It is rare these days to see a restaurant embrace its accolades and then improve on them. But somehow Mara, Gavin Kaysen's voguish ode to the Mediterranean, has.

Dishes are continually pruned — the crudos are as good as ever — and late-season additions, like the Turkish Manti, a type of stuffed lamb dumpling, and bacon-wrapped monkfish, continue to be executed with creativity and finesse. I returned on several occasions for the astonishingly delicate beet tartare, encircled with a thin, tuile-like toast. Then found myself pining, as always, for the chermoula-spiced chicken. The hummus, on many an occasion. And I found no reason to venture to another steakhouse because the steak at Mara is always cooked to uniform ruddiness and has all the robust characteristics of a Peterson Farms breed.

There's the dining room, too, and it remains one of the most stunning places in the Twin Cities to dine no matter the time of day. See: those scalloped gold walls; the shimmering curtains; that glorious open kitchen where Thony Yang, the chef de cuisine, runs his well-oiled ship; and the adjacent bar, where Adam Witherspoon operates his. Whether in the dining room or at the bar, there will be much-needed coddling, not just because it's on brand for the property where it sits — the Four Seasons hotel — but also because Kaysen trades in hospitality first, (great) food second. Truly a boon for us all.

245 Hennepin Av. S., Mpls., 612-895-5709,