At handsome, runs-like-a-Swiss-watch Cafe Lurcat, chef Adam King specializes in refined New American fare (the miso-marinated sea bass is well worth its $39 sticker shock), and pastry chef Leah Henderson’s desserts have “splurge” written all over them. An outstanding wine list, too. Dinner daily.
1624 Harmon Place, Mpls., 612-486-5500, cafelurcat.com
What’s the city’s most underrated restaurant? It just might be Saffron Restaurant & Lounge, where chef Sameh Wadi continually surprises and delights with modern spins on Middle Eastern and North African cooking (the ever-changing seafood tagine is a must). Arrive early (4 to 6 p.m. weekdays) for a truly tasty happy hour. Dinner Monday through Saturday.
123 N. 3rd St., Mpls., 612-746-5533, saffronmpls.com
Part of the fun of dining at cozy Sanctuary is discovering which ingredient has caught chef Patrick Atanalian’s roving curiosity (right now it’s Rocky Mountain bison “oysters”). It can also be a stone-cold bargain: A five-course tasting menu (served Monday through Thursday) goes for $35. Add wine pairings for $14, cocktail pairings for $16. Dinner Monday through Saturday.
903 Washington Av. S., Mpls., 612-339-5058, sanctuaryminneapolis.com