First Course

First Course

  • Dining Style: Casual Dining
  • Website: http://firstcoursebistro.com/
  • Phone: 6128256900
  • Hours of Operation:
    Dinner: Sunday - Thursday: 5:00pm - 9:00pm, Friday & Saturday: 5:00pm - 10:00pm
  • Payment Options: AMEX,Discover,MasterCard,Visa
  • Cuisine: Contemporary American
  • Executive Chef: Travis Metzger
  • Dress Code: Casual Dress
  • Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
  • Additional Details: Bar Dining, Beer, Entertainment, Fireplace, Non-Smoking Restaurant, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Personal wines welcome (corkage fee applies), Takeout, Wheelchair Access, Wine, Wine Bar
  • Entertainment: First Course offers live music on Friday evenings between 7:30 and 10:00 pm, featuring flamenco guitar, jazz sax, folk and classical stylings.

Getting there

  • Cross Street: 56th and Chicago
  • Public Transit: First Course is easy to get to by bus using the bus stop at 56th and Chicago.
  • Parking: Street Parking
  • Parking Details: First Course has ample street parking.
A word from First Course
First Course bistro is a little bit of Soho, "oh so close to home", with it's casual yet chic decor and its sophisticated yet comforting style of contemporary American cuisine. First Course is perfect for a creative start to your evening or for a multi-course evening of its own. Guests may relax on the comfy sofas, warm up by the fireplace or belly-up to the bar before enjoying one of the seasonally handcrafted meat, fish, pasta or tapas dishes.
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Foodspotting photos
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Awards voted by OpenTable diners
  • Diners' Choice WinnerNeigborhood Gem
  • Diners' Choice WinnerContemporary American
First Course reviews from OpenTable diners
64 reviews since May 25, 2014
Overall Rating4.1
  • Food4.2
    Service4.1
  • Ambiance3.9
    Noise LevelModerate
90% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
neighborhood gem (52)fit for foodies (35)romantic (27)special occasion (20)great for outdoor dining (19)notable wine list (18)great for brunch (7)good for groups (3)hot spot (2)great for lunch (2)late-night find (1)kid-friendly (1)Show More
  • Disapointed
    kwarma
    Dined on 9/19/2014
    We have been regularly going to this restaurant for over 10 years. The menu has completely changed, and the food is not as good. We were with a party of 6. Monkfish was way too salty. Pizza - nothing special, crust was like cardboard - for $12. Scallops were ok but not great. Ceasar salad - the restaurant changed the dressing. FC used to have the best ceasar salad dressing in town. We don't know if we will be back and are very sad to see these changes at what was once one of our favorite restaurants.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Always a pleasure
    FinerDiner
    Dined on 9/13/2014
    First Course is a wonderful option for my neighborhood and surrounding areas. The food, service and ambiance has always been top notch. I recommend this for a date night, or when you want to catch up with a friend because the restaurant is relaxed and friendly. I always feel appreciated when dining there. Look forward to trying the brunch.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great plates
    uptowner
    Dined on 9/6/2014
    Small plates+large plates=great plates. We had a wonderful dinner here and definitely will return. Shrimp and calamari (small plates) and ahi tuna (large plate) were some of the best I have eaten anywhere.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • A South Minneapolis Gem
    LeGris
    Dined on 9/5/2014
    First Course is inserted into a funky strip mall with Neo-fifties décor and hipster waiters to match. It's a fun atmosphere with outstanding plates in the classic style. Mussels to Mahi-mahi are fresh and creatively presented. A small but well selected wine list nicely complements the entrees. Moderate pricing makes this a most attractive neighborhood bistro.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • New menu!
