Brent and I enjoy good food. I think it’s just another outgrowth of our appetite for creativity. The atmosphere and attention to detail of a restaurant, the colors and the flavors of the foods mingling in our mouths – it all appeals to and inspires us. On top of that, and even more importantly, dining often provides a great opportunity for either just the two of us or joining friends and family to connect and catch up. Whether it’s gathering at a fun restaurant or putting together a simple meal at a home, the biggest joy comes from being with people we enjoy and sharing lives.
My last post revealed my propensity for lists. To-do lists, favorites lists, a list of dreams for the future. But there’s more! A few years ago I started a list of restaurants we like or want to visit. I shared it with family and friends as a reference for when they can’t think of a good place to grab a bite to eat or want to try something different. The list is divided into various categories, including “Healthy Picks,” “Out of Town” “Breakfast Options” and “Friends’ Picks.” I refer to it and add to it continually.
There are over 100 restaurants on our full list. The places listed here are not so much reviews, but simply a few places on our short list of favorites. Check out their websites to see if anything catches your fancy. Maybe there are some great experiences awaiting you at one of them!
Birchwood Café 3311 East 25th Street, Minneapolis, 55406;
The Birchwood Cafe is located in the Seward neighborhood. You’ll find it just four blocks west of River Road, midway between Franklin and Lake. This restaurant creates fresh, unique dishes with down-home appeal. They use organic ingredients for vegan, vegetarian and non-vegetarian dishes. You’ll find a very casual atmosphere with counter service and a chalkboard menu. WiFi is available. We hold fondness for this spot since it’s one where we spent time getting to know each other while we were dating.
French Meadow Bakery and Café 2610 Lyndale Avenue South, Minneapolis, 55408;
Whole grains, fresh fruit, soups, salads, pastas and sandwiches are the main categories for lunch and dinner at French Meadow. But you’ll miss out if you don’t come back for breakfast as well. Pancakes, waffles, egg dishes and more. The menu includes lots of vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free options. We loved the mussels as an appetizer on our last visit.
Signature Café 130 Warwick St. SE, Minneapolis, 55414; 612-378-0237; $$$
In this little storefront setting within a residential neighborhood you’ll find a simple, yet creatively homey atmosphere. Linen tablecloths, antique wood booths upgrade that simplicity and provide a lovely romantic feel. We received personal, attentive service and loved the hummus and tapenade appetizers at our one and only visit here. We’ve said over and over we want to go back! Main course menu options change regularly at the Signature. Great food, quaint setting. Reservations are encouraged.
Savories 108 Main Street, Stillwater, 55082; 651-430-0702; $$-$$$
Savories changes from a wonderfully tasty sandwich spot for lunch to a romantically quaint location for a creatively superb dinner. It’s another spot where the chef changes the menu options frequently, but bases many of the choices on “local fare combined with global sensibilities” as they describe on their website. You’ll enjoy their soups and breads as well as the gourmet touches on dinner entreés. And you’ll also be tempted by the dessert selection.
D’Amico & Sons 7804 Olson Memorial Hwy., Golden Valley, 55427; 612-546-1166; $-$$
D’Amico & Sons is a familiar spot that offers affordable, Italian gourmet creations in an informal, European-style deli. While there are several locations, I frequent the Golden Valley venue. Great, friendly service keeps my friends and I returning time after time. We love to enjoy the patio in the summer. It’s just a bit like being on holiday at a café in Italy!
Salut Bar Americain 5034 50th & France, Edina, 55410; 952-929-3754; $$$
Salut Bar Américain offers a bistro with French flair. Get there early in the evening; you’ll often find a wait, but it’s worth it. Chances are you’ll experience an attentive wait staff with personality. Excellent steak sandwich and fries. An amazing bouillabaisse when it’s on the menu on Fridays.
Jax Café 1928 University Ave. NE, Minneapolis, 55418; 612-789-7297; $$$$
I couldn’t leave Jax off the list. It’s where we got married after all – and we love it! We recently had a birthday dinner there on the patio. Under the awning, the rain only gave the place even more atmosphere to enjoy. If you love a good steak or chop while hearing old jazz standards, this is definitely the place to be! Great brunches too.