Our Food issue inspires me to imagine my ideal day of dining in and around Edina, with newer favorites that have all opened since 2020.
My day begins at Rustica, the bright café at Southdale Center. I’m always hesitant to take that first sip of my latte and disturb the artistic design created in its foam, but I know how wonderful the coffee is underneath (and how much I need it to start my day). A flaky almond Danish is the ideal accompaniment to the rich, creamy coffee. And if I work from the café (a much tastier alternative to work from home), I’ll order a Kouign Amann, the crunchy sweet pastry from Brittany, France, with my second latte.
Lunch on a gray day in March needs a boost of color, so I’m off to Mr. Paul’s Po’ Boys and Jams in Nolan Mains for its party of NOLA food amid circus colors. The fuchsia and cobalt of the dining bar warm me up, and the gumbo brings tears of spicy joy to my eyes. The walleye sandwich is the perfect combo of New Orleans fun and a Minnesota classic, a melt-in-your-mouth filet of our favorite fish jazzed up Louisiana style.
After a few laps around Braemar Field to work off the day’s amazing meals, I’m ready for—and convenient to—one of Edina’s best pizza. The one word to describe the fresh and carefully crafted pies at Olive’s, located in the Londonderry Shops, is chunky, with generous portions of ingredients on each slice. After the flavorful Caprese salad, I’m blessed with the celestial Chevrenth Heaven, a savory delight with mounds of goat cheese, bacon and tangy sauce on the light, golden crust.
What a day, traveling from France to New Orleans to Italy, but all right here at home!
Contributed by Edina resident Laura Westlund, a tour guide at the Weisman Art Museum and an art hound for Minnesota Public Radio.