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Best of the Cities 2010

Yes, that ballpark rocks. And, getting there on the Northstar line is pretty cool. That kestrel is awful funny. And did you try the Vincent burger at the park? Those are just four reasons to celebrate the new stadium and the Twin Cities. Read on to discover 100 more reasons to love the place you live.

Best of the Cities 2010
Photo by Thomas Strand

(page 5 of 7)

Savory Pastry

Salty Tart

Pastry need not be merely sweet! Some of the most wonderful offerings at Charlie Trotter alum Michelle Gayer’s bakery Salty Tart are savory, salty, spicy, and otherwise unmarked by sugar. For instance: milk bread buns topped with bacon-fat-sauteed chanterelles; double crusted apple pies scented with rosemary; twice-baked croissants filled with a house-made herb-cream cheese, local ham, and a melting blend of Gruyere, provolone, and Asiago; cakes filled with crème fraîche; and red-wine cupcakes. What’s that? Did you savory fans just drive off to the bakery in the middle of this sentence? Good for you. Life is too short to resist pastry this good. • 920 E. Lake St., Mpls., 612-874-9206; saltytart.com
 

Bánh Mì

Saigon

Bánh mì are Vietnam’s answer to the hoagie: They’re feather-light, French-bread rolls filled with any sort of filling, from lushly tender meatballs cooked in a tomato-chili sauce to simple cold-cuts. The best are from Saigon Restaurant and Bakery on University Avenue, and you know they’re the best because there’s a line for them nearly every lunch hour, and all afternoon on the weekends. We also predict that when the light-rail construction brings every other business on University Avenue to a halt, bánh mì fans will come climbing over the backhoes just to reach Saigon’s door. • 601 University Ave. W., St. Paul, 651-225-8751
 

Vietnamese

Ngon Bistro

It’s not every Vietnamese restaurant that offers a charcuterie plate with a house-made, five-spice, local elk sausage, Wild Acres duck confit, and Fischer Farms pork terrine. It’s not every Vietnamese restaurant that offers a micro-brew list to draw in the most discerning beer snob. It’s not every Vietnamese restaurant that makes specials like Vietnamese toad-in-the-hole, with sweet Vietnamese pork sausage baked in a Yorkshire pudding with anise-spiced gravy. And it’s not every Vietnamese restaurant that offers these grace notes in a dining room that looks like stylish British models would happily have high tea there. And it’s not every Vietnamese restaurant that does all that and serves a pho that easily wins any championship in which the criteria are authenticity and deliciousness. No, it’s not every one, but it only takes one: Ngon Bistro, you are the only one! • 799 University Ave. W., St. Paul, 651-222-3301, ngonbistro.com
 

Bagels

St. Paul Bagelry

Very few bagel bakers in the United States achieve true bagel nirvana, but St. Paul Bagelry has found it. Their bagels are so tender you can squish a bit of the interior in your fingers like a warm marshmallow. Every chewy bite produces tug and resistance, in the manner of al dente pasta. If you’ve never had one, repair your error immediately, and if you’ve never had a bagel with that interior bit of bounce to its soul, you’ve never had a bagel. • 1702 Lexington Ave. N., Roseville, 651-488-1700, stpaulbagelry.com


Butcher Shop

Clancey’s Meats and Fish

Clancey’s is sort of like a jewelry shop for meat lovers: Peer into the case and your acquisitive heart will leap and dance. What today? Bratwurst made with fennel pollen? Burgers made with blue cheese and scallions? Dry-rubbed Kansas-City-style spareribs? Or even smoked-scallop-and-corn chowder? If you’re wondering who cuts these jewels, so to speak; here’s who: Clancey’s draws lots of ambitious young chefs who like to work there for a few months or a few years to bone up (literally) on their whole-animal skills, and these chefs make soup, stock, sausage, and everything else you can think of, and turn locally raised meat into the gems of dinner. • 4307 Upton Ave. S., Mpls., 612-926-0222, clanceysmeats.com
 

Shopping & Services

Dress Designer

Joynoëlle

Joy Teiken has come a long way from her first sewing project: a beret for her mother, who was undergoing chemotherapy. But the quality and thought behind her designs are ever-present. The audience always gasps and points when Teiken’s creations come down the runway. And her designs are always clearly hers: Romantic ruffles, architectural details, bold prints, and even bridal wear has her personal stamp. With appearances in Daily Candy and Women’s Wear Daily, she could be living in New York, but she’s living here, and boy, do we love her for that. • Joynoëlle Boutique & Atelier, 312 W. 42nd St., Mpls., 612-209-7822, joynoelle.com
 

Workout Wear

Lululemon

What you’ve heard about Lululemon Athletica’s Groove Pants is absolutely, positively true: They truly do flatter the posterior. Of course, the price tag might make you wonder if these yoga pants are spun from gold. But Lululemon has managed to make supremely functional, darling “athleisure” and athletic wear that will make your butt look better than J.Lo’s. And, ladies, you know that’s worth more than gold. (Psst: Lululemon has a men’s line too, made with Silverescent, its own anti-odor ingredient.) • 2313 W. 50th St., Mpls., 612-929-2014; 1639 West End Blvd., St. Louis Park, 763-545-9069, lululemon.com
 

