Top 100 Independents: The Great Lakes

Spoon and Stable
Spoon and Stable Eliesa Johnson

Historic landmark restaurants, high-performers, outstanding new concepts—meet the best operators in cities that are gaining traction as culinary destinations.

Spoon and Stable


The cuisine is American in thought and French in technique, with a foundation of classical sauces, bases, and cooking preparations.

Opened ∕ November 2014

Average Check ∕ $55

Chef/Owner ∕ Gavin Kaysen

112 Eatery


Renowned for its tasty late-night dining (the restaurant is open until 1 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays), its chef won James Beard Best Chef: Midwest in 2011 and was a semifinalist for James Beard: Outstanding Chef in 2014.

Opened ∕ January 2005

Average Check ∕ $45 (estimate)

Chef/Owner ∕ Isaac Becker

Restaurant Alma


Chef Roberts won James Beard Best Chef: Midwest in 2010, and the restaurant’s three-course tasting menu features ingredients from artisanal producers of wine, cheese, and honey, with signature dishes such as Grilled Quail and Orecchiette Pasta.

Opened ∕ 1999

Average Check ∕ $52

Chef/Owner ∕ Alexander Roberts

The Bachelor Farmer


The building that houses the restaurant was built in 1881 as a brick-and-timber warehouse, the restaurant grows its own produce in a garden on the roof, and the Nordic-influenced menu is updated weekly.

Opened ∕ August 2011

Average Check ∕ $25–$40 (estimate)

Owner ∕ Eric and Andrew Dayton

Chef ∕ Paul Berglund

La Belle Vie


Elegant and sophisticated, this French-Mediterranean restaurant is one of the Twin Cities’ most renowned eateries, with three tasting menus that radiate complexity and care. Chef McKee won James Beard Best Chef: Midwest in 2009.

Opened ∕ March 1998

Average Check ∕ $150 (estimate)

Chef/Owner ∕ Tim McKee



Chef Jim Christiansen’s exploratory menu—a maze of colors, flavors, and imaginative small plates—includes proteins such as duck breast and spiced lamb. This is the newcomer that may be less well known, but other chefs say to check out.

Opened ∕ April 2014

Average Check ∕ $35–$55 (estimate)

Owner ∕ Michael Prickett


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