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  • First Course

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First Course
  • Address:
    5607 Chicago Ave S
    Minneapolis, MN 55417
    Neighborhood:
    South Minneapolis
  • Cuisine:
    Contemporary American
    Price: $30 and under

First Course Details

  • Dining Style: Casual Dining
  • Website: http://firstcoursebistro.com
  • Email: firstcourse@msn.com
  • Phone: (612) 825-6900
  • 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.Continued
Foodspotting photos
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Awards voted by OpenTable diners
  • Diners' Choice WinnerNeighborhood Gem
Diner Reviews
  • "We had a gift certificate for this restaurant and had no idea what to expect. Wow, amazing food! Local, farm to table type of cuisine with a great tapas menu as well. Loved it!"
    Dined on 4/12/2014
  • "It was our first time at First Course (we've lived within walking distance for a year) - and we'll definitely be back. Menu was fairly big and had a nice variety. Meat/cheese sampler plate was delicious, and our entrees were exceptional. Service was very friendly and welcoming and prices were fair for the quality of the meal. It's a must-try!"
    Dined on 4/11/2014
  • "We LOVE this restaurant each and every time we are there...whether it's a romantic date night out to a group of friends meeting up for dinner! Utterly amazing food and wine...every time!"
    Dined on 4/8/2014
  • "Without other reviewers, we would never have found, braved entry to or enjoyed a great meal here. This is truly a gem.. Amazing food, super service and a nice ambiance. We enjoyed their eggplant fries with a fantastic sauce, decorated with feta. The fresh mushroom soup was a subtle, flavorful treat. The scallops were delicious. A great little gem hiding beside their tattoo parlor neighbor."
    Dined on 3/29/2014
  • "The outside of the building is deceiving. Once inside, the place is beautiful. The kitchen and chef are visible from the dining room. Everything is made fresh so it takes some time to get your food but it's well worth the wait. I had the steak gnocchi which was to die for. My boyfriend ordered the shrimp linguine which was also fabulous. We went to First Course to celebrate our anniversary. I would definitely recommend it for a date night or to take out of town guests. Fabulous restaurant, wonderful ambiance, amazing food, and a nice selection of wine. We will definitely be back!"
    Dined on 3/17/2014
  • "We admit, that this not flashy strip mall and adjacent tattoo parlor was a bit offputting. But, once we passed by the shovels and ice melt bucket in the tiny vestible thru the partially hanging curtain, we entered a cute, warm space. Very busy and sort of close tables (we had a coupla really loud laughers next to us) we settled in. Food and drinks were pretty good - meat was slightly overcooked and tough. Service was unpredictable - sometimes uber fast, other times really slow to return. Portion sizes were just perfect. A good wine and beer list. We think we'll try it again."
    Dined on 3/15/2014
  • "We did not expect to find this little gem in a quiet South Minneapolis neighborhood . The food quality was a pleasant surprise , with an excellent wine list. Wait staff helpful. Nice decor inside. The building itself in a small south urban strip mall was not the most scenic but easily accessible with good parking options"
    Dined on 3/15/2014
  • "A nice evening out. Wish we had restaurants like this in Bloomington. Enjoy trying different tapas. Excellent service and low key atmosphere."
    Dined on 3/14/2014
  • "A reliable neighborhood spot. Good wine menu, entrees and tapas."
    Dined on 2/15/2014
  • "I have dined at First Course several times over the past three years,and I'm never disappointed. It's a small, under-rated neighborhood gem! I love the calamari, bistro salad, beef tenderloin, and pretty much anything the chef puts on the specials menu!"
    Dined on 3/11/2014
  • "My husband and I went on a whim after we received a gift certificate. I ordered the Chicken Roulade and it was AMAZING! Hands down the best dish I've ordered anywhere in years! My husband ordered the tilapia because the halibut was not available. The tilapia was very bland unfortunately but he ordered a side of BBQ ribs which had DYNAMITE flavor! If I'm ever in that neighborhood again I'd stop in for another bite!"
    Dined on 3/1/2014
  • "From the outside, First Course is unimpressive, housed in a tiny neighborhood strip mall that has seen better days. But the interior is welcoming and the food is excellent. The menu is inventive---but not extreme enough to make you skeptical. Delicious dishes have just the right touch to make them extraordinary. Between visits, I forget how good this place is, and them I am delightfully surprised as, once again, my expectations are exceeded and I have another great dinner."
    Dined on 2/24/2014
  • "We have been there many times previously in the last two years and have not had a bad experience ever. We did enjoy it when they had live music and miss it now that they've discontinued it."
