The largest city in the U.S. state of Minnesota and bisected by the Mississippi River, Minneapolis exists as unique blend of natural beauty and urban development. While there are many parks and lakes throughout the city, Minneapolis is also a hub of cultural landmarks and entertainment. Whatever you plan to do on your visit, everyone needs to eat. For the ultimate restaurant experience, here is a list of some of the best fine dining in the area.
The Oceanaire Seafood Room
Bar, Restaurant, American, Vegetarian, Vegan, Gluten-free, $$$
Located in downtown Minneapolis, The Oceanaire Seafood Room is an upscale seafood restaurant featuring food that is fresh and innovative and an elegant space to match. The décor follows a subtle maritime theme with dim lighting that makes you feel appropriately under the sea. Oceanaire presents guests with a complimentary plate of bread and butter and raw vegetables to munch on. You then might choose to indulge in the Oyster Bar, or delve right into a main course. The menu features only the freshest, sustainably caught seafood, with items like Chesapeake bay style crab cakes, grilled filet mignon and shrimp, jumbo shrimp scamp, seafood bouillabaisse, and Icelandic Atlantic char. Whether you choose seafood, steak, or both, Oceanaire will present only the most quality dishes. The restaurant even employs seasoned wine stewards to help you choose the wine that best compliments your meal. Oceanaire offers excellent service in a comfortable but classy space perfect for a special occasion.
Vincent A Restaurant presents an elegant European atmosphere with a chef and owner whose ambition is to create beauty and happiness. Vincent Francoual offers a new kind of French-American cuisine, a result of his appreciation for traditional French dishes but love for the ‘no rules’ aspect of American cooking. Vincent is very curious about exploring the culinary world, and his innovative but authentic menu reflects it. The service at Vincent’s is extremely attentive, with Vincent himself occasionally appearing to greet guests. Enjoy the bright and airy dining room for lunch or dinner, or stop by during the twice a day happy hour, with a discounted menu of beer, wine, cocktails, and a list of small bites and desserts. At Vincent’s, cooking is considered a craft, featuring food prepared with care, striving for that moment when guests will enjoy and appreciate the work of the craftsman chef. Another ode to the French bistro feel of the place, Vincent A Restaurant is located on a bustling corner, perfect for people-watching as you enjoy your meal.
Bar, Restaurant, American, Vegetarian, Vegan, Gluten-free, $$$
unsplash.com - photo by Alex Munsell
Since opening in 2013, Borough restaurant has been consistently recognized for its excellent new American food, drink, and design. Exhibiting an atmosphere that is upscale but comfortable, Borough seeks to present a warm, welcoming, and intimate experience for all guests. The menu list is simple, with entrée items of venison, pork, salmon, scallop, and chicken, yet, when you look at the descriptions you will know that each dish is expertly prepared to the utmost detail. The scallops are pan seared with carrots, persimmon, fennel, pine nuts, and basil, and the salmon is uniquely cooked with black rice, curry, pineapple, shrimp, broccolini, coconut, and cashew. Borough also houses a downstairs lounge and bar for after dinner drinks called Parlour. Offering another cozy and intimate space, Parlour has also been recognized for its menu and service. Parlour features the classic cocktails in addition to some newer creations using fresh squeezed juice, house made syrups, elixirs, and rare artisanal spirits. Dinner at the Borough and drinks at the Parlour will redefine your night out to a trendier experience of fine dining.
Situated in a rustic historically preserved building, Restaurant Alma offers a casual fine dining experience, serving up unique American cuisine with warm hospitality. Alma specializes in three course tasting menus, allowing the customer to select any three dishes from the menu, though a la carte dining is also available. The menu itself is sourced from top quality seasonal ingredients and changes every six to eight weeks to keep things new and fresh. A three course pairing might consist of warm roasted beets, coconut and rice flour crêpe, and leg of lamb, or something like a masa corn cake, lobster bisque, and pan seared scallops. Chef and owner Alexander Roberts strives to keep the menu flavorful and exciting, and seeks to create an atmosphere that is elegant but unpretentious. Restaurant Alma supports local farmers and is inspired by artisanal foods of the world, crafting all of their stocks, sauces, breads, pastries and ice creams from scratch on a daily basis. The fine cuisine and comfortable atmosphere is appropriate for any occasion, be it a romantic evening, business meeting, or dinner with friends.
Located in the Hennepin Theatre District of Minneapolis, the Capital Grille is a restaurant that specializes in steak and all at comes with it. With a long list of steak and seafood starters plus a wide selection of soups and starters, you may be satisfied even before you see the main courses. However when you see the chef’s suggestions like seared tenderloin with butter poached lobster tails and sliced filet mignon with Cipollini onions and wild mushrooms, you may want to save some room. Offering quality cuts like dry aged NY strip and porterhouse steak, filet mignon, and ribeye, Capital Grille presents exemplary beef selections that do not disappoint. Even the shareable side dishes are sure to please, with items like lobster mac and cheese, parmesan truffle fries, and fresh creamed spinach. Beyond the food, the Capital Grille exhibits a luxurious atmosphere, with décor that features rich mahogany, sumptuous leather and cool marble, and the award-winning wine collection only adds to the experience with over 350 world-class wines to choose from. Capital Grille is yet another fine dining experience sure to please for the special occasion.
Sanctuary is a cozy and elegant fine dining restaurant serving up creative new American cuisine that can be paired with a selection of wine or cocktails. With its chandeliers and vaguely gothic ambiance, Sanctuary’s décor, which includes gargoyles, that pays homage to the sanctuaries of Europe. A fireplace warms the mood for cooler nights, while the covered patio is a prime spot to enjoy the flowers and herbs during the warmer months. Focusing on fresh, local, and seasonal ingredients, the menu changes every other month, featuring some eclectic dishes like Jamaican jerk alligator with grilled naan bread, purple ninja radish, coconut macaroon flakes, and yuzu cilantro yogurt or the garlic chili seasoned alpaca with moonshine mashed potatoes, star fruit salsa, and grenadine caramel. While alligator and alpaca might seem a little daunting for the more reserved palate, Sanctuary also serves more traditional dishes like seafood, duck, lamb, and steaks. Located in downtown Minneapolis, Sanctuary offers a cozy little haven perfect for a romantic evening or dinner before a night on the town.