    DawnygirlVIP
    Dined on 8/30/2014
    The menu and chef are new. Some of the old favorites are on the menu, but it's been pared down. The wine list is still pretty good. There are some new faces amongst the wait staff, too.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • menu
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 8/30/2014
    Update your internet site. I didn't know you downsized the menu. Food still great though.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Fantastic New Menu
    Jmpls
    Dined on 8/26/2014
    Love the new menu that will be changing every four months. A must dine at locale. Scallops & tenderloin were incredible.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, hot spot, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • disappointing service
    minneapolisfoodies
    Dined on 8/22/2014
    We live in the neighborhood and were excited to try First Course - finally! We tried to order several items, however, they were out of multiple menu items we ordered. Our server seemed very nervous, didn't know the menu, and continued to apologize throughout our meal. He was very nice, however, he did not know the menu, had to check multiple times with his manager, and hadn't tried the items we asked about. Overall the food was good, however, the service was one of the worst we've had in recent memory. Our server needs training, confidence, direction, and the opportunity to try the food before he serves another table.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Excellent food
    Gardnchild
    Dined on 8/18/2014
    We were immediately greeted by the friendly staff. The food was very good...best tilapia I've had. The lamb ragou was amazing.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Love First Course as always
    OpenTable Diner Since 2005
    Dined on 8/7/2014
    We love coming here! Always great food, relaxing, and fantastic atmosphere. We love the area and make it a point to visit every month or so!!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2007
    Dined on 8/2/2014
    My husband and I had dinner here for 'date night' on Saturday. We had never been there before and it didn't look like much from the outside but once inside the ambiance was great - kind if funky and eclectic. A great local neighborhood place. We had appetizers, drinks, entrees and dessert. We both ordered the tenderloin which was one of the best I've had and we eat a lot of steak. This was cooked to perfection! Perfect charring in the outside and medium rare inside. The wine and beer selection was also nice. Not am overwhelming list but well thought out. Oder the floorless chocolate cake! We'll be back!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Charlie
    Dined on 8/2/2014
    Great 10 craft beer selection on tap. Delicious food from a creative menu.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Disappointed
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 8/1/2014
    The service was solid to start and the bread and appetizers were good, but everything went downhill from there. My fiance needed to give two choices because they were potentially out of her first choice. Our entrees arrived 45 minutes after the appetizers and my fiancee's second choice came without any communication. The dessert was warmed up in the microwave for too long and the chef and waiters were arguing. It was a very disappointing experience, especially for the price, so it will take hearing a lot of good things before we give it a second chance.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Always a pleasure.
    SusanC
    Dined on 7/26/2014
    You can't go wrong on Sat or Sun brunch. Yum! The choices of mimosa flavors was wonderful.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, kid-friendly, fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, special occasion, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Delicious
    ThumperVIP
    Dined on 7/25/2014
    We hadn't been to First Course in a while and decided to go on the spur of the moment. We had the fish special and it made it well worth the decision! It was wonderful and perfectly cooked. We will be back. However we wish they would get some more comfortable chairs. My DH has problems sitting for a full dinner in their chairs.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Excellent food
    caseat
    Dined on 7/24/2014
    The lamb ragout pasta was extremely flavorful and worth the hours of simmering the sauce. The duck breast was perfectly done with a wonderful sweet potato mash that had a bit of zing to it! We went on a Thursday night and the house wine was only $4! We definitely plan to return.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • not bad, but not great either
    OpenTable Diner Since 2012
    Dined on 7/19/2014
    Server was not very enthusiastic about food or when providing service. Food was ok: 1) rib tapa had good flavor, but meat wasn't very tender, 2) bistro salad was nothing special, 3) risotto (special with okra and mushrooms) was delicious- very cheesy and well prepared 3) gnocchi (special with shrimp) was good, but lacked something... maybe some spice? Overall a decent place, but I would not go there again. Good deal since I had the restaurant.com coupon, but otherwise I would expect more for the price.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • MaggieRoseVIP
    Dined on 7/15/2014
    Food and service are always reliably very good. Specials interesting. Pizza special was delicious.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Hidden in plain sight
    adventurer4foodVIP
    Dined on 7/15/2014
    In a strip mall with a tattoo palor and a flooring store on either side stands a great little restaurant with good absence and great food. You wouldn't even see it unless you were advised where to look. Try it. My husband and I have been back many times. It is really a different feel once you cross the threshold. The outside sitting looks spacious and inviting but we always seem to eat inside.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, romantic, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • As tasty as usual
    Portia
    Dined on 7/15/2014
    This unassuming neighborhood bistro can be counted on to deliver tasty creative meals. It doesn't have an extensive menu, but everything I've had here has been delicious. There are daily specials where the chef puts to creative use in-season finds. I lived in Italy for 3 years, so I'm pretty critical of Italian (and so-called "Italian") food cooked in the US, but First Course has not yet disappointed!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Just Good
    chicago14
    Dined on 7/13/2014
    The food was very good and everyone enjoyed their meal. The chicken, gnocchi and risotta were outstanding. The bread was amazing. Skip the appetizers and dessert, they were all OK, but the tres leche was the only one we would order again. Everything came out of the kitchen in a timely manner, a few items were forgotten and had to be requested again. While our server was very nice, she was clearly tired (which she expressed to us) and just going through the motions without being very enthusiastic about her job or her customers. The manager was very accommodating & also was prompt in answering an email I sent to him. The cook did a fantastic job of preparation.
