With two of Minneapolis' most lauded, always-packed restaurants in their portfolio, it's a mystery to chef Isaac Becker and his wife and partner, Nancy St. Pierre, why their North Loop restaurant, Snack Bar, isn't anywhere near as busy as Bar La Grassa and 112 Eatery are.

"It's been a struggle to get to where we want to be," Becker said in a candid phone call. "It's just, we don't understand why we're not busy on weekdays."

It's not for lack of acclaim. Shortly after Snack Bar opened, the Star Tribune's restaurant critic called it "a favorite new hangout," "one of those rare Twin Cities dining spaces where everyone seems to be nearly on top of everyone else, in a good way." These days, Becker will be the first to admit the space is much roomier during the week than it used to be.

But maybe it's not that much of a mystery when you consider that Snack Bar opened in late 2019, its honeymoon ending abruptly four months later with COVID. Becker and St. Pierre shut down all their restaurants for about 15 months, and one of them, Burch Restaurant, never reopened.

The other restaurants came back online mid-2021, and Bar La Grassa is pretty consistently "bursting at the seams." But just across the hall at Snack Bar, "we've kind of lost any momentum we had," Becker said. "We weren't getting any reviews or press, and it's just like we didn't exist."

Now, he and St. Pierre have a plan to fix that problem.

Starting May 7, Snack Bar will offer a spring tasting menu every Tuesday in May. The dinner will showcase new dishes that are joining the regular menu, giving diners a little window into the recipe development process in the kitchen of a James Beard Award-winning chef.

There will be a fish entree, a salad, spring vegetables, a featured slice of pizza and dessert. "Spring is a great time of year for restaurants and chefs because there's so much more to work with," Becker said. "It's probably my favorite menu change of the year."

The new, seasonal dishes will be available a la carte for the entire month, and a five-course tasting gives diners a chance to sample everything for $55. Tax is another $5; gratuity and drinks are not included, though there will be an optional wine pairing curated by Chris Foster of the Libation Project. Tickets are available for advance purchase at resy.com. (Snack Bar is at 800 Washington Av. N., Mpls.)

The price is notable even among Becker's top-chef peers. "Tim McKee said that's what they were charging for their tasting back when they opened La Belle Vie in Stillwater," Becker said. For context, that was 1998.

"We've always been very conscious of making sure that we give a good value. You know, 50 bucks isn't nothing, either. But it's kind of affordable," Becker said.

But if Becker and St. Pierre are going to do a tasting menu, they're going to do it their way — from the perspective of people who don't even really like the idea of them. They never implemented prix fixes in any of their restaurants, other than one brief period when Becker was testing recipes at 112 Eatery for the opening of Burch. Guests can expect the Snack Bar tasting to be relaxed, with seating times scattered throughout the night as opposed to a formal, all-at-once affair. They also plan to offer the tasting menus in September and January.

"I don't like tasting dinners," Becker laughed. "We don't do them. Nancy and I never order tasting meals if we don't have to. I like having choice."