It was a year of gorgeous restaurant opens and a heck of a lot of cooking over a fire. Design-wise the new eateries that landed in Saint Paul and Minneapolis ran the gamut from cozy to high-brow multi-media mixes that would make an MCAD student swoon. Whether taking a tropical tour of Lat14, dipping into the hip Mexican vibes of Centro or gaping at the enormity of In Bloom’s gigantic hearth, there was so much to see while digging into the new food. Here are a few of the most beautiful rooms to welcome new diners this year.
Jami Olson and chef Jose Alarcon’s dual space inside Northeast of tacos and fine dining have one door and two different, but equally beguiling dining experiences. Centro is vibrant, playful and geared for late nights with tacos and mezcal slushies.
Meanwhile, Popol Vuh, where the food is mostly cooked over fire has a dark, cool dining room with bright tiles and buttery leather banquettes.
Pearl & The Thief: Inside a New Stillwater Charmer
Meanwhile, the Southern charm of Justin Sutherland’s Pearl & the Thief was the most fleeting beauty of the year, as he prepares to close it at the end of the year to relocate to an undisclosed Minneapolis location.
A team of chefs with backgrounds that reach all over the world came together in an eye-popping new spot near the Macalester campus. The winking crab neon light has become and Instagram must.
The masterminds behind Revival and Corner Table outdid themselves with this massive anchor restaurant inside the new Keg & Case hall on Saint Paul’s West 7th. The room was our 2018 Restaurant Design of the Year Eater Award winner.
The difficult restaurant location inside Calhoun Square has struggled to find its footing with several chef changes and massive overhaul of service style, but there is no denying that the room is gorgeous. It was a vegetarian front runner in a year filled with an influx of meat-free dining.
It’s been a rocky start for the Bizarre Foods chef’s first major restaurant, but the interior design sets the restaurant inside the Shops at West End complex up for fun. The tiki bar has two slushie machines and the entire dining room sits under a cricket caged top.
People murmur at the tables, can you believe this used to be a Perkins? Not only is Ann Ahmed’s restaurant one of the most delicious new dining options to the metro landscape, it’s also one that is just gorgeous at every turn. From the floor tiles at the entry to the neon light accent to the plush fabrics used to transform the space into something spectacular.