Amid scenic views of the Mississippi River, the two-tiered patio and all-glass-enclosed dining room treat diners to breathtaking vistas of North America's largest river system and its mermaid inhabitants basking on the shore. Not just about the scenery, at Mississippi Pub, the cooks maintain a strong passion for the food they dish out. Plating traditional pub grub and fresh seafood entrees like fish tacos and shrimp po' boys, they take a fresh approach with their menu. A full bar, boasting bottled and draft beers, shots, and cocktails, complements hearty American fare, including burgers, sandwiches, salads, and weekend breakfast options.
Jax Café has been surf-and-turfing its way into the hearts and duodenums of Minneapolis since 1933, when the end of Prohibition finally let its chefs sterilize cooking utensils with alcohol rather than throw them away after a single use. Treat your liberated taste buds to a thoroughly modern tickling with a glass of effervescent champagne, versatile red, or intriguing white wine from Jax's extensive wine menu, best when paired with a plate of palate-pokers such as Jax's "famous" crab rolls ($8.95), N'awlins cajun shrimp ($9.95), or gorgonzola cheesebread ($7.95). But Jax Café's menu is best known for its steaks and chops. Carnal connoisseurs can get their professional-grade protein in the form of slow-roasted prime rib ($28.95) seasoned and served with au jus, creamy horseradish, and a baked potato; center-cut New York strip steak ($38.95) served with a baked potato; bone-in steer tenderloin ($42.95) topped with a giant mushroom cap and served with a baked potato; and twin lamb chops ($31.95) served with mint jelly and a baked potato. Seasoned seafarers, meanwhile, can pick out their own whole Maine lobster ($48), pan-seared scallops ($26.95), and rainbow trout ($26.95) out back before getting reacquainted with it under slightly more cooked and lemon-buttered circumstances in the burnished glow of the dining room. All entrees come with your choice of soup or house salad.
"People trust our judgment," Cravings Wine Bar & Grille owner Greg Rick told Woodbury magazine. "Many people come in and say, ‘Pick a bottle of wine for us. We pride ourselves that our servers are able to do that.” The sommelier-like skills of the wait staff aren’t the only draw. A menu of seasonal specialties, made with fresh ingredients, is complemented by a long and carefully curated list of well over 100 wines from across the globe. Selections by the glass or bottle pair nicely with parmesan-crusted walleye, caramelized shallot and gruyere fondue, grilled peach and ricotta salad, and pasta primavera with roasted garlic.
Luckily for the patrons of Las Sirenas, the restaurant is so authentic that staffers are happy to blend the creative ingredients to make a michelada. And the michelada is just one example of authentic Mexican coastal culture and cuisine at Las Sirenas, which translates to “the mermaids.” The concept and theme behind the restaurant stems from the Mesoamerican myth of sea-bound nymphs, and diners can see that influence in the restaurant’s watery lighting effects and mural of a mermaid lounging on the ocean floor. A glowing bar dispenses drinks and offers 12 Micheladas, or Mexican beer cocktails—some served in coconuts and pineapples, just like Caribbean divorce papers—that are playfully assigned names such as Mermaids in Heat and Tails Up.
To soak up the spicy drinks, a menu of Mexican seafood offers an ocean of options, such as ceviches and aguachiles, as well as an variety of shrimp dishes such as Sirenas en Brama and shrimp in a chipotle-cream sauce. From shrimp wrapped in bacon to oysters on the half-shell topped with ceviche and a raw-bar smorgasbord with shrimp and fish ceviche, aguachile, and octopus ceviche, each dish bears the indelible stamp of south-of-the-border inspiration. So, too, does the eatery’s entertainment, which includes karaoke, weekend live mariachi and Mexican music, and dancing when the space transforms into a Latin nightclub after-hours.
Over nearly three decades, Golden's Deli has grown from a street vendor's cart selling toasted bagel sandwiches to an expansive eatery with an espresso bar and a walk-up window. Natural light pours in through tall windows, warming diners seated around the curling countertop of the espresso bar. Around the deli, artwork and installations by local artists decorate walls and empty spaces with thought-provoking shapes, distracting diners from their efforts to swallow three pancakes whole or alphabetize their receipt collections. Besides serving hot and cold sandwiches stacked with fresh ingredients, the eco-friendly restaurant also sells organic milk from Cedar Summit Dairy.
At Twisted Fork Grille, locally sourced and fresh ingredients combine for American-inspired contemporary breakfasts, sandwiches, and entrees. The chefs rely on local suppliers for as many ingredients as possible, from grass-fed beef to goat cheese. Twisted Fork’s commitment to integrity and local economies extends even to its beer list, overflowing with craft microbrews that complement a roster of more than 40 wines. As they dine, patrons can lounge amid the restaurant’s cozy confines, raising a toast to their once-rumbling stomachs now sounding quieter than a spy in a library.