When Louis Tinucci, Sr. purchased Duke's Cafe in Inver Grove in 1946, he began a family tradition of food and hospitality. In 1958, his son, Louis Jr., became the owner of the Dairy Way Drive-In in Newport—which stood on the same site as the present-day Tinucci's restaurant.
A fire destroyed the building in 1974. But rather than trying to duct tape the ashes back together, Louis Jr. and his family saw it as an opportunity to rebuild and expand. Now, having undergone several additional expansions since, the business operates under a third generation of Tinuccis. It also carries the tradition began by Louis Sr. some 60 years ago in the form of hearty chicken dinners and a popular Saturday night prime rib buffet.
In 1918, Brian Tam’s great-great uncle opened Nankin Café in downtown Minneapolis. His family would continue to shape Minnesota’s relationship with Asian cuisine, even introducing the state to dim sum in 1968. A fourth-generation restaurateur, Brian has picked up where his relatives left off.
It’s good that he listened to his parents, because their lessons are apparent in nearly every dish at Asia Bistro. Brian and his team don’t limit themselves to a single country or tradition, opting instead to gather their inspirations from across the Asian continent. This results in a diverse menu that includes Thai red curries, Chinese sweet-and-sour chicken, and short ribs marinated in rice wine and Korean spices. Behind the sushi bar, chefs assemble edible artworks such as a Woodbury roll stuffed with tempura shrimp, mango, and salmon and a Philadelphia roll wrapped in the same thin parchment that the Constitution was first penned on.
Since 1986, Champps Americana's kitchen has sizzled with burgers and classic American dishes, satiating sports fans and families with a comfortable, welcoming atmosphere. Amid the sunlit dining room, diners at wooden tabletops have views of 25 TVs broadcasting sports games, competing with a cluster of arcade games for eyes' attention. Chefs cater to taste buds by plumping up pastas with chicken, shrimp, and vegetables and piling rolls with beef patties, barbecued pulled pork, and spicy buffalo chicken. Behind the bar, bartenders whip up specialty cocktails and margaritas and fill goblets with an expansive selection of draft beers and wine. The bar and grill draws guests with regular specials and events throughout the week, including daily happy hours, Thursday-night trivia, and Sunday brunch. Every Tuesday, the restaurant serves up free meals to children, as a magician saunters table to table, entertaining kids with tricks and balloon art, crafting replacement siblings on request.
A silvery wand dips into a carafe of fresh milk, which will be used to form the foam that tops a steamy cappuccino. The smell of freshly brewed Arabica beans wafts through the air, countered by the buttery aroma of a crepe cooking on a circular griddle. Serving up sandwiches at lunch as well as sweet and savory crepes for breakfast, the staffers at Brix Coffee offer visitors a taste of Europe without the unpleasant aftertaste caused by chewing on a map. After meals, the café's daily-made custard can be blended into shakes and smoothies or scooped into sundaes or waffle cones.
Chefs at New Woodbury Cafe add inventive twists to classic breakfast and lunch dishes such as topping the caprese benedict with fresh mozzarella, tomato, and basil-pesto hollandaise or scooping portions of signature cashew chicken salad on crunchy beds of greens. Their house specialties include the walleye breakfast of blackened or panko-crusted filet, farm-fresh eggs, and side of house-made hash browns. Servers flit about the warm atmosphere, delivering fresh-baked corn bread and chocolate shakes to diners seated in cozy booths.