Beauty Crusader

Becky Sturm

Becky Sturm’s shop, StormSister Spatique, is a little like the Cheers of the beauty world. When you walk through the door, she’s already got product recommendations tailored especially for you. She’ll remember your name and preferences. And she’s got an agenda to clean up the beauty world, so the products on her shelves are the eco-friendliest and most effective that she can find. Not sure where to start? She’s educated and opinionated and will get you on the right track. Looking to make friends or create your own product line? She’s a megaphone and a connector. Now, if she’d start serving champagne, we’d really have a bar. • StormSister Spatique, 635 Smith Ave. S., St. Paul, 612-716-5480, stormsister.biz
 

Handbags

Nelle Handbags

For the record, we loved Laura Nelli’s handheld confections before Oprah did—but we’re thrilled all the same that O Magazine recently recognized her terrific totes. Her girly Nelle line is perfect for a picnic by the park or a walk down the bridal aisle. The latest designs, the Harold line, are day totes that can’t be beat. Get one now. Later, when it’s worth a mint, you’ll be able to say you bought it when. • nellehandbags.com

Jewelers

Northrup King Studio 435: Susan Frerichs, Betty Jäger, Emily Johnson, Britta Kauppila

It’s hard to believe these four jewelers sharing a studio haven’t created some kind of supernova black hole and shot straight into the next universe with all their shimmering talent. Each woman tends to her own designs, but Frerichs’s stark skulls and telephone poles, Betty Jäger’s romantic-gothic statements, Emily Johnson’s feminine-edgy mix, and Britta Kauppila’s organic shapes complement each other perfectly. Plus, their wares are handmade, one-of-a-kind, gorgeous, and affordable. • Northrup King Building, 1500 Jackson St. NE, Mpls., northrupkingbuilding.com
 

Hats

Angie’s Hats

The elegant chapeau is no longer just for churchgoers and Kentucky Derby attendees. To do it up right, though, you need to see Angie Sandifer. She knows how hats are made—wide brim, cloche, giant floral adornments, lace. Make an appointment to see her ready-to-wear collection, or have one custom-made. • Northern Warehouse Artist Co-op, 308 Prince St., Studio 610, 651-208-4442; 24 W. Seventh Pl., St. Paul, 651-208-4442, angieshats.com  
 


Vintage

Everything old is new again. Twin Cities vintage can’t be beat.

If your style leans toward classic with a reinvented twist, the home wares and jewelry created by Style Minneapolis proprietor Shayne Barsness will be a revelation to you. Barsness, who considers the lush, well-worn, collected look of European design her inspiration, gives new life to the old. She transforms aged furniture and accessories with dreamy, weathered finishes and fashions wonderfully up-to-date jewelry out of vintage pieces. • 4501 Nicollet Ave. S., Mpls., 612-377-3331

There’s no need for frugal fashionistas to sort through mountains of chaff in the hope of finding a single grain of wheat at June, a Minneapolis resale shop with a well-edited collection of gently used designer clothing. Owner Daune Stinson has stocked her boutique with the likes of Escada, Dolce & Gabbana, Trina Turk, and Laundry—priced at a fraction of retail. • 3406 Lyndale Ave. S., Mpls., 612-354-3970, juneresale.com

For a truly vintageous day, hit the St. Paul Retro Loop, near University and Snelling. Each store has a little of its own specialty. Lula can’t be beat for vintage dresses. Swank excels in home décor and entertaining. Up Six has a fun 50/50 mix of clothing and furniture (check out its Craigslist listings). Classic Retro @ Pete’s has Pete, the extremely knowledgeable owner, plus some higher-end items. And Succotash is a postage-size romp through the 1950s and ’60s. • stpaulretroloop.com

Owner Steve Swanson and the crew at Danish Teak Classics restore and sell the best the genre has to offer, from sideboards and secretaries to occasional tables and bedroom furniture. They eat, sleep, and breathe good design, so they’re encyclopedias of information. • Northrup King Building, 1500 Jackson St. NE #227, Mpls., 612-362-7870, danishteakclassics.com



Fashion Booster

Anna Lee

This year, several people of influence flew in to see Voltage: Fashion Amplified, the go-to, local, annual showcase of designers, at the Minne- apolis club First Avenue. People came to us. Why? Designer Anna Lee. Over the years, this show has become the capstone to a week of bona fide fashion events—New York be damned. Lee’s soft-spoken demeanor belies her hardworking, creative force—she’s undoubtedly our design community’s greatest cheerleader, rallying the troops and parading them down the catwalk. • ruby3annalee.wordpress.com
 

Kids’ Stuff

Danish Bohemia

Danish Bohemia is one of those little gems tucked into a house along Grand Avenue, and it’s quiet and unassuming. But when you step through the doors, it’s like entering a magical, soft fairy tale, where elves frolic among oversized toadstools and everything is cozy and covered in felted wool. Where this boutique really shines is with children’s items—clothing, décor, and toys. If modern baby décor is too sharp or grown-up, but Dora or the Disney princesses leave you wanting something with more depth or polish, this is the place for you. • 1144 Grand Ave., St. Paul, 651-222-8383, danishbohemia.com
 


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