It started with a single store, opened in Fridley, Minnesota in 1964. But Dick Kempe's pizza proved too tasty for one outpost, and Chanticlear Pizza eventually spread to 14 locations in the following years. And although Dick no longer owns the pizzerias, his uncompromising standards for quality pies remain in place. Fresh dough is mixed up and hand-tossed daily. Vegetables are chopped each morning. Instead of adding sugar to their sauce, the chefs rely on the tomatoes' natural, charm school-perfected sweetness. And the from-scratch foundation is always topped with house-shredded, 100% Wisconsin mozzarella cheese.
Once the dough and sauce are ready, Chanticlear Pizza's chefs continue the process by loading them with meats and veggies. The selection of toppings range from shrimp and bacon pieces to a secret-recipe pickle blend. A splash of spicy, bourbon-tinged molasses or chunky salsa can add additional pizzazz to pizzas. Beyond circular eats, polygonal dishes as pastas, calzones, and sides of buffalo wings and garlic toast populate the menu.
Restaurant establishment is a Kozlak family tradition. Back in 1943, Joseph and Gertrude Kozlak purchased what would eventually become the well-known Jax Café. In 1977, their son Jax Kozlak and family embarked on a massive restoration project to beautify and expand a new large space that would become Kozlak's Royal Oak Restaurant, which has since been voted Best Ambiance, Best Service, and Neighborhood Gem by OpenTable diners.
Well known for its steaks, Kozlak's serves top-shelf cuts such as bone-in tenderloin, roasted prime rib, and tenderloin filet crowned with add-ons of rich blue cheese, Cajun spices, or fresh sauteed mushrooms. Single tails of steamed African lobster recline on plates with drawn butter, and Australian sea bass receives a stuffing of spinach and crab before being topped with a butter-tarragon sauce. Kozlak's Royal Oak Restaurant boasts a screened-in patio with a canopy.
Lewis Walter "Lindey" Lindemer spent years trying to find a Minnesota restaurateur who would serve his steaks. And when he finally found one who said yes, he was only allowed to set up shop in the restaurant's basement. It was no matter, because even from that subterranean dining room, word about his delicious steaks spread quickly, and within a few years he was putting a deposit down on his very own restaurant.
Lindey's Prime Steak House opened in the spring of 1961, debuting a menu that, to this day, remains refreshingly simple. At dinner, there are only four options: Lindey's special sirloin, prime sirloin, broiled shrimp, or prime chopped sirloin. Though Lindey's sons now prepare each steak, they use the exact same recipe their father crafted more than a half-century ago. The decor is similarly vintage?the dining room resembles a mid-century cabin with knotted-cedar paneling, a stone fireplace, and bags of Sputnik-brand Moon Marshmallows.
Behind the sushi bar at Suishin Restaurant, chefs prepare hand rolls from a menu of more than 50 different kinds of sushi for onlookers, positioning each piece of sushi and sashimi in artistic displays inside a glass case. At dark-wood tables with leather chairs, sprays of steam blossom from pots of broth, in which crab meat, beef, and vegetables cook. The communal style of eating fuels chatter, which floats past a full bar with purple lighting and sand-hued brick walls. The modern decor complements sleek bento boxes, whose compartments brim with sushi and shrimp tempura. On an outdoor patio, chopsticks click together with the sound of a tap dancer having a pleasant dream, pulling noodles from bowls of ramen-noodle soup.
A renowned chips and salsa bar stocked with eight spicy sauces forged from fresh ingredients winds through Baja Sol Tortilla Grill, where customizable tacos, faijtas, and burritos showcase marinated meats, crisp vegetables, and homemade tortillas. A variety of meat-free, gluten-free, and sentience-free entrees and sides compile the concise menu, and catering services amp up soirees with crowd-pleasing caches of hard-partying quesadillas and churros.
Brothers Brent and Brian Pilrain pay homage to the prevalence of the Roman Empire in Europe during its heyday by combining Italian fare with cuisines from France and Germany, using ingredients and premium meats including certified Sterling Silver beef hand-selected by chef Brian himself. Inside the kitchen he gets to work by firing pizzas in the wood-burning brick oven and baking tender beef wellington. Mirroring the chef, the dining area's mural depicts a stone carving of cooks flipping disks of pizza dough in front of fiery ovens, and the nearby bartenders pour glasses of red and white wine, and pass out cold bottles of craft and imported beers. Adjacent to the dining area stands a dark timber archway, which opens to a European deli's glass display cases stocked with Boar's Head–brand gourmet meats and cheeses, lobster cannelloni, and hand-tossed calzones.