Pair a (free) visit to Macy’s Flower Show with Gardens by Bachman’s (700 Nicollet Mall, Mpls.,, through April 3) with a meal.


Il Foro

This art deco treasure, a mirrors-and-mint-green Sensurround flashback to 1930, has to be seen to be believed. Chef Joe Rolle’s rustic Italian cooking is another draw. At lunch, don’t miss the artfully composed soups (or the killer cheeseburger), and at dinner, it’s all about the rabbit cacciatore, and the pastas. Happy hour (weekdays, 3 to 6 p.m.) just might be downtown’s best.

36 S. 7th St., Mpls., 612-238-2300,


For weekend brunch (10 a.m. to 3 p.m.), chef Mike Rakun drops his usual healthy cooking mantra for “Cheat Day,” turning out indulgences along the lines of smoked chicken tacos, biscuits with chicken sausage gravy and brioche French toast. Just-hired pastry chef Christina Kaelberer supplies a host of sweets, and the bar pours $10 bottomless mimosas.

901 Hennepin Av. S., Mpls., 612-252-7000,


Oak Grill

Macy’s gracious oak-paneled sanctuary (conveniently located four floors up from the flower show) is the epitome of a bygone department store dining era. Go for the popovers, stay for the chicken pot pie, almond-crusted walleye, wild rice soup, chicken Caesar salad and other well-prepared old reliables. Reservations accepted, and encouraged.

700 Nicollet Mall, Mpls., 612-375-2938,