Early-to-bed Minneapolis now has a reason to stay up, with the advent of this spot from the husband-and-wife team of Isaac Becker and Nancy St. Pierre. Becker, formerly of Café Lurcat, favors bold flavor contrasts: roasted monkfish with a red wine-ham hock sauce; lamb with herbed goat's-milk yogurt.
Owners Doug and Jessica Anderson and Aquavit alum Roger Johnsson have converted this former diner into an energetic bistro. There's a Swedish spin to the menu: Poached eggs with gravlax is St. Paul's best breakfast, and pan-roasted Arctic char with fennel and tarragon is the dinner highlight. The quirky wine list is priced to encourage exploration.
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Chef Scott Pampuch honed his skills at the Modern Café, the city's pot roast capital, before becoming his own boss. Now he focuses on finding first-rate local ingredients for dishes that range from slow-cooked bison to cilantro-stuffed troutall under $25.
At her cheerful Linden Hills butcher shop, owner Kristin Tombers sells products from more than a dozen quality-obsessed Minnesota family farms that use sustainable agricultural methods. Some of the most outstanding items from the cooler are the foie gras, grass-fed beef and lamb-blueberry sausages. There's also a take-out counter where you can buy mile-high roast beef-horseradish sandwiches and pickled vegetables.
Only early risers get a crack at the popular Cañadas de Azucar, a thin, soft, Spanish-inspired flatbread drizzled with olive oil and flecked with sugarand it's not unusual for the other 10 or so varieties of hand-formed, hearth-baked breads to sell out on weekends. Sublime Braeburn-apple tarts, crumbly cherry-chocolate scones and crisp lemon cookies are just a few examples of the superb craftsmanship on display behind the bakery's bright orange door.
Updated August 2009