For those looking for nourishment after loading the shopping bags into the car, there are meal-sized salads, such as the niçoise and Caesar, as well as more adventuresome dishes like frog legs (battered and sautéed golden brown with a bit of garlic) and plump, garlic-buttered escargot--both perfect for sharing. With a selection of wines by the glass in the $5 to $8 range, it's guilt-free, too.
601 First Ave. N. (inside the Le Meridien Minneapolis hotel), Minneapolis; 612.677.1100
For those planning on hitting the skyways this holiday season, Cosmos, located on the fourth floor of Le Meridien in downtown Minneapolis, is certainly easy on the eyes first thing in the morning--or for that matter, any hour of the day. With its sleek, natural-meets-retro interior design it's hard not to feel as though you've stepped out of the Midwest and into the pages of InStyle. But all of this would be nothing if the food itself didn't deliver, which it does. Meals are presented in an artful yet not overly fussy manner. There are lovely fresh fruit plates served with a generous variety of berries, kiwis, melon, plums, and orange crème fraîche, which manages to nicely walk the line between sweet and citric. Those looking for something more substantial can try the perfectly cooked omelets made to order--with fillings such as spinach, goat cheese, and yellow peppers--and served with buttery fried potatoes and toast. The salmon Benedict--thick slices of cured fish layered with poached eggs and an impossibly light, lemony hollandaise--is also not to be missed.
Stop in later in the day and the lunch menu includes club sandwiches and burgers served up with crisp fries. Better yet, if it's around that magical time of day where it's acceptable to have a drink, Cosmos's lounge, with its geometric glass walls and backlit Plexiglas bar, is the perfect place to celebrate a checked-off shopping list while sipping a martini.