Restaurant Alma. Photos by TJ Turner.
Each month, in our Restaurants Revisited conversation, MnMo food critics Jason DeRusha and Joy Summers return to an “old favorite” restaurant and assess how it’s faring.
Jason: It’s been a decade since Restaurant Alma got its first four-star review. After a recent visit, I’m telling you the food is better than ever.
Joy: Holy seared scallops, you aren’t kidding.
Jason: And what a value! $55 for a three-course meal, and wine pairings for just $20. $20! Three glasses of wine, each so good I went and found the bottles to buy.
Joy: They have one of the best wine lists in town. If you don’t want to order the tasting menu, each dish is available à la carte.
Jason: We had a beautiful black cod with Asian influences, and a crispy ham with smoked cauliflower that tasted very Midwestern. Both incredible.
Joy: The artful balance of rich, tart, spicy, savory, and sweet, combined with nuanced textures—this is what dining in heaven must be like. We had a rabbit dish that featured the best couscous of my life. Really, who has ever before said, “Bring me more of that amazing couscous!” And yet, there I was.
Jason: Some of the servers have been there for years, and you can tell. They’re attentive, friendly, and just perfect.
Joy: There’s a remarkable difference between true professionals and those who are waiting tables as a stopover to other endeavors.
Jason: My only complaint is the space. Time has passed Alma by when it comes to the room; it feels a decade old. I’m fairly sure I heard 10,000 Maniacs on the sound system (for real).
Joy: Well, then you’ll be happy to know that when I saw owner and James Beard Award–winning chef Alex Roberts, he told me that the room will shut down for a bit of a refresher as they continue working on the new cafe space next door.
Jason: Thank goodness, because we were seated looking at the open kitchen, which is really open. We saw (and heard) the dishwasher all night.
Joy: But oh, that food….
Restaurant Alma Quick Tips
Reservations needed: Yes, chairs still fill up quickly
What to drink: Wine aficionados’ delight
Where to sit: The intimate first floor seats
Restaurant Alma, 528 University Ave. SE, Minneapolis, 612-379-4909, restaurantalma.com