This was a good year for Twin Cities foodies, with an exciting roster of new restaurants hitting the scene. Our selection highlights a range of talented chefs and restaurateurs, from pillars like Gavin Kaysen and Daniel del Prado to rising stars like Pedro Wolcott. The bottom line? We eat well here in Minnesota. Without further ado, here are the best new Twin Cities restaurants of 2022.
Can it be that the hottest new date night spot is in… downtown St. Paul? It sure looks like it thanks to Brian and Sarah Ingram, the brains behind Purpose Restaurants. If you’ve heard the hype about Apostle, we can confirm it really is that cool. Sometimes places with a killer ambiance compromise when it comes to cuisine, but that’s not the case here. The sixties-era Palm Springs vibe will keep you lingering long into the evening, and the delectable dishes like chicken-fried lobster (trust us!) will have you licking your plate clean. No judgment from us.
The most highly anticipated restaurant of 2022 resides within the most highly anticipated hotel of 2022, the Four Seasons Hotel Minneapolis. And with celebrated chef Gavin Kaysen at the helm, it’s obviously going to be a smashing success. He transports diners to the Mediterranean region, showcasing the varied cuisine savored across 22 countries. In addition to a splurge-worthy dinner, there’s also breakfast, brunch and lunch — making Mara the ultimate power lunch locale in Minneapolis.
As you know, we’re big fans of restaurateur Jami Olson (after all, she and I hail from the same small town) so I was eagerly awaiting the opening of Centro’s South Minneapolis outpost this summer. I did wonder, though, how it would compare to the Northeast flagship. It’s safe to say that the 15,000-square-foot eatery certainly holds its own, with Everywhen burger bar and Vivir bakery also on offer — making for the culinary mashup of our dreams. (P.S.: I bugged Olson about the possibility of a Popol Vuh pop-up, and she didn’t say no!)
Rand Tower Hotel has a bevy of new food and beverage offerings (see what we did there?), all in partnership with Daniel del Prado, the chef making the biggest moves of the year. So will people go to downtown Minneapolis for dinner? With the addition of Blondette, the answer is a resounding yes. The French-inspired eatery takes up residence in a reclaimed open-air atrium and delights with dishes like tuna crudo, crab salad and grilled zabuton. Cocktail lounge Miaou Miaou is right next door, and down on ground level, Bar Rufus boasts a more casual setting for similarly elegant fare.
We didn’t realize how much the North Loop needed a Latin Caribbean tapas bar until the August arrival of Guacaya Bistreaux. How lucky we are to have chef/owner Pedro Wolcott in our midst, with his vibrant Panama/Louisiana-influenced fare. Both the space and the food are unpretentious, which is exactly how Wolcott wants it. But don’t let that fool you into thinking the cuisine is simple. Quite the contrary; favorites like ceviche, churrasco and patacones (fried green plantains) are deliciously complex.
When rumors started to circulate that Thomas Boemer and Nick Rancone of cult-favorite Revival had something in the works, the Twin Cities dining scene started to buzz with excitement. And when that something turned out to be their first full-service restaurant situated in South Minneapolis, our mouths collectively started to water (or maybe that was just mine). You’ll come hungry and leave stuffed, and every bite will be well worth it. I’m a brisket gal, but you can’t go wrong with anything on the menu.
Sitting along the shoreline of Lake Minnetonka in Wayzata, Macanda is Dani del Prado’s glitzy global extravaganza. Here, the fare spans from humble to high-end, mirroring the clientele that encompasses everyone from just-off-the-water boaters to well-to-do suburbanites to DDP devotees (yes, he has his own fan club). We were particularly enchanted by the short rib taco, the crab tostada and the octopus — oh, and those hard-to-beat lake views.