Lake Avenue Café, Duluth, Minnesota
We just came from dinner there, and I have to say this place is worthy of a long detour. Their foods are locally sourced as best they can do, but even better, everything we had was delicious. DH and I weren't up for a big entrée, so split a bunch of dishes - beef tartare, Ceviche, onion soup, and a pizza.
We're from the Los Angeles area, this place could hold its own among the best Southern California restaurants. Even their bar features small, local producers of beer (Broken Paddle ISP and -- get ready -- Surly Furious) and whiskeys. We sat at the bar and talked with the executive chef (who was reading a Harold McMillian's book on cooking); late on, another of the restaurant's chefs came in to have a beer.
We're actually considering a second night in the area just so we can eat there again.