Best Restaurants

Best New Restaurants 2011

A bevy of chef changes, openings, closings, and flashy new ideas made this another wild year in our local food scene.

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In Season

The thing you have to remember here is that there are usually no more than two guys in the kitchen. One of them is Don Saunders, which goes a long way, but still, two guys. Two guys who take each order and build plate after plate of scratch, technically dead-on French-inspired modern food. Sure, the house is small, but it is often packed to its comfortably stylish rafters with a buzzy neighborhood crowd that seems happy to leave louder, larger restaurants to everyone else.

Cooking seasonally allows Saunders to hone his menu to make the biggest impact with a smaller number of dishes. Still, it’s amazing to watch plates fly from the kitchen with surprising and balanced food that pays homage to the season and palate with a simplicity necessitated by the gift and the curse of a small space. 5416 Penn Ave. S., Mpls., 612-926-0105,

Read our full review from the February issue.

Eater’s Guide

Seasonal, Get It?

The menu changes with the seasons but is more about the way the daylight and temperatures make us want to eat rather than a strict locavore statement. When you’re craving braised meats and hearty stews, bet that In Season will too.

Size Matters.

There are no terms like "appetizer" or "larger plates" on the menu. Instead, you are encouraged to sample according to your hunger. It’s fun, but do inquire about the size of the dish–some are filling and some are not.

Secret Menu.

Although not listed, a tasting menu is available for roughly $60 if you call ahead to let them know you’re interested. Small kitchens like to plan ahead.

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