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Seeking advice for the best of Minneapolis

I'm a New Yorker going to Minneapolis for the first time. Normally my travels take me internationally so I'm looking for restaurants where the chef's use fresh local ingredients with a local flavor somewhat creatively. Looking for interesting LOCAL food thats well crafted - no chains and no Mexican or Asian. I've also Heard that there is a "nouveau Scandanavian" movement there too, that I'd like to try.

Here is the list I've culled from chowhound and other digging on the internet. We only have 4 to maybe 5 dinners to narrow down to. No time for breakfast or lunch.

Love your advice! Thanks

The Bachelor Farmer
Union
112 Eatery
Alma
Corner Table
Sea Change
Butcher & The Boar

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  1. That list is pretty much The Usual Suspects. You might want to try Al's Breakfast for a singular experience. Also, the breakfast at Hell's Kitchen is wonderful. And if you are going to be here before Labor Day, our Minnesota State Fair might blow your mind (provided you are guided to the best vendors).

    1 Reply
    1. re: gryffindor249

      Thanks but we'll be there end Sept so will miss your Minnesota State Fair

    2. From your list, and what you say you are looking for, I'd pick Bachelor Farmer, Alma, and Corner Table. Not on your list, but should be, are Piccolo and Tilia.

      3 Replies
      1. re: Brad Ballinger

        Oh yeah, Brad, Tilia's a good add-on. I love that place.

        1. re: JimGrinsfelder

          Tillia is great. But be forewarned, it does not take reservations and the waits can be long. If patience isn't a virtue, try it at your own risk.

      2. If I had to pick five, these would be my choices:

        Restaurant Alma
        La Belle Vie - Thomas Keller called it "extraordinary"
        Piccolo
        Sea Change
        Borough

        If the "nouveau Scandanavian" is a must for you, then I'd add in Bachelor Farmer and leave out Sea Change. My thinking behind that is that sea change is seafood/fish focused and since you are from NYC, you probably have pretty good access to that back home. But I really believe Sea Change is a more interesting restaurant. You may want to investigate Bar La Grassa over both of them.

        I'd for sure leave out Union. It's a great building but my two meals there have been average at best so far and nothing memorable to write home about. 112 is still good, but La Grassa is better.

        Let us know what you end up deciding upon

        1 Reply
        1. re: Db Cooper

          Totally agree - ditch Union. Good for a cocktail on the rooftop, but the food is mediocre at best. There are far better places to go to for a good meal.

        2. You've got it, but I'll ape what everyone else has noted: You are missing Piccolo. Additionally, nouveau Scandanavian isn't really a thing, at least not here. If you were to compare, say, Aquavit to Bachelor Farmer you would note a marked difference in how "scandanavian" the latter is. Still good though. And pretty.

          Same suggestion with nixing Union unless you are looking for some company overnight one night.

          Alma, La Belle Vie, Piccolo, Butcher & The Boar, Bachelor Farmer, 112 or Burch or Bar LaGrassa...you'll have hit most of our shining points.

          1. Alma, Piccolo & La Belle Vie are my top 3.

            I'd consider 112 or Bachelor Farmer as 4th or 5th. I don't think 5 dinners in a row at restaurants like these is the way to go.

            I'd recommend two, maybe three high-end places. Then I'd mix in a trip to one of the park shacks like Sea Salt or Sand Castle or Bread & Pickle on a nice evening.

            And I'd stop at someplace like Wise Acres or Birchwood to get a little taste of lighter fare (to be fare, you can usually eat pretty healthy at Alma).

            And frankly, I'd go to a Vietnamese place because the Twin Cities quite possibly has more better Vietnamese than NYC.

            If you want Scandinavian, nothing here is as good as Aquavit in NYC used to be, but you've got Bachelor Farmer and Fika and Swede Hollow and Finn Bistro in St. Anthony Park.