Follow the crowds to 102-year-old Cossetta’s, which boasts a new-and-improved casual pizza-pasta setup, along with Louis, an ambitious Italian restaurant and bar.
211 W. 7th St., St. Paul, 651-222-3476, www.cossettas.com
Slip into the lovely bar at Forepaugh’s and whirl through chef Donald Gonzalez’s imaginative appetizer-focused menu: duck fried rice, chicken samosas with a mango dipping sauce, foie gras- and truffle-fortified poutine, tamarind-glazed chicken wings and more.
276 S. Exchange St., St. Paul, 651-224-5606, www.forepaughs.com
Make the stroll across Rice Park to lively Meritage, where chef/co-owner Russell Klein offers an unparalleled oyster selection and caters to varied tastes with cassoulet, sturgeon poached in duck fat, lobster-avocado salad and what might be the Twin Cities’ best French fries.
410 St. Peter St., St. Paul, 651-222-5670,