BEST NEIGHBORHOOD CAFÉ—MINNEAPOLIS (2008)

Café Levain

Restaurant Levain launched as an ambitious culinary exploration of foie-gras torchon and butter-poached lobster, but the problem was, it was a little too pricey for most to visit if it wasn't a special occasion. The restaurant closed last year and reopened soon after as a more casual café: It's the same cozy space, with butter-colored walls and dark wood wainscoting, but the revamped menu features French bistro, slow-cooked, home-style fare. This incarnation of Levain is all about value: All the entrées—succulent roast chicken with crackling crisp skin, braised beef short ribs, house-made gnocchi—are less than $20, and they come with a complementary side, such as caramelized Brussels sprouts or sautéed mushrooms. They're the kind of dishes that are easy to pair with a bottle of something from the affordable, well-sourced wine list. Finish your meal with the Valrhona truffle torte and, if you don't live in the neighborhood, you'll wish you did.

Location Details

4762 Chicago Ave. S.
Minneapolis MN 55407
612-823-7111