A downtown Minneapolis reader writes: "It's one of those semi-forced celebratory work luncheons. Anything you'd recommend?"
Absolutely. Pamper the hard-working office crew at Cosmos, where the sleek contemporary setting (and the doesn't-miss-a-trick service) fits perfectly with chef Håkan Lundberg's imaginative, luxurious cooking. Pastry chef Khanh Tran's handiwork is a must.
- 601 1st Av. N., Mpls., 612-312-1168, www.cosmosrestaurant.com
A different kind of party -- the stand-up variety -- can be had at the Smack Shack, right, where chef Josh Thoma and his crew put out what are undeniably the city's best lobster rolls. The food truck also cranks out a wicked-good pork sausage po' boy. Don't forget the fries.
- Marquette Avenue S. between 6th and 7th Sts., Mpls., www.smack-shack.com
If it's sunny, why not soak up the spring weather with a stroll down Nicollet Mall to 11th Street and Vincent? Chef Vincent Francoual's window-lined dining room is a fine people-watching platform, and his elegant, something-for-everyone menu aims to please.
- 1100 Nicollet Mall, Mpls., 612-630-1189, www.vincentarestaurant.com