Best Restaurant (Minneapolis) - 2009
Here's why Heidi's is the best restaurant in Minneapolis right now: Where else can you have a meal cooked by a nationally esteemed chef at a place where nothing on the menu costs more than $20? And when we say cooked, we don't mean quote-unquote cooked, like he created the concept but faxes menus from Fiji, letting his sous chefs do what they may. We mean that Stewart Woodman and his wife, Heidi, and maitre d' Frank Thorpe are at the restaurant pretty much constantly, with Stewart overseeing nearly every plate. Though the menu changes regularly, it always has a playful bent—exemplified by the nightly "Shefzilla" surprise, which one evening turned out to be an appetizer of delicate, batter-fried oysters, veal carpaccio, and a kimchi mayonnaise. Some of Woodman's greatest hits have included Asian-style braised short ribs served with spaetzle, a decadent pheasant in cream sauce with roasted truffle vegetables, and beef tenderloin "Caesar" with braised romaine and signature garlicky dressing. Desserts are Heidi's realm, so if you want to finish your meal on a sweet note, try the ultra-rich drinking chocolate or the tempura-battered mashed sweet potato bundles served with maple syrup and creme anglaise for dunking. It's, well, the best.