Out of all the restaurants in a city, 10Best narrows the options to those places with the most appeal and the best reputations. We offer carefully vetted selections to let you explore Minneapolis dining on your own. If time is really tight, though, and you don't have the leisure to look through all our offerings, we present our Minneapolis Best Restaurants list. Here, we distill the best businesses down to a special selection of ten. These places promise a stellar experience and a taste of the city that you just can't miss.
Fogo de Chão
Steaks — Brazilian-style — make Fogo de Chão a hit. Featuring 12 cuts of beef as well as chicken, pork and sausage, all meats are expertly seasoned and slow-roasted on an open flame. Meals are accompanied by a visit to a 25-item salad bar and savory sides like rice and beans, fried bananas and cheese bread. The ambiance is rustic, and the "Gaucho" theme is played to the hilt. All meals are prix fixe. (612-338-1344)
This appealing steakhouse, reminiscent of an old-fashioned men's club, serves USDA-certified, dry-aged beef and does so in portions that are certain to demand a doggie bag. The menu changes daily but often features a mouth-watering porterhouse or New York strip, along with lemon-pepper chicken, shrimp, salmon, tuna, veal, lamb, and pork chops. The typical crowd dresses in everything from rhinestones to blue jeans. (612-339-9900)
An expansive tasting menu that changes almost daily and a bustling dining room made light and cheery with blond wood accents keep things lively and bustling at Alma. If it's fresh, organic, and seasonal, it's probably on the menu, which is designed with local farms and suppliers in mind. The three-course tasting menu is $48; representative courses include parmesan flan and soft quail egg with maple syrup, buckwheat crepe with smoked portobellos, leeks and spicy mustard, and sautéed wild Alaskan halibut with red kimchi purée. You'll have to order dessert separately, but with choices like chocolate-banana cake and passion fruit meringue pie, the splurge is well worth it. (612-379-4909)
One of the best reasons you have for venturing into the Warehouse District, this cozy, award-winning kitchen, run by Chef Isaac Becker, applies youthful enthusiasm to the art of creative cookery. Featured main dishes run the gamut, from nori-encrusted sirloin with ponzu to sea urchin risotto to tagliatelle with foie gras meatballs. If something a tad more mainstream fires your craving, then the signature 112 cheeseburger is probably the way to go. It won't take long for you to figure why this is one of town's top restaurants, the preferred haunt of Minny foodies. (612-343-7696)
Corner Table places a premium on serving up dishes that incorporate locally-grown ingredients, particularly meat and produce from small, family-owned farms. Though the digs are snug, guests are made to feel right at home by the calm vibe. The dining room's capacity for comfort only deepens when waitstaff delivers dishes like braised beef shank with whipped parsnip and broccolini, pan-roasted trout with Brussels sprout leaves and roasted potato, and pappardelle pasta with lamb ragout. (612-823-0011)
Keeping pace with the sleek, sexy aesthetics of the Graves 601 Hotel requires a restaurant designer's A-game, and that's just what happened when the plans were drawn up for Cosmos. Modern and cool, the space features furniture with low-profiles and clean, distinct lines, giving it a dramatic vibe that suits the downtown Theater District just right. The dinner menu lists inventive numbers like celery root tart and vanilla-butter poached lobster with sweet onion curry. Sunday "blunch," meanwhile, includes tasty benedicts, corned beef hash, and after 11am, even grilled pork loin and grass-fed Minnesota rib-eye. (612-312-1168, 612-677-1100)