What is the best Minnesota restaurant for 2013?

Chef Isaac Becker. (Photo courtesy Chris Schodt)

“Minnesota Monthly” magazine recently named Isaac Becker its “Restaurateur of the Year,” based on his launch of 2013’s hottest eatery, Burch Steakhouse and Pizza Bar.

“Minnesota Monthly” magazine editor Rachel Hutton, a regular contributor on MPR News’ Appetites, spoke with Tom Crann of All Things Considered about Becker’s imprint on the Twin Cities dining scene.

TOM CRANN: How did Isaac Becker earn such a lofty title, Restaurateur of the Year?

RACHEL HUTTON: As our annual restaurant issue began approaching, I looked back on the restaurants I’d reviewed in the past year to see which had been most impressive. Burch quickly rose to the top. The restaurant, which is located in the former home of Burch Pharmacy at Franklin and Hennepin in south Minneapolis, had made a strong impression both for the fabulous meals and dining experience it offers, as well as the uniqueness of its concept.

CRANN: Burch is quite different from the typical steakhouse, then?

HUTTON: The steakhouse archetype usually involves a wood-lined dining room furnished with plump, oversize booths, evoking a retro, clubby vibe. The steakhouse attitude is typically equal parts hedonism and machismo: Manny’s, for example, offers a steak literally called the “Bludgeon of Beef.” Burch, by contrast, is more like the wine bar of steakhouses, in that offers most cuts in small and large portions, and in three grades: grass-fed, choice, and prime.

It’s very flexible: you can still go over-the-top, but not to the exclusion of modest appetites and checkbooks-and non beef-eaters, in fact. There are delicious lobster pizzas and dumplings, for example.

CRANN: And Burch isn’t Becker’s only success. I understand he’s three for three, so far?

HUTTON: Yes, looking back on Becker’s track record I realized that he and his wife and business partner, Nancy St. Pierre, have had quite a run in the past decade: 112 Eatery, which opened in 2005, and Bar La Grassa, which opened in 2009, have been just as successful as Burch. In fact, 112 represented a significant tipping point in the character of the Twin Cities dining scene.

Today’s Question: What is the best Minnesota restaurant for 2013?

  • PaulJ

    ‘Boathouse’ in Waseca – you really should have a view of a lake if you’re talk’n best in Minnesota.

  • JQP

    Who among us has eaten at every restaurant in Minnesota to be able to propose a “best”.. ???

    • AndyBriebart

      Who among us can afford at every restaurant in Minnesota to be able to propose a “best”.. ??? And who has the time? Just think of calories.

  • Gary F

    I like the idea that the Blue Door Pub opened on the other side of the river. So, being a St Paul guy, I have to cross the river so I can get a table, seeing the Selby Ave location is always packed, And I can say that my pocketbook or waistline could handle being a authority on whose the best.

  • Kris R.

    Just recently found Sweet Taste of Italy in Brooklyn Park and fell in love with it! Especially comforting food given the weather we’ve had lately!

  • Nate O

    Umami by Travail

  • RAJ

    The Red a Cow in Edina!