Dining out: The Hot Five

  • Updated: January 24, 2008 - 3:33 PM
St. Paul's Xcel Center is the place to be this weekend, so make it a two-fer: the U.S. Figure Skating Championships and a good meal.

DOWNTOWNER WOODFIRE GRILL

Chef Andrew Lilja's appealing menu is permeated with flavorful Persian accents, although its all-American fare is well-prepared. Affordable prices and handsome surroundings, too.

253 W. 7th St., St. Paul, 651-228-9500, www.downtownerwoodfire.com

M STREET CAFE

The casual, lower-level cousin to the St. Paul Grill is the place where downtown St. Paul grabs a hearty breakfast, and the simple lunch basics aren't too shabby, either. The Sunday brunch includes dishes along the lines of peel-and-eat shrimp, prime rib, grilled salmon and eggs Benedict.

350 Market St., St. Paul, 651-292-9292, www.mstreetcafe.com

MERITAGE

Chef/co-owner Russell Klein's cooking is as elegant as a Johnny Weir long program, and the window-lined dining room is the most urbane spot in town for a bouillabaisse, coq au vin or other classic French bistro fare.

410 St. Peter St., St. Paul, 651-222-5670, www.meritage-stpaul.com

PATRICK MCGOVERN'S PUB

This popular near-the-Xcel hangout does countless things with fresh turkey, roasted daily and stuffed into everything from sandwiches and burritos to heaping platters paired with all the fixings.

225 W. 7th St., St. Paul, 651-224-5821

SAKURA RESTAURANT & BAR

A top-performing Japanese kitchen, with a particularly skilled staff behind the sushi bar.

350 St. Peter St., 651-224-0185, www.sakurastpaul.com

RICK NELSON

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