We asked our cadre of culinary standouts to name their favorite openings of the year, and it was a real love fest: the guys from Left Handed Cook love Fika. The dude from Urban Bean Coffee loves Left Handed Cook. Everybody loves Raymond. And it goes on
Andrew Zimmern of Bizarre Foods: Butcher and the Boar. Great concept, well executed, great vibe, a complete restaurant in terms of food/ambience/service/beverage program and so on. Icehouse, The Lynn, Birdhouse all deserve honorable mentions for 2012. And I love all the micro-eateries in town… Little joints like the kiosks in Hmong Market to Fika at the Swedish Institute to Jonathan Hunt’s Sparks. It's a nice trend
Erik Forsberg of The Devil's Advocate: After 5 years of stagnant restaurant growth, 2012 has brought a roster of new concepts and creativity. 2 standouts for me are Nightingale for their balance of relaxed and comfortable decor with well thought-out food and drink as well as Left Handed Cook where we are seeing the budding creativity on the culinary side of tomorrow's great local chefs
Thomas Kim/Kat Melgaard of The Left Handed Cook: Butcher & The Boar. Icehouse. Eat Street Social. Fika
Greg Martin of Urban Bean Coffee: My favorite new spot for lunch is The Left Handed Cook in the Global Market. Solid, fresh, delicious. My other destination spot is Indeed Brewery. Gorgeous build out and amazing setting for food trucks, good beer, and a cigar
Tom Horgen of Star Tribune: Simple: Butcher & the Boar lived up to the hype and changed the way we think about quality meat in this town. Everything that is hot right now is being done extremely well here: craft beer, craft bourbon, craft meat
Matty O'Reilly of Republic: Nightingale and Gray House are probably my new favorite restaurants that I haven't been to yet. I know I will like what they're doing. I'm avoiding them intentionally because I want my kids to get Xmas presents. JK. But they will get my dollars very soon.