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Reader's Choice

Faces Mears Park

Faces Mears Park, named in honor of the pretty Lowertown St. Paul green space it overlooks, originally operated as LoTo, which David Fhima, the chef-restaurateur behind Mpls. Café, Fhima's, and Louis XIII, among others, opened back in 2005. Fhima sold LoTo to Lifetime Fitness, with which he partnered to operate the health club's Zahtar restaurants, and recently bought the business back to reopen it as Faces. The new restaurant's setup looks a lot like LoTo's, with an airy dining room, bar, atrium seats, and takeout deli counter that offers cheeses, meats, house-baked breads, and other prepared eats and a new, off-sale bottle shop. After decades of cooking with truffles and foie gras, Fhima has adopted a back to basics approach with a menu of mostly straightforward renditions of American fare, including pizzas, pastas, sandwiches, and steaks, with an emphasis on natural ingredients such as organic chicken and grass-fed beef. Inconsistency has always tended to plague Fhima's eateries, but there are several delicious dishes including the tagine, sometimes offered as a special, which seems like something a sultan might serve to his cherished guests. Also delicious: grass-fed beef with a fennel-potato-leek gratin and sea bass, seared with smoked butter and a teriyaki-sesame glaze and potato mousseline.

Cuisine

American

Dining Features

Full Bar, Lunch, Reservations Not Necessary

Parking

Lot Available, Metered Parking

Price

$$