    Dined on 2/21/2014
  • "The chef uses interesting flavors and techniques to create delicious food. A unique and satisfying experience."
    Dined on 2/22/2014
  • "Very good food. Nice staff, the flavors were pleasantly put together."
    Dined on 2/12/2014
  • "Food is so good and the atmosphere is great. Live music on weekends. Don't miss sandwich night specials on Thursday."
    Dined on 2/14/2014
  • "I hadn't been to First Course since it first opened. I was sorry I waited so long to make it back. The decor is really well done and the food was delicious. My only disappointment was the Chocolate Flourless Torte. It was served cold and the chocolate wasn't very good. We also had the German Chocolate Cake, which was very good. So except for the torte, it was a fantastic meal."
    Dined on 2/14/2014
  • "My wife and I went on Valentine's Day, and were sat 25 minutes after our reservation time, after sitting at the bar. No bread was offered, and we waited for 20 minutes before the waitress came. We ordered, and we didn't get our wine for another 20 minutes. The waitress apologized and said it would be complimentary. The food was fine, except for a very dry pork chop. When the bill came, we were charged for the wine after all. We probably won't be going back."
    Dined on 2/14/2014
  • "Food was delicious. Busy on Valentine's night! Nice sax music. Our table was by the door, and that was cold every time the door opened. Had to have my husbands coat over my legs. But I will go back as it was great other than the chill!"
    Dined on 2/14/2014
  • "always a delight to enjoy real home-made pasta! esp loved the proscuitto pasta! yum!"
    Dined on 2/10/2014
  • "The outside of the restaurant is nothing special as it's in kind of a strip mall. The inside is quant. My only complaint is that there is a cold draft coming from the front door sometimes. They have a heavy curtain in front of the front door that people don't always close behind them. They could move the snow shovel, sand and salt out of the entry way too. It's a small space that is cluttered. Overall a good experience. I would go back."
    Dined on 2/1/2014
  • "Food average yet pricey. Knock 10-15% off and be about right. Biggest issue was service. Long waits for server, couldn't wait to leave if only the server would come back. I get what they are going for being a neat little neighborhood spot with good food and good wine. Would totally fit in with the area. Only problem is that they need to work on food and learn what it means to be in the service industry....give good service Overall, will not be going back."
    Dined on 1/25/2014
  • "Food was great! No complaints on that end. We didn't have to wait too long either. Some of the service could have been better. I had made a reservation but it didn't seem like it mattered. When we arrived, it took about 5 minutes before we were helped. Weren't very many seats available but we were able to choose. The restaurant was cold so it would have been nice to sit by the fireplace. There was a spot available but it looked like they were waiting for someone. No one came while we were there. With a reservation, I am thinking that seat was set for us...just an assumption and could be wrong. Basically, I felt like we were treated more like walk ins instead of guests with a reservation."
    Dined on 1/25/2014
  • "The restaraunt is small and intimate. There were very few open tables and we had an extra join us at the last minute so my reservations for 4 were now 5 which made it cumbersome. The manager was extremely attentive and kept us on top of what he needed to do to accommodate us. He poured us a glass of wine while we waited! The service was slow but allowed us to chat. They were out of all of the fish and the duck by the time we ordered so we weren't able to try them. We ordered Bison Burgers (good) and butternut pasta (good) Borcht (not like mom's) and a Bitstro salad (very good but too $ for an egg and greens at close to 9.00)."
    Dined on 1/25/2014
  • "Tapas and appetizers were good, entrées not so much. We ordered tapas and let the waitress know we would also be ordering entrees. She did not come back until it was time to clear our tapas plates and I had to ask her to take our entrée order. My side came out 10 to 15 minutes before my main dish. She brought 3 out of 4 of our entrees and finally brought the 4th maybe 10 minutes later. One pasta dish and was swimming in a watery sauce. The waitress and manager saw my friend pouring the sauce out onto another dish and did not bother to come and see what was wrong. The mushroom pasta hardly had any mushrooms. The burger was dry. I might try eating there again but if it was the same waitress I would turn around and walk out."
    Dined on 1/11/2014
  • "We stopped for dinner Saturday night, the tapas was wonderful (try the ribs), nice wine selection, we had a bottle. The entrees were good, I had the duck, a little to heavy on the sweet potato but perfectly done, salads were great too. They didn't have enough wait staff so be prepared to for things to move a little slow, pace your orders and enjoy a good conversation with friends. A very good value!"
