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Best of

the Twin Cities

BEST RESTAURANT WHEN SOMEONE ELSE IS PAYING

Five Restaurant & Street Lounge

We think of this category as fantasy baseball for food-heads—what do you dream about when you're scrubbing up the lasagna pan on a Thursday night? How about the "Grand Menu Degustation," the 10-course everything-plus-the-kitchen-sink menu that showcases the upper limits of local wunderkind Stewart Woodman's abilities? Woodman made his name in New York City cooking with the greatest of the greats, including working as the opening sous chef at Alain Ducasse's Essex House, then came to Minneapolis where he was opening chef at Restaurant Levain. This past fall he opened his own multi-level, multi-function restaurant in south Minneapolis called Five, named after the former Fifth precinct police building in which it is housed. While you can sample Woodman's unique, elegant cuisine in the lounge at Five, and can sup widely upon it at the bistro at Five, it's the formal dining room where Woodman really lets his visions of earth and cream let loose. The "Grand Menu Degustation" lets you try one of everything the fine-dining room is making that night. Just looking at the sample menu posted on the website makes us drool—orchid mache salad under a crispy rice cloud with avocado and soy yuzu dressing, foie gras prepared four different ways, a smoked Maine diver scallop with grapefruit sorbet and leek juice, tuna tartare with sauce gribiche and American sterling caviar, sautéed Alaskan halibut with a parsley carnaroli risotto, sugar-cane skewered grilled pork tenderloin with braised cabbage, beef short ribs, lamb loin, and more more more—holy expense accounts! Sure, such a menu costs upward of $100 a person, but since it takes a good four hours and marshals the forces of Stewart Woodman and takes as its larder the whole universe, who's complaining?

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