Minneapolis Day Trip Food Itinerary

Hot new restaurants make classics feel contemporary

Minnesota winters sure aren't for everyone. For those who fear the deep freeze, peak produce season is an excellent time to visit. And the chefs at these new Minneapolis restaurants are well versed in merging homegrown ingredients with international flavors.

Icehouse: This triple-threat bar-restaurant-music venue is located, as its name intimates, in a one-time pond-ice warehouse. You'll find music as cool as the spot's name, along with food from chef Matt Bickford, who also owns the gourmet deli Be'Wiched. Icehouse's cured and smoked meats are first-rate, but Bickford's ultrajuicy foie gras–topped burger will rock you like a power cord.

Harriet Brasserie: This brasserie is housed in a former fire station with charm to spare—the old fire pole is still intact. Try the mix-and-match Brazilian coxinha (fried dumplings) with tofu-yucca hash or a Hawaiian-style take on Niçoise salad and a slice of ethereal tres leches cake.

The Bachelor Farmer: The team at the Bachelor Farmer revives neo-Scandinavian fare in a region that's long lamented its absence. A cloud of creamy scrambled eggs comes topped with smoked steelhead trout, and Sunday smørrebrød features an unbeatable open-face BLT. Downstairs at Marvel Bar, the subterranean speakeasy, the bartenders' bestseller is the Oliveto, a gin drink frothy with egg white and olive oil.

Gather by D'Amico: First, the Twin Cities' Italian restaurant powerhouse D'Amico ousted Jean-Georges Vongerichten from the Chambers Hotel. Then it did the same to Wolfgang Puck, replacing his restaurant at the Walker Art Center with a concept called Gather. The new eatery is mostly a lunch spot, serving dinner only on Thursdays, and showcases a local guest chef or "artist in residence" each month. Favorites of the collection include the short-rib banh mi and the goat-cheese panna cotta with amarena cherries.