1. Piccolo (43rd/Bryant S.) - Getting more and more awards every day, just swept the new restaurant award, Anthony Bourdain (No Reservations) just did a 10-minute piece on it, calling it his favorite new restaurant in the U.S. It's small, and you'll need reservations.
2. Lucia's (31st/Hennepin) - Was doing the locally grown thing before it was cool. Menu changes weekly, so you should check out their web site, as they only have 3 or 4 entree choices per night.
3. Bar La Grassa - Same chef as 112 Eatery, better food, in my opinion. Pasta/Italian based, very rich food.
Others good options: Manny's, Saffron, Corner Table
As far as soccer watching, someone already posted it, but Britt's in downtown Mpls is where the soccer crowd hangs out. But if you're looking for a good sports bar in the St. Louis Park area, the Park Avenue Tavern (Louisana/Highway 7) has a ton of TVs, a huge menu, and pretty good bar food. And a bowling alley in the back.
"It's just another gym" -- Jamaal Tinsley, on playing at Phog Allen Fieldhouse
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