At his cozy storefront restaurant, chef Wyatt Evans and his crew take a vegetable-forward approach to their work, with impressive results. Those with an appetite for animal proteins will revel in the cider-glazed pork jowl, the delicate smoked whitefish and one of the Twin Cities’ better examples of roast chicken. The cheese selection is first-rate, and the kitchen counter is a fascinating perch. Yeah, this place is a gem.
2186 Marshall Av., St. Paul, 651-493-7267, heirloomstpaul.com
The Hotel Landing has nabbed a marquee name for its food and beverage operations. He’s Lenny Russo, locavore extraordinaire, and a name synonymous with seasonal Midwestern fare after his years at the former Heartland in St. Paul. The breakfast-lunch-dinner format includes a crayfish Benedict and mushroom omelets in the a.m. and freshwater fish chowder, bison tartare and agnolotti stuffed with sheep’s milk ricotta at night.
925 E. Lake St., Wayzata, 612-356-5330, ninetwentyfive.com
Wise Acre Eatery
Farm-to-table, literally, as chef Rodney Smith fills his larder with ingredients raised at the restaurant’s 100-acre farm in Plato, Minn., about 45 minutes west of the Twin Cities. Go for the bacon (oh, the bacon!), stay for the salads brimming with hoophouse-raised greens, or the decadent burgers, made with beef from the farm’s Scottish Highland cattle. The frozen custard? Outstanding. Pick up a pint (or two) to go.
5401 Nicollet Av. S., Mpls., 612-354-2577, wiseacreeatery.com