War bride/entrepreneur Reiko Weston opened Minneapolis’ first Japanese restaurant in 1959, introducing sushi and teppanyaki to Minnesotans. Her family continues her legacy. (600 W. Lake St., Mpls., fujiyasushi.com
Ukrainians Wasyl and Anna Kramarczuk arrived in northeast Minneapolis in the late 1940s, establishing the Eastern European culinary stronghold that still bears their name. (215 E. Hennepin Av., Mpls., kramarczuks.com
Vincent: European- and New York City-trained Vincent Francoual delivered a taste of his native France via his eponymous 11th-and-Nicollet restaurant, a beloved, top-rated destination from 2001 to 2015.
After immigrant Michael Cossetta opened a tiny grocery store in 1911, three subsequent generations have made their ancestor’s name synonymous with “Italian.” (211 W. 7th St., St. Paul, cossettas.com
The Village Wok: Before this 40-year-old U of M landmark lost its address last fall to an apartment tower, it had forged two pioneering legacies: Cantonese fare, and late-night hours.
Barbary Fig: Brahim Hadj-Moussa devoted 28 delicious years to guiding Grand Avenue diners on an edible, tagine-filled travelogue through his native Algiers. He gave himself a well-deserved retirement last September.
La Tortue: During its six-year run at Butler Square in the 1980s, this sophisticated, special-occasion French groundbreaker — led by Norwegians Tor and Kristine Aasheim — helped ignite a culinary sea change.
Caravelle: Chef Tang Truong’s influential entry was part of a wave of Southeast Asian restaurants, including Saigon, Phoenix, Lotus and Kim Long Golden Dragon. The original St. Paul location is now occupied by his son Hai Truong’s Ngon Vietnamese Bistro.
El Burrito Mercado:
What Tomas and Maria Silva started as a tiny Mexican bodega in 1979 has grown — with the help of two subsequent generations — into a festive market, restaurant and community magnet (175 Cesar Chavez St., St. Paul, elburritomercado.com
Dong Yang Oriental Foods & Deli: A highly browsable supermarket gets even better with the low-key (and low-priced) in-store cafe. It’s the very definition of “hidden gem,” and a splendid gateway to Korean flavors. (725 45th Av. NE., Columbia Heights)
Hosteria Fiorentina: Chef Giorgio Cherubini’s late 1980s downtown Minneapolis enterprise didn’t last long — his later Giorgio’s in Uptown did — but the big, bold flavors of his native Tuscany are still fondly recalled by a generation of grateful diners.
Can another local retailer boast its near-encyclopedic pan-Asian inventory, or claim to have introduced so much of a faraway world into the hearts, minds and appetites of Minnesotans? As for the Unideli counter, it’s a must. (2015 E. 24th St., Mpls., unitednoodles.com
Odaa: When it opened in the mid-1980s, this Cedar-Riverside hole-in-the-wall quietly revealed the unfamiliar traditions of Ethiopian cooking, and its audience quickly expanded beyond the neighborhood’s borders.
Aquavit: From 1998 to 2003, two talented Swedes — chef Marcus Samuelsson and restaurateur Hȧkan Swahn — replicated their New York City partnership in the IDS Crystal Court, reforming Twin Citians’ notions of contemporary Scandinavian cooking.
The Deco: The memorable art deco setting of St. Paul’s Women’s City Club wasn’t this museum cafe’s principal draw. It was Finnish chef and baker Soile Anderson (later known for her Taste of Scandinavia mini-chain), who may have single-handedly taught 1980s Twin Citians how to brunch.
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