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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
  • 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 WinnerContemporary American
  • Diners' Choice WinnerNeighborhood Gem
Diner Reviews
  • "You can't go wrong on Sat or Sun brunch. Yum! The choices of mimosa flavors was wonderful."
    Dined on 7/26/2014
  • "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."
    Dined on 7/25/2014
  • "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."
    Dined on 7/24/2014
  • "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."
    Dined on 7/19/2014
  • "Food and service are always reliably very good. Specials interesting. Pizza special was delicious."
    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."
    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!"
    Dined on 7/15/2014
  • "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."
    Dined on 7/13/2014
  • "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."
    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."
    Dined on 7/8/2014
  • "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."
    Dined on 7/5/2014
  • "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"
    Dined on 7/3/2014
  • "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."
    Dined on 6/21/2014
  • "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!"
    Dined on 6/19/2014
  • "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."
    Dined on 6/17/2014
  • "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."
    Dined on 6/14/2014
  • "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."
    Dined on 6/12/2014
  • "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."
    Dined on 6/7/2014
  • "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!"
    Dined on 6/3/2014
  • "It is a nice neighborhood restaurant which is good for adults."
    Dined on 6/2/2014
  • "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!!"
    Dined on 5/24/2014
  • "Relaxing and laid back atmosphere. Everything we had was amazing! "
    Dined on 5/16/2014
  • "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."
    Dined on 5/11/2014
  • "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."
    Dined on 5/5/2014
  • "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. "
    Dined on 5/3/2014
  • "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."
    Dined on 4/26/2014
  • "the morel mushrooms are delicious- keep them coming travis!"
    Dined on 4/23/2014
  • "Went to First Course for my birthday with DH. The ambience was urban and romantic. The food was impeccable and the live guitar music was the icing on the cake. I highly recommend the fried green olives with blue cheese!!!"
    Dined on 4/19/2014
  • "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 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
  • "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
  • "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
  • "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
  • "The chef uses interesting flavors and techniques to create delicious food. A unique and satisfying experience."
    Dined on 2/22/2014