Time for my favorite New Year’s tradition…
While most of the country is planning out their weight loss goals, we’re looking back on all the sinfully delicious meals we ate.
Hey, it comes with the job description!
Because after spending another year eating our way around the city, it’s only right to highlight the very best, mind-blowing bites.
- We’ll only be sharing the bites that were new to us. Because as much as we love a classic Matt’s Jucy Lucy, we’ve already rave about it enough.
- The dishes are listed here in no particular order. (We sparked enough battles already by having to narrow down the list to 14. Having everyone at the DTC Headquarters agree on a ranking might lead to World War III.)
Fair enough! Let’s get reminiscing. And if you find yourself at any of these places… whatever you do, order these dishes!
P.S. – Last year’s 12 Best Things We Ate in 2021 is still very relevant, too!
- 1) Rigatoni at Estelle
- 2) Baba’s Buffalo Hummus at the Minnesota State Fair
- 3) The Isaac Becker Pizza at Sanjusan
- 4) The Burger at Gus Gus
- 5) The Lobster Gnocchi at Mr. Paul’s Supper Club
- 6) The Beef Laab Carpaccio at Vinai’s private event
- 7) Mushroom & Taleggio Agnolotti
- 8) The popovers at Creekside Supper Club
- 9) The Jerk Chicken at Guacaya Bistreaux
- 10) The Dowjic Soup at Babani’s Kurdish Cuisine
- 11) Butter Chicken from Raag
- 12) The Bread and Butter from Myriel
- 13) Ramen from Tori Ramen
- 14) Nacho Bites from Saint Dinette
1) Rigatoni at Estelle
Lily’s review of Estelle in St. Paul was probably the most fan-girly we saw her all year, and this incredible pasta dish was a huge reason for that.
Not to rat her out, but Lily may or may not have gone back to Estelle less than a week later, specifically to order this incredible rigatoni once again.
2) Baba’s Buffalo Hummus at the Minnesota State Fair
The competition for new foods at the Minnesota State Fair is fierce, but after partaking in those not-so-hunger games last August, Baba’s Buffalo Hummus was the new food that we still find ourselves dreaming about to this day.
It was so good that we crowned it an instant classic in our guide to the best foods at the Minnesota State Fair. Here’s to hoping this incredible mix of buffalo chicken and silkly-smooth, ranch-flavored hummus becomes a permanent fixture.
3) The Isaac Becker Pizza at Sanjusan
We came in with some high expectations for this one, because folks have been raving about the sushi pizza at Sanjusan for years.
Still, this tuna pizza took our tastebuds and suplexed them into another dimension. It might sound crazy, but this unusual combination lived up to the hype and then some.
4) The Burger at Gus Gus
We’ll just reference Lily’s raving impression from her full Gus Gus review…
*Warning: burger nerding out, incoming in 3…2…1…
Per the waitress’s recommendation, we ordered this one with not one, but two different cheeses. Gus Gus also goes light on the mustard aoli, which isn’t a complaint at all – those extra melted cheeses made this thing a saucy bomb all on its own!
Then, the whole thing is ramped up further with a ton of carmelized onions, whose sweetness cuts through all that fat and cheese, rounding out a truly unbelievable burger.
And that bun… oh how it was golden brown perfection.
I’m salivating again…
Honestly, in a city that probably does burgers better than anything (or anywhere!) else, this might be my new favorite burger in the entire Twin Cities.
5) The Lobster Gnocchi at Mr. Paul’s Supper Club
A lot of our favorite Cajun spots in the Twin Cities have succumbed to less-than-desirable fates, but thankfully Mr. Paul’s came roaring onto the scene in 2022. And maybe the biggest reason for that? Their legendary lobster gnocchi.
Our waiter said this was his favorite item on the entire menu, so you know we had to try it.
And wow, did that guy earn his tip with this recommendation.
This was the highlight dish of the night, and one of my favorites in the entire cities. Imagine perfectly pillow soft gnocchi in the richest, most buttery sauce you’ve ever had, interspersed with just enough lobster and Cajun spice for maximum mouthwatering.
