I Nonni is Italian for "the grandfathers," but this restaurant doesn't give you nickels for ice cream or regale you with stories of dating "before the Internet." Instead, it serves Roman-inspired cuisine that changes seasonally and is made from scratch by the restaurant's acclaimed chefs—even the meat butchering and ham curing is done in-house, though thankfully not tableside. A recent menu, for example, offered antipasti such as calamari dashed with Sicilian sea salt ($12) and crudo ($9), an Italian variation on the Japanese delicacy sashimi. First courses, or primi piatti, included gnocchetti—a potato gnocchi adorned with bacon-like pancetta ham, pecorino cheese made from ewe's milk, and a forest-mushroom ragu sauce—and risotto made with braised beef cheeks and underscored by saffron and balsamic vinegar. The secondi piatti selection featured the traditional dish osso buco ($29), a braised veal shank seasoned with gremolata and supplemented with risotto, and pan-seared sea scallops ($27) awash in a sweet vermouth wine accompanied by arugula and forest mushrooms.
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.
La Hacienda informs curious palates with a cosmopolitan menu of Latin American cuisine and accessible favorites from the U.S. Like a map of the Pan-American Highway printed on fruit leather, its feasts are an edible testament to intercontinental cooperation, with juicy Yankee hamburgers peacefully sharing table space with Peruvian churrasco and Mexican pozole. Pupusas from El Salvador house creamy cheese, beans, loroco, and fried pork rinds within thick shells of cornmeal, and tacos and tortas turn tender morsels of milanesa or flavorful pork al pastor into easily grippable meals.
Savor signature steaks and sips in a revered railhouse restaurant with today’s Groupon. For $25, you’ll enjoy $50 worth of quality cuts and cocktails at Bennett’s Chop and Railhouse, an everyday eatery located on the old rail line on West 7th Street in St. Paul, which may soon move locations—into your dreams. The Problem: You’re on the bus, miles from the meals of Bennett’s and the stadium fare at the game. You’re so hungry! Then, mercenaries board the bus, taking hostages. The Solution: Hide in the bathroom. Establish communications with the mercenaries’ vaguely European leader, Gustav. Take out the thugs one by one and reunite with your estranged wife.