We are lucky to have such a great food scene in our fine state of Minnesota. Restaurants sometimes offer tasting menus to give your taste buds a glimpse at what the chef can do. They give you a chance to sample several dishes from the menu as the chef puts together a menu featuring seasonal ingredients, a special style cuisine or house specialties. Here is a list of several restaurants around the state that feature tasting menus.
See our previous Best Tasting Menus In The Twin Cities here.
4300 Bryant Ave. S.
Minneapolis, MN 55409
www.piccolompls.com Piccolo is located just east of Lake Harriet in the Kingfield neighborhood of Minneapolis. It has made a big name for its small plates ever since chef Doug Flicker opened its doors in 2010. Chef Flicker and Piccolo offer a tasting menu ($52) that features five dishes from the traditional menu. On it you might find soft poached duck eggs seasoned to perfection with smoked bacon and foie gras, lobster mousseline accompanied by snow peas and potato puree or the famous braised pork cheeks. The tasting menu at Piccolo is perfect for a date night – when you each order one, you’ll be trying nearly everything on the menu.
528 University Ave S.E.
Minneapolis, MN 55414
Restaurant Alma serves up high-style and high-flavor dinners daily in northeast Minneapolis. Its fantastically designed restaurant sets the scene for a beautiful meal and good company. Alma offers two options for a tasting menu: the three-course tasting menu ($50) and the four-course vegetarian tasting menu ($42), so whatever you fancy, you’ll leave your table pleased. With each option, you can pick one course from each category of salads, middle course (grains and pastas) and entree (meats and fish). The desserts are a perfect way to round out the Restaurant Alma experience.
289 E. 5th St.
St. Paul, MN 55101
www.heartlandrestaurant.comHeartland’s chef Lenny Russo serves up delicious food from, where else, the heartland. The restaurant features ingredients coming from the Midwest and surrounding Canadian areas. This ever-changing supply of fresh foods offers the opportunity for the menu to be continuously changing as well. Each night, you’ll find a different ‘flora’ or ‘fauna’ menu offered. The ‘flora’ tasting menu ($35) showcases the best vegetarian bites with a wide array of rotating soups, salads, pastas and desserts. The ‘fauna’ tasting menu ($45) highlights meat and fish dishes as well as decadent desserts.
Related: Best Cheesy Dishes in Minnesota
Lost Lake Lodge
7965 Lost Lake Road
Lake Shore, MN 56468
Up north on the Gull Lake Narrows, you’ll find Lost Lake Lodge and its restaurant. It boasts that it’s a mere 2.5 hours from the Twin Cities and that it’s convenient, yet hidden enough from the crowds. This little gem of a restaurant offers a wine tasting menu versus a food tasting menu if that’s more up your alley. Its wine tasting flights are categorized by region and each features three pours of wines that give you a taste of that country’s flavors and wine styles. You can choose from Spain ($15), Italy ($15), France ($15) and California ($19). An added bonus if you find a wine you like, Lost Lake offers off-sale as well so you can take it to your room at the resort or out on a picnic on the lake.
La Belle Vie
510 Groveland Ave.
MInneapolis, MN 55403
www.labellevie.usTim McKee, the restaurant’s owner, head chef and James Beard Award winner (2009), has quite the chops in the food industry. La Belle Vie is a beloved restaurant in the Twin Cities that features a fresh twist on traditional French Mediterranean cuisine. There are three tasting menus at La Belle Vie to suit your stomach and wallet. The tasting menu ($70) offers five courses that include starters, entrees and a dessert. The chef’s tasting menu ($85) is selected with the idea to give you a full taste of what the restaurant has to offer with its eight courses. And finally, the grand tasting menu ($145) includes an assortment of vegetables, meats and sweets in 13 courses.
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Amber Ranzau lives on the edge of Uptown in Minneapolis and is a gal about town. She frequents the local restaurant scene, loves to support new and local businesses, follows the latest and greatest fashion and design trends, and she does all of this while working as an interior designer, spending time with her man, The Specialist, and taking care of her two goldfish Felix and Petunia and their tankmate Huey the Snail. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.