Best Twin Cities restaurants you haven't tried

These excellent metro eateries have been around for a while, but if you haven't paid them a visit, you should

Trattoria Tosca

Linden Hills is home to so many fabulous restaurants it's easy for a place like Trattoria Tosca to get lost in the shuffle. But the next time you're in the neighborhood, make it a point to skip over the newer hot spots and you'll be handsomely rewarded in the form of perfect homemade pasta. Connected to the Turtle Bread at West 44th Street and Beard Avenue, Trattoria Tosca has served as the training grounds for a handful of chefs who went on to make their own mark on the Twin Cities dining scene, including Ian Gray of Gray House (this is where that ham hock and fig tortelle was first born), Adam Vickerman of Cafe Levain (Trattoria Tosca has been called the Italian version of Levain), and Landon Schoenefeld of Haute Dish. In addition to the aforementioned pastas like orecchiette with lemon mascarpone, bucatini with pancetta, and pappardelle with lamb sugo and Swiss chard (all available by the half and full order for sampling and sharing), you'll find small plates celebrating ripe and bountiful produce (think beet carpaccio) and gorgeous preparations of duck, chicken, and fish. Though the plates coming out of this kitchen often showcase impressive technique, the overall approach is simple and seasonal. The best food always is. (3415 W. 44th St., Minneapolis; 612.924.1900;

Signature Cafe

First Course's classy entrees, like spicy pork chop with blueberry-pear relish, make it a great date-night restaurant
Alma Guzman
First Course's classy entrees, like spicy pork chop with blueberry-pear relish, make it a great date-night restaurant

Location Info



1510 SE Como Ave.
Minneapolis, MN 55414

Category: Restaurant > Japanese

Region: University

First Course

5607 Chicago Ave. S.
Minneapolis, MN 55417

Category: Restaurant > American

Region: Nokomis

128 Cafe

128 Cleveland Ave. N.
St. Paul, MN 55104

Category: Restaurant > American

Region: Macalester/Groveland

Barbary Fig

720 Grand Ave.
St. Paul, MN 55105

Category: Restaurant > Health

Region: Macalester/Groveland

Signature Café & Catering

130 Warwick St. SE
Minneapolis, MN 55414

Category: Restaurant > American

Region: University

Trattoria Tosca

3415 W. 44th St.
Minneapolis, MN 55410

Category: Restaurant > Italian

Region: Southwest Minneapolis

Tucked away in a charming nook of Prospect Park, Signature Cafe may have been quietly operating for over 10 years in this same historic building, but it is certainly keeping up with the times on its menu. Signature is not only committed to local and organic ingredients, it is also very accommodating to diners with dietary restrictions, and on Tuesday nights it hosts a whole gluten-free dinner. Wednesdays feature half-price bottles of wine, and for the underagers who still want to feel a little fancy, Signature has not-too-sweet house-made sodas in flavors like ginger orange and pink guava. Other nights of the week you'll find homey dinner specials ranging from pot roast with mashed potatoes and broiled chicken breast, as well as more finely tuned plates like ginger-glazed scallops and slow-roasted duck leg confit. (130 SE Warwick St., Minneapolis; 612.378.0237;

Check out more photos from First Course

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