3 dining picks sure to fit the bill

  • Article by: RICK NELSON , Star Tribune
  • Updated: May 18, 2011 - 10:13 AM

Let the patio dining season begin.


Jeff and Mary Jo Radaj enjoy the waterfall table on the patio of Porter Creek Hardwood grill in Burnsville. It had a pleasant white noise effect on restaurant and road noise.

Photo: Tom Wallace, Star Tribune

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The outdoor seating at Bar Lurcat is appealing for its green-swept Loring Park views and the D'Amico-savvy service. But there's also the food. Chef Adam King's menu ranks among the top local spots for bar bites, including some of the city's tastiest burgers, divine miso-marinated sea bass and you'll-never-eat-just one mini-doughnuts.

There's a lively stretch of tables on the sidewalk in front of Meritage, where St. Paulites in the know gather for chef Russell Klein's festive and flavorful French cooking. The urbane setting -- love those Landmark Center views -- are a bonus. Can't stop for lunch or dinner? Then drop by the crêpe stand, open 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday.

The lavishly appointed patios at Porter Creek Hardwood Grill will set off a serious case of outdoor living envy: great-looking (and comfortable) furniture, fancy water features, blazing fire pits and more landscaping than the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden. Here's what to order: slow-braised lamb shank, flatbreads, rotisserie chicken and panna cotta.

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