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Look Back at the Most Beautiful Twin Cities Restaurants to Open This Year

Boho chic vegetarian, concrete elegance, and that Chinese tiki place

Inside Fig & Farro
Katie Cannon/Eater Twin Cities

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.

Dip Into the Tropical Vibes of Centro

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.

Kevin Kramer/Eater Twin Cities

Tour Popol Vuh, Northeast’s New Pioneer in Mexican Fine Dining Restaurant

Meanwhile, Popol Vuh, where the food is mostly cooked over fire has a dark, cool dining room with bright tiles and buttery leather banquettes.

Cooking over fire
Kevin Kramer/Eater Twin Cities

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.

Vibrant light blue walls, white marble bar, and white table set inside the original Pearl & the Thief location Kevin Kramer/Eater Twin Cities

Inside Grand Catch: the Seafood Boil That’s Blowing Up on Grand Avenue

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.

An orange cocktail in a tall glass sits at the edge of a table in front of wall of green plants and a pink neon sign that reads, “What’s Crackin’” Kevin Kramer/Eater Twin Cities

In Bloom: An Inside View Where the Cooking Is Done Entirely Over Fire

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.

A view of the expansive, concrete lined dining room with a 20 ft hearth Kevin Kramer/Eater Twin Cities

New Vegetarian Restaurant Fig & Farro Flaunts a Beautiful Room Redo

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.

Katie Cannon/Eater Twin Cities

Andrew Zimmern’s First Restaurant Opens and the World is Watching

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.

A room where no design idea was left off the walls
Katie Cannon/Eater Twin Cities

Unlikely Suburban Location Sprouts a New Southeast Asian Eatery, Lat 14

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.

The new height of suburban dining
Joy Summers/Eater Twin Cities