815 W. 50th at Bryant. (612) 823-4790. www.blackbirdmpls.com .Seats: 42.Cuisine: comfort food.Specialties: banh mi sandwich with barbecued pork, liverwurst and pickled vegetables; curried lamb meatballs; wafer-crust pizza with roasted apples, Brie, rosemary and hot mustard.Main courses: $12-$19.Chef/co-owner: Chris Stevens.Partner: Gail Mollner.
4762 Chicago Ave. S. (612) 823-7111. www.restaurantlevain.com .Seats: 75.Cuisine: bistro.Specialties: arugula salad with celery leaves in lemon and olive oil served with artichoke hearts and grilled haricots verts in champagne vinaigrette; bouillabaisse; braised short ribs with red-wine reduction.Main courses: $14-$20.Chef: Eric Sturtz.Owner: Harvey McLain.
5411 Penn Ave. S. (612) 822-5411. www.cafemaude.com .Seats: 75.Cuisine: Mediterranean-influenced.Specialties: braised lamb shank with marjoram pesto and fried carrot strips; fennel-crusted braised short ribs with roasted-garlic baby red mashed potatoes; seared sea scallops with tagliatelle, Parmesan-thyme butter, fried leeks and tomato confit.Main courses: $12.50-$25.Chef: Aaron Slavicek.Owner: Kevin Sheehy.
3520 W. 70th St., Edina, Minn. (952) 697-6000. www.cravemn.com .Seats: 150.Cuisine: American eclectic.Specialties: rack of lamb rubbed with rosemary, thyme and sage, served with butternut squash hash browns; spaghetti with turkey-wild rice-cranberry meatballs; walleye with rosemary-roasted potatoes and sautéed pluots.Main courses: $16-$24.Chef: Eli Wollenzien.Owner: Kam and Keyvan Talebi.
65 Main St. S.E. (612) 746-3970. www.picosarestaurant.comSeats: 335.Cuisine: nuevo Latino.Specialties: rabbit in mole with mashed yuca; tomatillo-braised pork shoulder with jalapeño and herbs on sweet-potato masa cake; plantain-crusted sea bass with quinoa.Main courses: $17-$27.Chef/co-owner: Lindell Mendoza.Partner: Jennifer Mendoza.