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If you could eat in one restaurant...

We are in MN for a family reunion. We are staying up in the Brainard Lakes area but we have to drive one of the kids down to the airport and fly him home. Husband said, "Find us a restaurant in Minneapolis." OK.

We are from Boulder, CO. We eat when we travel. We travel a lot. We'll eat anything. Price doesn't matter and neither does location, though we will be eating after 7p.m. at night. We will eat in the nastiest dive if the food is amazing. I'll put on a dress and open up my wallet for a 7 course tasting menu.... if the food is worth it.

So... what is the best Minneapolis/ St Paul has to offer? If you could recommend one restaurant that will rock my world, what would it be?

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  1. I enjoy Piccolo every time I go, and think it is a gem in Minneapolis. Cramped quarters, but the execution is great. If you're not a small plates person, however, this place is not for you.

    2 Replies
    1. re: parkermsp

      +1 on Piccolo, for me the best restaurant in Minneapolis, very creative cooking, service a cut above. Interesting wine list.

      1. re: parkermsp

        Gonna hop on the Piccolo bandwagon as well. I've only eaten there once but it was adventurous and outstanding.

      2. Travail has yet to reopen (as Travail, not as Pig Ate My Pizza), so another vote for Piccolo. When Anthpny Bourdain did a show on the nation's heartland a couple of years back (that also included Colorado--didn't know you guys were in the heartland), he commented that Piccolo was the best place he visited.

        Piccolo is also located in a neighborhood (instead of downtown). So that sort of setting might also be appealing.

        1 Reply
        1. re: Brad Ballinger

          You're all so brave to answer this question, but I think you're on the right track: it's too open-ended for me. If it were me, I'd go to some little hole in the wall mom and pop place, but I don't know what to recommend to someone who travels "a lot."

          ~TDQ

        2. At one end of the spectrum, I'd recommend heidi's or Corner Table. And at the more divier end, I'd recommend Himalayan Restuarant for the most incredible Nepalese food. All of them rock my world in different ways.

          1. I'll probably pass on the Nepalese. With Naropa University in Boulder and more climbers than you can shake a stick at, we have our fair share of Nepalese food. (Funny side story about that.... our English friends complain all the time that the Indian food in this town is REALLY all Nepalese food. Lucky for them, they've hunted down a true Indian restaurant that they say makes a proper curry.)

            I don't mean to sound like a total tool by saying that we travel "a lot". We are not world class jet setters, by any means, but we do manage to get around and we always try to eat the best a place has to offer.

            Thanks for help so far. Looking forward to more suggestions.

            1. I'm going to go out on a limb and recommend a few dishes as it's really hard to figure out what experience you are going for and I don't know how I'd pick one other than maybe by saying "that thing sounds really good."

              I'm sure others could add a lot to this list, but here's a start.

              Lower end:
              Korean BBQ pizza at Pizza Lola.

              Middle end:
              Getting about 6 appetizers/small entrees from 112 Eatery (check the menu)
              Calamatrata with raw tuna or foie gras tortellini at Bar La Grassa

              Higher end:
              Sitting at the bar at La Belle Vie for the rabbit pappardelle and lamb burgers and cocktails.
              The smoked fish/meat "toasts" course at The Bachelor Farmer. And the drinks and the unique wine menu.
              Full tasting menu at Piccolo or Alma.