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Birthday Dinner
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 7/8/2014
    We have come here before and we live very close so it is convenient. They have excellent food and a very good beer and wine selection. They have a patio for nice weather. They have live music on the weekends. I had a perfectly done medium-rare steak with asparagus and their take on a spicy barbeque sauce. It was all superb. My wife had roast duck that was off the bone and perfectly done. Deserts to die for. We have never been disappointed when we come here.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, special occasion, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • hidden gem
    JJmnVIP
    Dined on 7/8/2014
    The menu had some very good choices, and we each tried something different and were very satisfied w/what we ordered. I had the chicken roulade with risotto and it was interesting, very flavorful & a different way to fix chicken. Both of my companions ordered fish, and enjoyed their dishes. Our chocolate flourless dessert was very tasty.
    Special Features:
    great for outdoor dining, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great food with sticky tables
    WendyVIP
    Dined on 7/5/2014
    First Course has wonderful food, but needs an update on the interior and some help in timing the food. There were four of us for dinner. Our server took our appetizer orders, brought out delicious bread for us to snack on and then brought one couple their appetizer. After they had finished their appetizer and had it cleared away, our appetizer came out. This would have been fine if we had been sharing all the food, but we were expecting those things to come out at the same time. The tuna appetizer was great. The entrees did come out together and were also delicious. However, the table was an old wood table that has a finish that feels very sticky all the time. This detracted from the dining experience.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • gdfd4
    Dined on 7/3/2014
    I have eaten here since it opened. I have always had consistent and well prepared food. The addition of the bar was a significant asset to the previously small eating area. While not cheap, one can enjoy a good dinner at a reasonable price and and there are specials on Thursday. I would recommend it to anyone. gdfd4
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great Neighborhood Find
    markog1
    Dined on 6/21/2014
    This was our first time at First Course. The food was excellent, inventive, diverse, and very fairly priced. Ample wine list. I would love to see these fine folks do something to dampen the noise level. We enjoy talking before and during dinner, conversation that doesn't require shouting. That remains the primary reason why we, as a 50-something couple, often opt to eat at home. First Course, not much more than a mile from our Tangletown home, could be regular haunt.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • risotto = yum
    birthdaygirlVIP
    Dined on 6/19/2014
    the best risotto in town & the special with the egg on top is divine! looking forward to the new brunch schedule with yummy bottomless mimosas! hope to see you there soon!
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, romantic, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Lovely Neighborhood Place
    HorsingAroundMN
    Dined on 6/17/2014
    We have been going to First Course for 6 years, and live right in the neighborhood. It is our go to place for anniversaries and celebrations. In summer, the outdoor seating allows us to take our dog with us. The wine list is incredible, and the food is consistently excellent. This restaurant does a fine job of including local ingredients. The daily specials offer a nice supplement to the menu, which is been the same for as many years as we've been going there. There Tuesday night wine deals are great, too! I love this place, and would recommend it to anyone looking for fine food and wine/beer.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Amazing time with our group
    BobJMinneapolis
    Dined on 6/14/2014
    We had an amazing dinner with our group of six people. Dinner was pleasant, unrushed, flavorful and just a wonderful experience overall. We are so lucky to have this in our neighborhood.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • 2nd visit letdown
    OpenTable Diner Since 2012
    Dined on 6/12/2014
    We had been here 2 years ago and it was noisy but had great food. I reserved a table early in the evening for an anniversary dinner, so it was not busy. The server seemed indifferent. The menu was very limited and for gluten and dairy restricted diets there were no offers of accommodation. The wines we ordered were AMAZING and we ordered two appetizers to share (because the server indicated that they were small). They consisted of a 1 oz slice of goat cheese with 3 tiny cherries (1st app) and 2 toothpicks each with 3 tiny pieces of beef (2nd app). Flavors were great but we had already rung up nearly a $40 tab (wines were $10-12) so we went somewhere else to finish our meal.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Great place
    panamajo48
    Dined on 6/7/2014
    First Course has never disappointed. I had the special grouper dinner and was very pleased with the attention to creating a southern taste. Food was fantastic.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • that chicken! yum!!
