Sue Z. Says

Looking for a romantic restaurant—with food to match—this Valentine’s Day? That’s exactly what co-owners Michael Kutscheid, Roger Kubicki, and Naomi Williamson have created at Sanctuary (903 Washington Ave. S., Minneapolis, 612-339-5058). Chef Patrick Atanalian’s magnificently scrumptious fusion menu—along with the décor, dim lighting, and fireplace—makes it a perfect spot for sweethearts.

Another favorite for a romantic night out is chef/owner Jon Hunt’s Al Vento (5001 34th Ave. S., Minneapolis, 612-724-3009), where the inventive menu matches the cafe lighting. Hunt’s new restaurant, Rinata (2451 Hennepin Ave. S., 612-374-8998), is more casual, but it still boasts amore ambiance.

Café Maude (5411 Penn Ave. S., Minneapolis, 612-822-5411), into which owner Kevin Sheehy put his creative juices, hiring chefs Aaron Slavicek and Sam Miller, has already expanded; now you can also enjoy a wine bar menu across the street in the new Armitage Room, which is also available for private parties and events.

You can find great eggs at Fat Nat’s (3540 Winnetka Ave., New Hope, 763-540-0234), which offers six varieties of Benedicts and a dozen omelet choices. For lunch, the Fat Nat Slider is a winner, too. Owners Lisa and Jeff Nat also have a second Fat Nat’s (8587 Edinburgh Center Dr., Brooklyn Park, 763-425-0117).

Sue Zelickson is host of WCCO Radio’s Food for Thought.

Sue Zelickson (Sue Z.) is a James Beard Award-winning food media personality, philanthropist, and longtime contributor to Minnesota Monthly and WCCO radio. She has founded the Charlie Awards, the Women Who Really Cook networking organization for women in the local food industry, and the Kids Cafe at Perspectives, Inc., which improves access to nutritious meals for families in need. You can find her buzzing around from event to event throughout the Twin Cities, helping to raise funds for charitable organizations, including some she has had a hand in building.