By Jason DeRusha


MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Tria in North Oaks is a beaut: surrounded by nature, but right off the highway, and reinventing itself for a new generation of diners.

It’s the kind of kitchen most chefs would dream of cooking in — it’s huge, high-tech, and striving to be the best.

“I have an amazing chef, we have an amazing team that’s pushing themselves every day,” Andrew Christiansen, general manager of Tria, said. “This restaurant is aging like wine. It’s getting better, it’s getting better.”

The land used to belong to railroad magnate James J. Hill; it was his livestock farm. Today, it’s free range chicken and duck, held up in glory on the nicely composed plates. And they’ve been going for a sweet 16 years and running.

Christiansen and chef Jason Cole are both fairly new to Tria. Both worked at top spots around the country, both trying to elevate the French-style comfort food Tria’s been known for.

“We get lots of families in here, lots of great people who live around the area. You really get that sense of community, you get to build that sense of community and get to know everyone. It’s great,” Cole said.

Jumping on the burger craze, Tria’s entry is serious business — a half-pound of grass-fed beef and pork called the Tria Royale. It’s got melted gruyere (it is French, after all), wild mushrooms and candied bacon.

The patio is frequently voted one of the best in Minnesota, although it’s a little chilly this time of year. The view from inside is still worth the trip.

Tria also has maybe the best birthday deal in the Twin Cities. On your birthday, you get a bottle of wine at the same value as your age. Say you were, like I am this week, turning 44, you would get a $44 bottle or $44 off any bottle.

Jason DeRusha

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