Avocado Toast and the End of the World: The RH Rooftop Restaurant at Restoration Hardware

Editor’s note: This is a restaurant review. It is also post-apocalyptic science fiction. Bon appétit!  Over there,” said Ophelia Chen. She gestured with a weather-beaten hand toward the horizon to the east, where the sun’s rays were just starting to scatter their hazy light over the vine-choked rubble and fields of dandelions. It was February, … [ Read more]

In the Loop: The new North Loop Galley is at the forefront of bleeding-edge dining trends—and that’s a good thing

When I first learned of the concept behind the newly opened North Loop Galley food court, I took it for granted that soul and authenticity—however those two slippery terms are defined—weren’t going to be part of the package deal.  The North Loop Galley space was opened by the national Galley Group in late 2019, and … [ Read more]

Review: Fresh Meat – Despite a familiar format, Baldamar is sizzling with new life

Baldamar is a steakhouse at a mall. This must be distinctly understood, or nothing wonderful can come of this review. Despite its aggressive Instagram influencer-courting and its 9th Level Gnome Illusionist-sounding name, Baldamar is both fully contemporary and as square as can be, down to its Restoration Hardware-meets-Delta Sky Club interior. And yet: There’s a … [ Read more]

A Nice Day to Start Again: Testing the Reboots of 3 Minnesota Restaurants

The food industry is famously brutal and when a restaurant closes up shop, it doesn’t typically rise to fight again another day. But 2019 has seen a number of high-profile restaurants shut down, retool, and then give it another go. We tested three: Lucky Cricket, JUN Szechuan Kitchen & Bar, and the Delicata to Foxtrot Burger … [ Read more]

Paul Berglund’s Fat Noodle pop-up in Rochester is a Tour de Force

A Chef on the Move Any Minnesotan who loves fine food already knows chef Paul Berglund, whose work at The Bachelor Farmer was instrumental in putting that North Loop landmark on the map. Berglund spent some time working with Ann Kim’s restaurant group before moving this year down to Rochester where he worked with Fiddlehead … [ Read more]

Review: St. Paul’s Monkey Temple Honors a Divine Portfolio of Dishes

Monkey Temple is an improbable restaurant with a richly evocative name. This tribute to Indian and Anglo-American fare sits on Snelling Avenue in St. Paul at the base of The Grove apartments, flanked by Hot Hands, a neatly turned-out sweet and savory pie shop. The menu is a blend of Anglo-American favorites (lamb stew with Yorkshire pudding, … [ Read more]

Review: Welcome to Willards – Cambridge’s fine dining star is a community space to savor

For anyone who has followed the story of chef Erick Harcey’s career, a dinner at Willards in Cambridge, Minnesota, feels like the richly deserved product of years of effort and evolution. From his time at Victory 44 in North Minneapolis to the breakout effort at Parka on East Lake Street to the briefly shining high-end … [ Read more]

Review: Delicious and divisive, Demi isn’t for everyone

It’s not difficult to understand why reservations for Demi are nearly impossible to come by—it’s a very small place that makes a very big promise. Dine at Demi and you get a concentrated, multi-course blast of the same intensely cosmopolitan hospitality that distinguishes its sister restaurants of Spoon and Stable and Bellecour. If you choose … [ Read more]

Whirlwind Tour: Rediscovering Stillwater in a 10-stop dining adventure

This is a part of our Whirlwind Tour food series, in which we taste through a town’s culinary scene.   Stillwater has a reputation for its sense of history (founded 165 years ago, it’s among the state’s oldest towns) and its downtown embraces the past with everything from its motto (“The Birthplace of Minnesota”) to historic … [ Read more]

Review: Garage Bar and Bowl is an oasis of plainspoken culinary magic

What’s in a chicken wing? Along with burgers and pizza, wings are one of America’s quintessential bar foods, simple to do tolerably well, but surprisingly difficult to get exactly right. The question is: Why shoot for excellence when “tolerable” is good enough? That’s what drew us out to Waconia (twice) to visit the six-month-old Garage … [ Read more]

Ziadi’s Mediterranean Cuisine Proves that the Devil is in the Details

There is a deep but hard-to-see gulf between scratch-made counter spots and fine-dining restaurants. Two specific examples: World Street Kitchen and Meritage. Both serve delicious food that’s made with care, but a world of slight and sometimes intangible differences sets them apart from each other. It’s into this chasm that the new Midtown Global Market … [ Read more]

Review: Naan pizza and a novel recipe for success at Pizza Karma

Even the best restaurant is only as good as its bottom line. The freshest ingredients, the warmest hospitality, and the tastiest food can’t sustain a place that’s burdened by a budget that’s underwater. (For example, the closure three years ago of the stunningly ambitious Brasserie Zentral in Minneapolis, one of the best restaurants you probably … [ Read more]

Review: Colita’s Many Charms Are Tough to Resist

Daniel Del Prado’s two restaurants may be sisters, but they aren’t identical twins. Martina has made a mark for itself in Linden Hills with its mirror-polished sheen of upscale glamor; Colita is newer and offers more funk. Colita is less “art reception” and more “party!”, a bit less seafood and considerably more masa, less polish … [ Read more]

Review: (Un)Lucky Cricket

Lucky Cricket is a cautionary tale for building a restaurant on a foundation of contradictions There may be no less lucky way to launch a major new Midwestern Chinese restaurant than categorically describing your mom-and-pop competition as “horseshit.” But that’s the tack world traveler and TV personality Andrew Zimmern took while launching his St. Louis … [ Read more]

Review: Lat14 Asian Eatery tells a personal story with boldness and style

Trends come and go, and while some are maddening ($4 donuts) and some perplexing (ubiquitous poke bowls in a state over a thousand miles from the closest ocean), some are welcome and improve the dining scene. Case in point: restaurants tied to a distinct sense of place. More and more new eateries have menus that … [ Read more]