Lucia's: a Twin Cities Treasure

lucias1It would be hard to overstate what Lucia's - and it's owner/founder Lucia Watson - have meant to the Twin Cities food and dining landscape for the past 20-plus years. Since it's inception, Lucia's has been not only one of the city's finest restaurants, but also one of it's most active members of the local, sustainable food community. Lucia's - and it's more recently opened sister-location Lucia's To Go - serve some of the freshest, tastiest foods you'll find from farms in the Midwest or anyplace else.

The menu at Lucia's tends to be somewhat limited to about a half dozen (mostly) locally raised selections (at least one is vegetarian option). This week's dinner menu (they're also open for lunch Tuesday - Friday) features curried vegetable sauté and North Star bison with a blue cheese balsamic shallot sauce, among other things (just to give you an idea). I've eaten at Lucia's several times - lots of fish, hearty stews, delicious lamb - and I've never been disappointed. What's more, Lucia's Wine Bar is yet another sister-location (also attached), and I've found some of my favorite wines (including Graziano Zinfandel)  there over dinner or appetizers.

When I moved to the Twin Cities in the early 1990s, Lucia's was where the buzz was. It was new enough to be written about constantly, it seemed, and was already well known as one of the Twin Cities' best restaurants. More than 15 years later, as restaurant buzz continues to follow whatever new place is popular and trendy (and hey, I love those places too, don't get me wrong), I continue to marvel at Lucia's, where the quality of the food and experience are always top-notch. Lucia's isn't the flashiest, trendiest, most lucias2creative, or spendiest place in the city. They just keep making great, real food. I've recommended Lucia's to people many times over the years, and I've yet to hear a complaint. If you don't want to drop $30 - $50 per person on a local meal, Lucia's Wine Bar allows you to sample wines and appetizers or desserts. And Lucia's To Go, opened in 2005, offers fresh salads, sandwiches, soups, coffee, wine, and other delectable treats (the sea salt chocolate-chocolate chip cookies are favorites of mine) at totally reasonable prices - you can eat a homegrown lunch there for $10, easy.

Lucia's is at: 1432 W 31st St Minneapolis, MN 55408 (612) 825-1572