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BEST RESTAURANT--MINNEAPOLIS Minneapolis 2000 - Auriga

What makes a great restaurant? After much debate we decided the criteria must include: a great chef, an excellent (and affordable) wine list, consistency, and a certain something in the service and atmosphere that makes it feel especially fancy, especially pleasant, especially--well, special. And so it was revealed that the great battle of 2000 was between Goodfellow's and Auriga, two restaurants that have stellar food, wine lists that always offer something interesting and affordable, and virtually nothing else in common: Where Goodfellow's could be a set for The Great Gatsby, Auriga looks like you could scatter some paper latte cups around and turn it into a coffee shop. Where Goodfellow's servers are often scrupulously attentive, deeply informed, and slightly unctuous, Auriga's are informal, confident, and as casual as last year's khakis. Our best advice is to gauge your own mood: If you feel like silk and cashmere, Goodfellow's may be your destination, but if denim and cotton better suit you, Auriga is the best restaurant in town. As for our own sartorial preferences, we almost inevitably choose a chance to relax at one of Auriga's candlelit tables and await the magic that emerges from Doug Flicker's kitchen. Did you taste that lavender-glazed duck breast on the last menu?

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