All About Taste, Inc provides a gourmet catering experience including boxed lunches at affordable prices and a willingness to work with budgets. The brainchild of experienced caterer Jill Michel, the business has served a wide range of clientele all across the Midwest, including Fortune 500 companies, Meals on Wheels, and the University of Minnesota.
Starting from scratch each day, Marna’s Catering’s head chef Rolando Diaz imbues each of his dishes with the culinary prowess he inherited while working at the family restaurant in his native Costa Rica. Featured in local publications such as Metromix and Maple Grove Magazine, Chef Diaz whips up zesty Caribbean dishes in equal measure with American-style comfort foods, serving seafood ceviche and fried plantains alongside chicken wings and cobb salads. Along with authentic Costa Rican entrees such as chifrijo and jerk chicken gallo pinto, Chef Diaz's specialties include the "Front Burger"—a lean-beef patty cooked with smoky chipotle peppers and topped with adobo spices, provolone, crisp bacon, grilled onions, pineapple and a tangy secret sauce whose recipe is as classified as the president's iPod playlist.
Inside its rustic Uptown dining room, Spill the Wine invites diners to pair local wines with tapas-style servings of new American cuisine. The menus?which readily accommodate vegan and gluten-free diets?rotate seasonally as the chefs scour local, sustainable farms for new ingredients. Shareable plates of wild-caught salmon with elote salad or house-made spaghetti with quinoa meatballs reflect the chefs' eclectic influences.
With more than 100 wines?including more than 30 by the glass?Spill the Wine provides plenty opportunities for pairing food and drink. The selection of Old and New World bottles is designed to complement the current menus, with everything from crisp French sauvignon blancs to bold Columbia Valley syrahs occupying the extensive list.
A Glance Inside
Edison bulbs, walls with patchy brickwork and mismatched wooden slats, and a bar supported by empty wine barrels provide a rustic ambiance. At the same time, the dining area features some elements that lend a modern, industrial vibe, such as the exposed ductwork, concrete floors, and the furnace where the staff smelts every piece of used silverware after service.
The Lunch Cube’s menu of hearty, top-notch lunch fare comes in the form of delectable sandwiches and sides. Crafted by an in-house chef, each sandwich boasts only the highest-quality meats and bread developed by NASA scientists. Signature deli sandwiches ($7.95) such as The Pilgrim, with turkey salad and cranberry glaze, and The Executive, with roast beef, smoked tomato aioli, and gouda, will satisfy both time-strapped professionals and bears disguised as time-strapped professionals. Soups such as the creamy roasted mushroom ($3.45) and sides like the pasta salad ($2.45) pair with mitt-fitting sandwiches better than a monocle and a top hat, while a boxed lunch two-set ($10.95) includes a full sandwich, chips, and a cookie. Weekly specials, meanwhile, will stave off luncher’s ennui with their surprising flavor combinations and unexpected ambushes.
Signature Cafe might be a little off the beaten path?but that doesn't mean its chefs sleep on food trends. Their refined home cooking is full of inventive flavor and sustainably grown local produce, helping earn them a spot on City Pages' 2013 list of the "Best Twin Cities Restaurants You Haven't Tried."
A Taste of Home
Not content to source organic fruits and veggies, the chefs at this Prospect Park spot keep things fresh by designing new menus on a weekly basis. Featured dishes may come and go, but their dedication to familiar flavors and recipes remains a constant. Past menus have included hearty meals like boneless pork loin chops with dijon cream sauce, seared diver scallops with orange-ginger glaze, and freshly baked flatbread topped with artichoke and gruyere.
An Enduring Legacy
The 1920s-era building that houses Signature Cafe has a history of feeding the neighborhood. Originally a small grocery store, the humble storefront with its burgundy awning now invites passersby to stop by for a casual bistro meal. With an ambiance that's "cozy, inviting and personal," the dining room "feels like family" according to Gayot.
The chefs at Hot Wok Delivery stir-fry Chinese and Cambodian dishes before whisking them to diners' tables or homes. During lunch and dinner rushes, they man flaming stovetops, sautéing chicken, pork, beef, shrimp, and vegetables to thread into noodle entrees and combination plates. Before meals fly from the kitchen, the chefs finish them with a quick splash of sauce, adding either sweet or savory notes or imbuing them with a fiery sauce spicier than a jalapeño's memoirs.
Although the red-walled dining room includes three booths at which customers can sit, the staff also delivers orders, shuttling food to family dinners or lengthy daguerreotype posing sessions.