Best Restaurant- Great Lakes Region

by Michele Pesula Kuegler | October 5th, 2010 | Restaurant News

Great Lakes RegionMoving north from the Southwest region, Think Tasty now heads to the Great Lakes region.  Covering Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois, Michigan, Indiana and Ohio, we will share our top ten picks from the many that were submitted.  For the next ten days, readers will have the opportunity to vote for their favorite place.  Voting will end at 5:00 pm EDT on Friday, October 15th, and the winner will be announced at that time.

1. 20.21 Restaurant & Bar, Minneapolis, MN
20.21 Restaurant & Bar by Wolfgang Puck – where modern dining meets contemporary taste. 20.21 features modern Asian cuisine and a breathtaking view. 20.21 is located in the newly renovated Walker Art Center designed by world renowned Swiss architectural firm Herzog & de Meuron. Executive Chef Asher Miller is one of the most highly-regarded chefs in the Twin Cities, listed number three in this year’s Star Tribune’s annual “Taste 50,” a tribute to the 50 tastemakers, trends, products and places in Minnesota.

2. Aerie Restaurant, Traverse City, MI
Aerie Restaurant at Grand Traverse Resort & Spa features inspiring views of Grand Traverse Bay, and a menu showcasing Michigan’s culinary abundance with hearty selections highlighting local produce from the farms, orchards, vineyards and artisan bread and cheese makers of the Midwest. Entrees are North American fusion, featuring fresh seafood flown-in daily from the east/west coasts, along with poultry and beef. The menu features select Northwest Michigan wines and beers on tap are exclusively Michigan microbrews. Aerie’s menu changes seasonally.

3. David Burke’s Primehouse, Chicago, IL
Located in The James Chicago Hotel on the corner of Rush and Ontario, David Burke’s Primehouse continues to redefine modern American cuisine by pushing the envelope of culinary creativity, marked by notable dishes, such as Surf and Turf Dumplings Filled with Short Rib Barbeque and Lobster Mousse and Kobe Beef Sashimi on Himalayan Rock Salt with Mushroom Chips and Truffle Sauce.

4. Geja’s Cafe, Chicago, IL
Geja’s Cafe offers a unique dining experience of food, fondue, and fun.  The ambiance is exquisite.   Chicago’s most romantic restaurant features fondue dining and live classical and flamenco guitar. Fondue dining – cooking at the table – is a great way to give your family and friends a unique experience. Geja’s features an extensive, moderately priced wine list, with many selections by-the-glass.

5. Joseph Decuis, Roanoke, IN
The Joseph Decuis ‘Farm to Fork’ enterprise is celebrating its tenth anniversary in business as a culinary destination. Most recently the Joseph Decuis team cooked at the prestigious James Beard House in New York — the only restaurant in Indiana to date to have received this honor. Proprietors Pete & Alice Eshelman, pioneers in the movement for fine dining restaurants to operate their own farms and gardens, have taken the ‘Farm to Fork’ experience to a new level during the past decade. Distinguishing themselves by raising Wagyu ‘Kobe-style’ beef at the Joseph Decuis Farm, they’ve nurtured what started out as a small town gourmet restaurant into a world-class fine dining destination that now includes the Farm, Emporium, Culinarium and Inn.

6. L’Etoile, Madison, WI
L’Etoile has served local and seasonal offerings since it first opened its doors in 1976. Traditional cooking methods are used to develop balance and enhance flavors. The food is upscale French/Contemporary American with an emphasis on great, tantalizing flavors. The waiters are extremely knowledgeable about every dish and the chef changes the menu every week based on the freshness of the food. The waiters go through the entire menu and explain where the food came from and how each dish was prepared. The new location is beautiful with a swanky metropolitan feel in the heart of Madison.

7. Paradise Landing, Balsam Lake, WI
Something nice but relaxed. The way lake people are. Big enough for everyone around the lake with food worth coming off your pontoon. Paradise Landing captures the love of the water, the beauty of the north woods and the camaraderie of both life at the lake and the Balsam Lake Community.

8. Salut, Minneapolis, MN
Salut is where you can go for a casual Sunday lunch with your parents, and at night it is an excellent place to take a date as they dim the lights. The staff is fantastic, you really do have the sense of being in France again with the customer care they provide. They have the long, long booth with chairs facing in, and these beautiful wooden, distressed floors. They are known for having a great bloody Mary, but another favorite item on their menu is the duck, and all of the prices are very doable.  It is highly recommended with this emphasis on quality and feeling authentic France.

9. Scotty’s Brewhouse, Muncie, IN
Scotty’s was started when Scotty Wise wanted to create a neighborhood pub similar to what you would find on every corner of Lincoln Park in Chicago. Something that is friendly and welcoming to all ages. And, that has become his niche and differentiation. A restaurant that welcomes children, community and campus patrons… something for everyone at Scotty’s!  Offering a diverse menu, you can find everything from Hawaiian Luau flatbread to Thai Peanut Skewers to Bugle Blazin’ Blues Burger, there is sure to be something you’ll enjoy.

10. The St. Paul Grill, St. Paul, MN
From the incredible food, generous cocktails and outstanding wines, to the impeccable service and unrivaled location overlooking Rice Park, The St. Paul Grill is a destination restaurant with a reputation that spans generations. It’s the kind of place that has regulars, and makes new ones all the time.

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Please note that there are strict regulations on voting. Additionally, our system audits for fraudulent votes.

  1. Jill C. says:

    Joseph Decuis is located in Roanoke, Indiana and not Illinois…..

    And, may I add, it’s the BEST!

  2. MIrka says:

    I now reside in Miami Beach and Joseph Decuis is still on my top 3 !

  3. karen voirol says:

    Fabulous food and staff; executive chef Aaron Butts is creative and conscientious. This is really the jewel of the midwest if not the whole country

  4. Deb Wise says:

    Now Scotty’s Brewhouse even serves breakfast on Sat and Sun. The fajita penne pasta with chicken is one of my favs and really love the barbeque ranch chicken salad. There is truly something for everyone…..and lots of beer and wine choices! Yummy..it is a place not to miss when in Indiana – there are 6 locations currently, so no excuses!

  5. Taffy Troup says:

    Joseph Decuis – TRUE Farm to Fork dining!!

  6. Steve Troup says:

    Joseph Decuis!! Great food, fine dining in a small town setting and you can take home the experience when you purchase their prepared soups and other products from The Emporium at Joseph Decuis.

  7. Pamela Anderson says:

    Small town BIG flavor and Amazing Style!

  8. Stacy Miller says:

    Joseph Decuis located in Roanoke Indiana. Amazing food prepared by an amazing executive chef Aaron Butts!! It is truly the BEST!!!!

  9. Dr. Jeffrey Miller says:

    Joseph Decuis is not only the Best Restaurant in the Great Lakes Region but also one of the finest restaurants in the nation. Unrivaled World Class cuisine with both a elegant and a personal touch.

  10. Rick Campodonico says:

    Joseph Decuis is a true dining experience.

  11. Ron Covington says:

    This is an amazing place. These people are out to change the way we eat.

  12. James Romer MD says:

    Located in Roanoke, IN, the epitome of small town atmosphere, is a world class restaurant featuring elegant cuisine and excellent service. What’s not to like?

  13. Tom Schamp says:

    If you enjoy a great burger then Scotty’s is the place for you. The Swiss-n-shroom Burger is tops on my list and so is Scotty’s Brewhouse. Great food, great brew, great service.

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