Creekside Supper Club

With the right set of eyes, this south Minneapolis dining hotspot feels like a homecoming. For those who grew up with Midwestern supper club culture, the room nails the feel of cozy comfort and kitsch. To some, the thrift-store goose prints, wood paneling and random bits of florals might look intentionally tacky, but this restaurant carefully toes the line between nostalgia and modern supper club chic with remarkable ease. Items sourced from family members and country stores — ceramic cats, a water feature, a robust plate collection — are proudly displayed, creating a space that feels old and fresh at the same time.


One would expect opulence and grandeur from the Four Seasons. But inside Mara's dining room and Art Deco-styled bar in downtown Minneapolis, there is actual hand-leaf gold cylinders that mimic the shape of grain silos blended into the design. And if that isn't a top-shelf design flex, we don't know what is. It's also one of many ways the design marries the restaurant's Mediterranean influences with its Minnesota roots. The arched red bar beckons from the lobby, its warm color hinting at what's to come. Every detail has been given careful consideration: one-of-a-kind artwork commissioned from local artists, a grand chandelier inspired by the idea of dining under olive trees, a corner fireplace with hand-painted Italian tiles. It's almost too much to take in with one glance. Like the food, it's best to linger and savor this masterful room.

Mr. Paul's Supper Club

Forever shattering the stereotype that suburban restaurants needed to ascribe to some randomized uniformity of design, Edina's Mr. Paul's Supper Club burst onto the dining scene late last year with a fantastical room that manages to be both an invitation to good times and a stunning backdrop to special evenings. There's an entire chandelier made from tree branches. Original artwork is proudly displayed, including old canvas tent panels from a traveling circus freak show. A mishmash of tiles came from an order running short and feels particularly New Orleanian (meh — just make it up and make it pretty). The jewel-like teal walls act as a modern backdrop and everywhere you turn something catches the eye. This room is a stage that was set by expert hands with keen taste.

Em Que Viet

Once the blushing wisteria appeared, lolling against the white brick outside of Em Que Viet, the excitement in St. Paul's Mac-Groveland neighborhood hit fever pitch — and that was before the restaurant even opened. Soon tables were set up outside, the walk-up window opened and eager residents were finally able to set foot inside. Em Que Viet delivers on the exterior promises with a light-colored dining room punctuated by dreamy florals. Although the dining space is intimate, the decor makes it feel like an inside garden party with a bunch of new friends who share your love of egg rolls. The decidedly feminine and modern accents set the stage for the Vietnamese dishes pouring out of the kitchen, all packed with bright and rich flavors. The restaurant's exterior is given the same care. A stunning backyard patio is covered with a canvas for shade during summer's peak, yet filled with just enough light and warmth to enjoy the season. It's also a fantastic break from the hustle and bustle outside.

Emerald Lounge

A cocktail bar adjacent to a coffeehouse, Emerald Lounge is situated on a stretch of road better known for its neighborhood dive bars. But this breath of fresh air gives off a good bookworm vibe. The rich emerald green accents, owl-festooned black wallpaper, warm leather furniture and intimate spaces are all a contrast to the other beloved bars of the area. Seats situated on layers of rugs are arranged to encourage long conversations. The sleek bar looks like it was imported from the Art Deco era and is well-stocked, without being ostentatious about its capacity. Everything from the fixtures to the lighting has been given thoughtful consideration from someone who appreciates both the finer things in life and beautiful, old things. The vintage high-back train car seats are one of the best date-night seats for ordering cocktails like the Anne with an "e" and lush snacks like gravlax crostini or the drop-kick wings marinated in sesame and cola.

Honorable mentions

We're still swooning over the tropical escape Khâluna, which opened in south Minneapolis in late 2021. St. Paul's new Apostle Supper Club takes midcentury mod shtick to the max. In Wayzata, Macanda's succulents and wicker will transport you to a lush waterside dreamscape. Shoreview's Churchill Street transformed a hardware store into a high-class eatery. And in Uptown, Arts and Rec brings artist-designed minigolf — and the artistic spirit — to the masses.