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MSP: Updated Dinner Recommendations for Minneapolis?

I'm visiting Minneapolis this week, and I'm looking for a fabulous place to have dinner. Money is no object. I'll be there just one night.

I've done some searches on the boards and have assembled a list of places that sound interesting and don't appear to have since closed. Anyone care to weigh in? If you have a recommendation that isn't on the list, please let me know!

Cafe Lurcat
La Belle Vie

I'm looking for something that will stun and amaze. Food as art, if it exists in MSP.


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  1. Without trying to define "food as art", i'd say Vincent and Lurcat are NOT on the same "art" league than the others - they are great restaurants but definitely not as creative. My favorite for a special occasion feast is La Belle Vie - great food, decor, super-expert somelier, etc. Auriga & Alma are awesome, too, but less formal/fancy and probably shorter menus (Auriga has an odd ambience, so you eat great food in a place that a friend described as a "Marriott hotel lobby"). Cosmos at the Graves 601 hotel has a great menu & decor, although i have not been there in a while.

    1. I love 112 Eatery. It's not necessarily fancy, but I think the food does stun and amaze, if that means doing extraordinary things with even ordinary dishes. For instance, their deep fried cauliflower (side dish) is to die for. It's the only cauliflower I've craved in my life.


      Bring your winter woolens--it suddenly turned very cold here.


        1. I would have to give LBV extremely high points for service and ambiance (definitely the most true to a Paris restaurant experience you can get here in MSP) but the one time we went this summer I was disappointed in their food. While the fois gras appetizer was amazing, my chicken entree and blueberry donut like pastry for dessert were underwhelming.

          Although I've only had lunch at Cosmos I was blown away by their food. And although the restaurant is in a hotel, it's still impressive. If you can get there before Seth Daugherty leaves of course (hopefully not this week, we're hoping to get there for dinner on Wednesday)!

          We're also huge fans of Levain, 112 Eatery and Alma.

          5 Replies
          1. re: katebauer

            I helped open the hotel and Seth was the opening chef. He is great person as well as great chef. I haven't kept in contact with him ..do you know where he is going?

            1. re: kat_dew

              I read somewhere just a few days ago that he is leaving for New York to help run a program to improve the quality of food in schools. His departure seemed to be coming up quite soon.

              I can't find the link now - anyone else have more info?

            2. re: katebauer

              Seth Daugherty is leaving? CRAP!! I went to Cosmos for the first time this summer and recently moved to Woodbury and was looking forward to regular trips to Cosmos! The food was stunning-as good as Spring in Chicago.

                1. re: katebauer

                  Kate, I don't think that Seth is leaving the MSP area -- I believe that he and his wife are going to run their Real Food Initiatives project here. Zimmern refers to Daugherty going to cook at the James Beard House in New York next week, but that's just a one-week guest gig.

            3. From what you've said in your original post, I think La Belle Vie or Cosmos fit the best. All the other suggestions are wonderful, but I think these two best fit the "food as art" comment you mentioned. Have fun!

              1. Ah, you're right that I read that as he was heading to NY to stay. As a New York native perhaps I was introducing my bias into the article :)

                1. LBV for what you are looking for.

                  D'amico cucina is always good too.

                  Alma is my personal current fave.

                  Have fun - if you need another person to fill a chair please let me know!

                  1. I would also recommend 20.21 (Puck) or the Chambers Kitchen (Jean-Georges). I thought both were very good for a meal as entertainment.

                    1. La Belle Vie is the clear choice. Have a creative drink in the lounge first, then settle in for an elegant and outstanding dinner. Enjoy!

                      1. Thanks to all for the recommendations. Cosmos was our destination in the end--the news about the exec chef spiriting himself away to NYC in the next few weeks sealed the decision.

                        I must say that Cosmos fit the bill, nearly 100%. The food was stunning, and the atmosphere striking. (I think I might need to stay at the Graves Hotel during my next visit to MSP--not to mention visiting some of the other restaurants on this thread, e.g. LBV.)

                        Thanks again!

                        1. If you're looking for "art" (visual, not edible) most of the suggestions above will work. However, if you care primarily about food, then 112 eatery is the real answer. Either Isaac Becker (Chef Owner) or Denny (Sous Chef) will prepare your meal whenever you are there - not some talented but non-invested line cook. Whenever someone who cares sends the plate your way, it's a good sign. Zen food without leaving hungry. Their stringozzi (their spelling, not mine) elevates water, flour & salt (no egg) to new heights as a means to sop up the lamb sugo's succulent juices. Their "cold cut" appetizer will surprise you, down to their home made pickles. Go ahead and dress up, but your food will be no better than what's being served to the party in jeans & t-shirts at 112.