It’s this restaurant’s entire concept in a bowl – a unique take on a southern classic. Just perfect!
We were totally blown away by this one.
6) The Beef Laab Carpaccio at Vinai’s private event
If we could have one wish granted this New Year’s, it would be for Vinai – Chef Yia Vang’s new restaurant in Northeast, Minneapolis – to finally open.
It’s been an ongoing ordeal, which is why to this point, our only chance to try the incredible food has been nabbing tickets to a private tasting in the Steady Pour event space.
And boy, was that a success. You can read all about the food in our full write-up, but more relevant to this article is the beef laab carpaccio. This incredible mix of fried rice crackers and thinly sliced beef was enough to have the lady next to us exclaim it was “The BEST thing I’ve ever eaten! Seriously!”
And we just might agree…
7) Mushroom & Taleggio Agnolotti
We’ve been raving about Bar La Grasa for years, which is why have it front and center in our article about the best Italian Restaurants in Minneapolis.
Strangely though, after all those years, we’d never tried their hugely popular Mushroom & Tallegio Agnolotti, until now.
To say it lived up to the hype is an understatement. Imagine BLG’s classic hand-made pasta, mixed with a rich and hearty mushroom sauce, complete with the most perfectly carmelized mushrooms you’ve ever tasted.
Yep, this is our new go-to order at a long-time favorite.
8) The popovers at Creekside Supper Club
Nearly a full year ago we visited the newly opened Creekside Supper Club and tried the most mind-blowing popovers we’ve ever had.
And that’s saying something, considering we’re in a part of the country that prides itself on our popovers.
If you find yourself at Creekside (you should!) then this is a no-brainer appetizer order.
9) The Jerk Chicken at Guacaya Bistreaux
Our full review of this spot is forthcoming, but here’s a teaser: their jerk chicken is so incredibly tender that you can cut the whole thing with a spoon.
This is an incredible addition to the tons of fantastic North Loop Minneapolis restaurants.
10) The Dowjic Soup at Babani’s Kurdish Cuisine
We finally made it to the Twin Cities only Kurdish restaurant, and we found ourselves completely blown away by this uber-sour and uber-delicious soup.
It’s some sort of Kurdish mix of chicken, yogurt, basil, and lemon juice, which is to say it’s one of the most unique tastes you’ll find anywhere. We loved it, and if you find yourself craving some pucker, this sour gem is just what the doctor ordered.
11) Butter Chicken from Raag
To quite Lily from her Raag review:
As the menu explained, this is “good old butter chicken, re-formed.”
And wow, could that be any more accurate?
Butter chicken is my go-to Indian order, and Raag just put on a master class on how to make this dish to perfection. Honestly, it’s impressive to see what can happen to an old favorite when a renown chef focuses all their energy on making the perfect version of it.
This was without question the most tender butter chicken I’ve ever had. I cut the thing with a spoon, for goodness’ sake!
12) The Bread and Butter from Myriel
Have you ever heard the story about high-end restaurants “interviewing” chefs by having them make a batch of scrambled eggs? It sounds laughably simple, but that’s where the real differences in greatness can shine.
And that’s exactly what’s going on here.
Sure, you might think we’re crazy to include something as simple bread and butter on this list, but just give Myriel’s a try and you’ll realize what we mean. Plus, maybe nothing symbolizes the way Myriel elevates every single dish on their menu the way this “simple” bread and butter does.
13) Ramen from Tori Ramen
Every once in a while, we eat at a new spot that has us rushing back to HQ and updating an old list of the Twin Cities best.
That’s exactly what happened when we tried the Tori Ramen. Both their Miso and Shoyu ramen had us adjusting our list of the best ramen in the Twin Cities.
14) Nacho Bites from Saint Dinette
We’re suckers for nachos, and these are some of the best around. Saint Dinette’s unique mix of tuna tartare and tortilla chips will leave you wondering where this flavor profile has been all your life. It’s a perfect shared plate.