Heyday – Minneapolis, MN

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High-end dining, molecular gastronomy, and white tablecloths are some of my favorite things. I love experiencing the newest, highest levels of cuisine every chance I get, especially when I travel. But, here at home I’ll often find myself in the mood for some great food without the pomp and circumstance of dressing in a suit in a low lit dining room. Every now and again I just want delicious, inventive food in a relaxed atmosphere. Piccolo was the only restaurant to occupy my “frequent rotation” list in this category. With the opening of Heyday, Chef Flicker and Piccolo now have company on that list.

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Victory 44 – Minneapolis, MN

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Fresh from my recent visit to Travail I was in the mood yet again to scope out another neighborhood eatery known for its casual feel, but more importantly for a refined and adventurous menu. Although a long time resident of my “must try” list for restaurants around town, Victory 44′s location up in the northwestern part of Minneapolis has kept me from it, and wrongfully so. My early arrival at 5:10pm was greeted with a full parking lot, a minor inconvenience that served as an indicator to the restaurant’s popularity.

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Travail Kitchen & Amusements – Minneapolis, MN

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To doubt the popularity of Travail and its staff (past and present) would seem foolhardy. From its wildly popular first restaurant, Travail has spawned two spin-off establishments and a pop-up restaurant. On top of that there’s also the astonishingly successful Kickstarter campaign which raised over $200,000 to build Travail 2.0. “Travailians” have been abuzz about the grand opening of the new Travail, an event which came to pass this week.

We opened Travail three years ago with $2,000 in the bank and a purpose—to make fine dining food interactive, approachable, affordable, and a lot of fun.

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Sea Change – Minneapolis, MN

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Being landlocked in the middle of the country, Minnesota is not a place where one would normally expect to have high quality seafood. While there are a few options around town for fresh seafood, none are quite as grandiose as Sea Change. Attached to the Gurthrie Theater, Sea Change focuses on showcasing sustainable seafood in an elegant, fine dining atmosphere.

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The Kenwood – Minneapolis, MN

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When I took some time to reflect on 2013′s culinary journey I had few regrets. However, among just the few was the regret for never dining at In Season prior to its permanent hiatus. The chef of In Season, Don Saunders, was made known to me through favorable recommendations from a few local Twin Cities food aficionados. Fortunately for me – and others who missed out on In Season – Chef Saunders’ food can still be enjoyed at The Kenwood.

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