Best Restaurant, Minneapolis
Eighteen years is a long time in business, an even longer time spent reaching for new heights. It’s easier getting into a groove and thrumming along, but Alma chef/owner Alex Roberts is such a smooth operator that he overturned the whole damn apple cart, filled it back up with a surprising cornucopia, then gave it a new paint job and some spinning gold rims. First, Alma got a much-needed remodel of its old workaday dining room. Now everything is airier, sleeker, more modern, while still maintaining a timeless spirit. Then Alma added a hotel, of all things, seven tidy sleeping rooms appointed with artistic amenities and fixtures, perfect in their snug, orderly beauty. And then! Alma tacked on a more casual cafe, with a long, sleek bar, coffee, pastries, tartines, and cocktails. Which is to say nothing of the cooking, which is better than it’s ever been, having already been the best. Enjoy a three-course prix fixe menu of such dreamy dishes as soft egg and caviar with black truffle vinaigrette; sweet onion agnolotti with wild mushroom ragu; and poblano-crusted sturgeon. Alma is in a league of its own. We’d ask what they’ll think of next, but they seem to have already thought of it all.
Readers’ Choice: Spoon and Stable