    Dined on 1/18/2014
  • "Excellent food and service. Recipes prepared by owner chef Travis Metzger are brilliantly conceived and executed. He is a master of subtle seasoning and flavor"
    Dined on 1/17/2014
  • "Tasty tidbits and a nice glass of wine in a nice little neighborhood. The food was very tasty, tho the portions on the small plates were indeed small. Still quite yummy. My husband had the filet mignon and I had the duck breast. The flavors were great but the duck was rather fatty so probably wouldn't do that again. The steak was great. A cute little room. Only other comment is it was a bit pricy. Still I might go back as the flavors were great!"
    Dined on 1/15/2014
  • "We had to wait one hour and twenty min for our food to arrive. I kept asking where our food was and was told it's coming soon and that it was real busy in the kitchen. We have been there four or five times before but after this experience we will never come back."
    Dined on 1/11/2014
  • "We enjoyed the evening, food, and lively atmosphere. Haven't been here in years and space has doubled since our last visit (as well as menu). Pricing has also increased and probably should be rated 3$ rather than 2$. The tapas were small but delicious and carefully prepared. The blackened halibut was very fresh and tasty although I would have preferred less spice on such a nice piece of fish. Nice wines by the glass. Our guests were pleased and loved the small atmosphere. We will be back."
    Dined on 1/10/2014
  • "V. pleasant setting, especially if you want to talk with your dining partner[s]. Food equally pleasant, non-pretentious. Easy parking. Will go back again soon."
    Dined on 1/3/2014
  • "Very enjoyable Dinner! The food was very good as was the service. Sat by fireplace which gave off some good heat on an extremely cold night. Felt good. Bone in pork chop with wild rice and shoe-string sweet potato on top was excellent. Tiger shrimp appt. was very good. Will definitely go back again."
    Dined on 1/2/2014
  • "We had a large group dining at First Course on New Year's Eve. The service was excellent. The size of our group didn't seem to phase them at all. And we enjoyed the live music!"
    Dined on 12/31/2013
  • "My husband received a gift certificate from a friend and we had not heard of this restaurant. A gem! Very flavorful - a wonderful dining experience. Good way to start the New Year!"
    Dined on 12/31/2013
  • "We arrived for our 6 pm reservation and the place was very crowded, but they had a table ready for us. Our drink orders were taken right away, but then it was about 30 minutes before we could to flag our server down to take our food orders. We then had to wait an additional 45 minutes for our food to arrive. My tenderloin steak was done perfectly with a fabulous sauce. The other dishes were delicious according to reviews. I think the wait for our food might have been the kitchen being overwhelmed. And in our server's defense, she bought us our dessert for having to wait so long. I would still recommend this restaurant for the creative, and delicious food and maybe dine on a week night when it's less busy!"
    Dined on 12/28/2013
  • "Enjoyed a quit evening, great food , greet service. Would recommend for people who like a quiet atmosphere where you can have conversation and excellent food presented beautifully."
    Dined on 12/27/2013
  • "My friend and I arrived early (5:15) and had the place to ourselves for about 45 minutes. It looked cozy and elegant when we came in, and the merrily burning fireplace was a treat after the near-0 temperature outside. As more people came in the noise level went up quite a bit, but it did not get to a disturbing level. I had the bone-in pork chop with wild rice and a wonderful spiced fruit chutney, topped with crisp sweet potato strings. Fabulous! My friend had a couple of excellent items from the tapas menu. I ended with a very nice flourless chocolate cake. My friend had the German chocolate cake. She found the icing a bit too sweet; the cake part was very good, although a darker chocolate than usually found in German chocolate cake."
    Dined on 12/22/2013
  • "Since we live about 30 miles from the restaurant, we always consider it for special occasions. But, if we lived closer I'm sure we would be there every weekend! I'm envious of the locals who have this great restaurant right in their neighborhood. The food is always excellent with a good range of options. The tapas are fun as well. And the service is always friendly and knowledgable."
    Dined on 12/14/2013
  • "The food was decent, but for a neighborhood bistro it was expensive."
    Dined on 12/12/2013
  • "Brought a party of 8 for dinner. Fantastic Service, Great Food, Super Wine List. They had a party of 24 at the same time as our group; tall order when two parties take up 1/2 the seats or more. Everything was well managed, and there was no delay in seating, service, appetizers nor entree's. The only minus was that a couple of us ordered the Scallop entree special. While it was a great dish, $30 seemed a bit high for three scallops. To be fair, neither of us asked how many came in the order. I'm sure all four couples will return!"
    Dined on 12/6/2013