BEST TAKEOUT Minneapolis 2007 - Lucia's To Go
Readers' Choice: Brianno's Deli-Italia
Lucia Watson has been doing the locally sourced food thing since way before it was cool. She opened her Uptown restaurant, Lucia's, in 1985, with a focus on high-quality, seasonal, organic, local ingredients, which she's used to make some of Minneapolis's best food ever since. In the fall of 2005, in a space next door to her wine bar, there appeared a casual, deli-counter version of Lucia's. The new annex has just a smattering of tables but unlimited takeout opportunities, making Lucia's food available on no notice and at very affordable prices. Need a comfort dinner? Try the super-hearty beef and wild mushroom stroganoff served with thick egg noodles ($9.95). For something lighter, check out the ever-changing array of creatively conceived salads, like a pear-apple-arugula combo. In the mood for a Scandinavian-inspired lunch? There's a delicious salmon sandwich on pumpernickel with dill cream cheese and radishes ($7.95). The potato salad with spinach and thick-cut bacon ($8.99 a pound) offers a delicious twist on an old favorite, and there's a constant supply of vegetarian chili on hand. Lucia's To Go offers a different featured pizza every day, and an array of pastries and other breakfast options in the mornings, plus, of course, good coffee and fresh-squeezed orange juice. One can also call in ahead with special orders, for parties or maybe just a big family dinner. It's good to see the local-foods issue getting wider consideration these days, and it's great to see Lucia Watson continue to excel at showcasing the goods.