Kick off the year with a four-star meal to remember.

There are many reasons to appreciate Heyday, not the least of which is chef Jim Christiansen's singular cooking style — skip the chilled blue mussels at your peril — as well as his ability to make weekend brunch a talker. Cocktails are tops in their class and at dinner, Christiansen chimes in with a four-course tasting menu for $52, with a supplemental beverage pairing for an additional $34.

2700 Lyndale Av. S., Mpls., 612-200-9369,

At Restaurant Alma, diners can create their own three-course dinner ($55), choosing from five options within each course (going the a la carte route is a possibility, too). Chef/owner Alex Roberts cooks with the seasons — in winter, that means leg of lamb with roasted squash and a quince chutney, or a celery root soufflé with a hazelnut-black truffle salad — service is warm and welcoming and the discerning wine list never loses its capacity to impress.

528 University Av. SE., Mpls., 612-379-4909,

Immerse yourself in the tasting-menu-all-the-time format at the fun-loving palace of excess known as Travail Kitchen & Amusements. Diners purchase their reservations in advance at (go to, and prices vary ($60 to $95 per person), depending upon the date and time. Go full-out and book the Copper Table, a hedonistic three-hour experience that's presided over by chefs/co-owners Mike Brown, James Winberg and Bob Gerken. Cost is $200 per person, wine/beer pairings an additional $75.

4124 W. Broadway, Robbinsdale, 763-535-1131,