The Twin Cities’ newest notable restaurants show the area’s food scene—from ethnic eateries to breakfast spots—continues to evolve
(page 1 of 2)YOU DON’T HAVE TO like the idea that you may have descended from a chest-thumping Neanderthal, but you have to agree—everything evolves. Restaurants included. Since the first restaurant by today’s standards arrived on the scene (1725 in Madrid, according to Guinness World Records), new concepts have cropped up as fast as fry cooks can griddle plates of hash: the Colonial tavern, the London coffeehouse, the cafeteria, the supper club, the drive-in, the automat, the theme restaurant decorated with vintage guitars or mechanical animals.
In the Twin Cities, dining trends have come and gone over the years as restaurateurs continue to innovate. Not only do the Cities now boast a dining scene with a breadth of cuisines across a range of price points—from $5 bowls of Vietnamese pho to eight-course, $150 tasting menus—we’re also cultivating a culture of original thinking, the kind of award-winning cooking that garners national attention. The public has become sophisticated to the point that novelty—serving Californian or Tibetan cuisine in meat-and-potatoes land—isn’t enough. We want oysters as fresh as those we ate on Cape Cod, served in an attractive space by a knowledgeable staff member who will help us pair them with the right Sauvignon Blanc. If your restaurant can’t do that, there’s probably another one that can.
Five of this year’s notable new restaurants—an ethnic eatery, a combination wine shop/bistro, a mall restaurant, a breakfast spot, and a wine bar—are a harbinger of things to come: eateries that are classier and more convenient, serving more inspiring food than their ancestors. So put down that caveman’s club, pick up a fork, and dig into 2007’s latest.