Go for the smoked meats, sausages (including the foot-long hot dog to end all foot-long hot dogs), superb charcuterie (do not miss the turkey braunschweiger) and killer grasshopper pie, and stay for the bar's boffo way with bourbon, the tented-through-winter beer garden and the genuine bonhomie at chef Jack Rie­bel's fun-loving Butcher & the Boar.

1121 Hennepin Av. S., Mpls., 612-238-8888


The swank setting at La Belle Vie is a suitable backdrop for the kitchen's sublime work, best enjoyed in five- and eight-course tasting menus ($70 and $85, with pairings available from the restaurant's first-rate wine cellar). The adjacent lounge, home to cocktail czar Johnny Michaels, offers its own four-course taster ($45).

510 Groveland Av., Mpls., 612-874-6440


At the Bachelor Farmer, chef Paul Berglund's exciting New Nordic cooking is a major draw, but other attractions include a charming warehouse setting, all-smiles service, a user-friendly wine list and one of the region's top libation havens, the Marvel Bar. Sunday brunch (walk-ins only) is particularly swell.

50 2nd Av. N., Mpls., 612-206-3920, www.thebachelorfarmer.com

Rick Nelson