place with your favorite fries and ask for malt vinegar?

Oct 20, 2014
Jordan in Minneapolis-St. Paul

Best Cinnamon Rolls

I think they're similar.

Oct 01, 2014
Jordan in Minneapolis-St. Paul

Best Cinnamon Rolls

I'm going to make a couple of recommendations that will be different from the norm -- these are NOT the giant, gooey, dripping cinnamon rolls that so many places make.

Fika (in the American Swedish Institute, on Park Ave. in Minneapolis) has cardamom buns. Similar to small cinnamon rolls, with a glossy brown crust and a sprinkling of coarse salt on top.

Sun Street Breads (Nicollet & 46th) has a cinnamon roll called "The Downtowner." The dough has a croissant-like texture, and rather than being glazed and sticky, it has a layer of dense cinnamon sugar on the outside.

Neither are the size of your head, but both are a distinctive cut above the norm.

Oct 01, 2014
Jordan in Minneapolis-St. Paul

Gangnam Korean in Maplewood?

But was it gangnam style?

Sep 24, 2014
Jordan in Minneapolis-St. Paul

Good Coffee and Dessert Spot in St. Paul

Cafe Latte fits the bill except for the "not too crowded or noisy" element. Perhaps on a weekday at off-hours...

Roast Duck in St. Paul/Minneapolis

I've also seen duck a l'orange on the Salut menu. I haven't tried it.

Sep 22, 2014
Jordan in Minneapolis-St. Paul

2014 State Fair Food -- report the hits and misses!

Good to know!

Sep 05, 2014
Jordan in Minneapolis-St. Paul

2014 State Fair Food -- report the hits and misses!

My report, finally…

Three items at the Blue Barn. The Chicken-in-a-Waffle is buffalo chicken nuggets with sausage cream gravy in a waffle cone. The chicken is tender, as others have said. The chicken and gravy are both spicy, and the cone, while clever, is pretty much a nonentity in the dish. If you want buffalo chicken with gravy, go for it - otherwise, I'd say skip. Wife loved the Meatloaf-on-a-Stick, especially the sauce. The blue cheese-corn fritters didn't have much blue cheese flavor. The chimichurri sauce was nice (and added some heat). However, despite not delivering much blue cheese, they were really excellent corn fritters. Big, moist, not too greasy.

Daughter enjoyed a 1919 Root Beer float. Wife and I hit the Hamline Dining Hall to try Izzy's State Fair flavors -- jello salad and mini-donut crunch. The jello salad was fun to taste -- marshmallow ice cream, bits of jello flavor, chewy bits of maraschino cherry. Overall, they nailed the concept. Mini-donut crunch had a more complex flavor, with nutmeg and cinnamon dominant. I would actually order that one outside of the fair, if it was offered.

We had some warm kettle corn from the booth just south of Giggles. I have to say, this was remarkably good, with both the salt and sweet being subtle flavors instead of overwhelming. A small bag is enough to feed a family for days.

Had to get a pronto pup, of course.

Had a fresh, tart apple at the Horticulture Building, along with an apple cider freeze (still the best and most refreshing deal at the fair) and their new apple rollover. Thumbs up for all three. The rollover wasn't a hot pastry (like a turnover), but had an apple filling in a flaky crust. Really good.

We also did some honey tasting on the other side of the building and ordered the mini-sizes of the two honey ice creams. I greatly appreciate them cutting down portion sizes, finally.

Dinner was a steak sandwich, antipasto salad, and pork wings at Mancini's. All three were satisfying. The antipasto is heavy on pepperoncini, as well as cheese, meat, etc., so it might be spicier than some are expecting for a salad.

I'm sure I'm forgetting something, naturally.

Sep 01, 2014
Jordan in Minneapolis-St. Paul

2014 State Fair Food -- report the hits and misses!

I can't believe it's day two already, and no thread! My family isn't going until next week, so I'll let the CH community wean out the good from the bad for me.

(Don't make me rely on Rick Nelson, whose descriptive scale runs from "Fab!" to "Skip" with nothing in between.)

Aug 22, 2014
Jordan in Minneapolis-St. Paul

Perfect Lunch

Blue Ox is really nice. That neighborhood (or block, anyway) is starting to pick up some interesting food options. Besides the aforementioned Smoke in the Pit, there's now CityFoodStudio, a shared commercial kitchen. You can find extremely-small-batch ice cream maker FrozBroz there.

Aug 22, 2014
Jordan in Minneapolis-St. Paul

Porchetteria

I'm a big fan of takeout and catering from the Cucina. They do a "family dinner for 4" that is a great deal -- huge loaf of bread or crispy flatbread, salad, entree (pasta or chicken parmesan or the similar), and four individual desserts (bars or cannoli) for around $40-50. They'll have it ready for you either hot or cold. We've also used their catering menu to serve parties -- they put together some terrific platters of cheeses, roast vegetables, Italian desserts, etc. for a reasonable price.

Aug 22, 2014
Jordan in Minneapolis-St. Paul

Update to Italian restaurants in Twin Cities

Any thoughts about Louis, the new(ish) restaurant at Cossetta's in St. Paul? The menu seems to fit the bill, and they certainly know old-school red sauce Italian. I have not been there, though.

Aug 20, 2014
Jordan in Minneapolis-St. Paul

Going to Origami - what non-sushi item is best?

I like their ramen and udon.

Aug 20, 2014
Jordan in Minneapolis-St. Paul

Update to Italian restaurants in Twin Cities

I've heard the words "too much" and "garlic" together, but it's not a concept that makes any sense to me!

hot dog buns with poppy seeds on top

Musky_Hunter is right. The main brand in Chicago is S. Rosen's. (They also sell a lot of rye bread.) Costco here carries some Rosen's buns and breads, but not the ones with poppy seeds. Vienna Beef, which makes the traditional hot dog for Chicago dogs, has branched out in recent years to sell condiments and buns, too. Kowalski's usually carries some Vienna Beef products, and they have the buns occasionally. You might also have luck at Cecil's Deli, though I haven't looked there in a long time.

Aug 09, 2014
Jordan in Minneapolis-St. Paul

Sausage Rolls

Potter's Pasties?

Aug 08, 2014
Jordan in Minneapolis-St. Paul