BEST NEIGHBORHOOD CAFE—MINNEAPOLIS - 2007
Corner Table has long been the best-kept-secret of the bucolic Kingfield neighborhood: The room is light and airily modern-museum-like, the food is both delicious and pristinely locally sourced, and the prices are more affordable than lots of comparable spots, especially on Sunday "vino + vinyl" nights when diners bring in their favorite vinyl records to spin. Unfortunately for Kingfielders, but fortunately for the rest of us, the secret is out: The place has been packed all winter with diners clamoring for carrot pierogies, pan-roasted ling cod, and locally raised grass-fed beef. In fact, it's been so packed that they hired longtime Auriga sous chef Jon Radle, and the quality of the food is now higher than it's ever been. This allows owner and chef Scott Pampuch to be out front greeting diners and talking up the provenance of each and every plate. "People love to hear the stories behind the food," explains Pampuch, putting his finger on exactly what makes Corner Table the greatest of all neighborhood restaurants: It's a face you can know, in a place that tastes like here.