    birthdaygirlVIP
    Dined on 6/3/2014
    i have my favorites on the menu but now i am convinced i need to try everything on the menu cuz it is all so delicious!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Latvia82
    Dined on 6/2/2014
    It is a nice neighborhood restaurant which is good for adults.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Ratings-Only Reviews
    Based on 31 ratings-only reviews submitted since May 25, 2014
    • Overall Rating4.1
    • Food4.1
    • Ambiance4
    • Service4.1
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • The following 592 reviews are from the First Course reviews archive.
  • Great South Minneapolis Find!
    Track29
    Dined on 5/24/2014
    First Course is tucked away in South Minneapolis on Todd Park. It's a bit off the beaten track is you don't live in the neighborhood, but is definitely worth heading to. We've been there twice and had a great experience both times -- once with rather picky older kids, whose tastes were accommodated easily an adaptation of the linguine dish on the menu. The menu is diverse and creative, there's a nice wine and beer list, and the desserts are yummy (can't have a top-notch dining experience without a good dessert). A plus is the easy parking -- always a nice bonus, particularly in bad weather. Highly recommended!!
    Special Features:
    kid-friendly, fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, special occasion, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Loved it!
    vikingirl
    Dined on 5/16/2014
    Relaxing and laid back atmosphere. Everything we had was amazing!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great food, poor service
    lengVIP
    Dined on 5/11/2014
    This was my third time back to First Course and I once again had a great meal. My fiancee enjoyed his pasta, but said it wasn't outstanding. Our service was not great. Last time I thought it was a fluke, but apparently not. It took quite a while for her to greet us, and then a while after that to bring our drinks. The food took more than a half an hour, which is definitely excessive, but what was really strange is that we drank our first glass of wine in that time and wanted more, but she didn't check back on us. Also, she acted slightly annoyed when I asked about the food. We love the food but are thinking about not returning because of the time it takes to have a meal and how frustrating the service is.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Oui
    TegaVIP
    Dined on 5/5/2014
    My second time at FIrst Course and once again the food and service was great. We were going to have dessert after dinner but a large noisy group came in and we could no longer hear each other so left for dessert elsewhere. Other than that all was excellent and we were just thankful that we had completed our dinner before the large group came in.
    Special Features:
    romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • dillybarVIP
    Dined on 5/3/2014
    Everything from the food, wine and atmosphere were amazing! The only complaint I have was with the staff. Our waitress forgot a tapa we ordered and didn't come back around until our dinner was brought out. So it was to late to bother mentioning it. None of the staff seemed to want to be there. A waiter walk by me and I heard him say, f*** that sh**. I would still recommend the restaurant, but maybe the management needs to tell the staff to smile once in awhile.
    Special Features:
    Neighborhood Gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • energetic dining
    KathyVIP
    Dined on 4/26/2014
    This neighborhood restaurant has appeal and the food is good but not terrific. The portions i.e. scallops only 3 - are small and the price is not. They enlarged the space but I assume not the kitchen. Therefore the food preparation and service is slow. The wait staff are great however. I like the guitar background music played by two highschool students. Relaxing and quite good. WE probably won;t go back as the value is not there.
    Special Features:
    Neighborhood Gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • yum!
    birthdaygirlVIP
    Dined on 4/23/2014
    the morel mushrooms are delicious- keep them coming travis!
    Special Features:
    Fit For Foodies, Romantic, special occasion, Neighborhood Gem, Notable Wine List
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate