Excellent food with a small,
Excellent food with a small, yet unique menu. Great atmosphere - there was live music playing and a good overall noise level. A new favorite.
4/19/2013 4:00:00 PM
First course never disappoints
First course never disappoints us. The food is creative, the service is friendly and informative. We dine here pretty often.
4/24/2013 4:00:00 PM
The gnocchi was phenomenal
The gnocchi was phenomenal - the pork chop a bit overcooked - but the service was excellent. This is ambitious little gem, offering finer cuisine while hiding in plain sight amid a strip of small stores.
4/25/2013 4:00:00 PM
Very enjoyable dining. Able to hava conversation with friends with fabulous live backround music. Food was great. will return again
5/1/2013 4:00:00 PM
Date absolutely LOVED IT
Recently started dating a sophisticated 40-something downtown foodie. She has a job where she has to entertain clients at lunches & dinners on a routine basis, and has been to nearly every restaurant in the Twin Cities. Yet she wants to discover & experience new places with me. Coming up with dinner plans is quite a challenge to say the least! Took a shot at this place, and am I glad I did! It was a home run in her book-from the small intimate setting/cool decor, to the live background music, to the solid food & wine. Table location is key, but she couldn't stop raving about this place from start to finish. The start of one memorable night! I thought everything was good, but who cares when your date is this thrilled? Thanks First Course!
5/2/2013 4:00:00 PM
Good food, good feeling
The atmosphere is very relaxing and romantic with a lower light setting and lots of tables for two. The wine and beer list provided many choices and they keep three microbrews on tap which definitely passed the taste test. The food was very good and they have a list of special meals of the day to keep things interesting.
5/7/2013 4:00:00 PM
Has never disappointed...
First Course has never disappointed us and we frequent the place either for a meal or just drinks. The food is creative, the service is attentive and one of our favorite combos plays there Thursday evenings. What could be wrong with that?
5/8/2013 4:00:00 PM
Surprisingly good food
We had eaten here years ago and had forgotten about the place. We had a coupon so we went Thursday night and had an excellent meal. We will be back!
5/8/2013 4:00:00 PM
Love, love, love this place.
Love, love, love this place. great tapas, great wine list and excellent staff!
5/10/2013 12:00:00 AM
The food was excellent. Portions were tapas-sized as the menu suggests and priced accordingly so that a small plate did not cost what you would expect to pay for a large plate.
The restaurant filled up quickly so i was glad i made reservations. With summer coming and outdoor dining available, this will be more manageable.
5/11/2013 4:00:00 PM
Excellent overall experience
We enjoyed great, creative food and an excellent wine to accompany our meal. For a small restaurant, the wine list is quite good - something for everyone. Our waiter was attentive, knowledgeable and provided excellent service. Appetizers were smallish but interesting and tasty. The salad special for the day was outstanding. Main courses were amazing. The chef has an excellent touch with spices and flavorings, combining and balancing them deftly to not overpower the food but allow the flavors to complement rather than compete with each other. We WILL be back for more! Unfortunately the smallness of the place would make it difficult to have a large group, so best to go with a small group (max 6 -8 people). Highly recommend reservations.
5/23/2013 4:00:00 PM
Surprising neighborhood gem
Being that the restaurant is located within a neighborhood stripmall, it does not look like anything particularly special from the outside. However, the interior presents a welcoming space with romantic ambiance and delicious food.
For quieter dining I recommend going earlier in the evening as it can get rather loud when filled with other patrons.
6/5/2013 12:00:00 AM
Fun menu quiet atmosphere
I've been a few times to this neighborhood restaurant - it's always been fairly quiet inside but the décor is lovely and the menu is fun to play with. Lots of interesting tapas and a solid selection of entrees.
7/13/2013 12:00:00 AM
My husband and I enjoyed ordering several Tapas/small plates to share for our dinner. It was all good, especially the half price wine on Tuesdays
7/16/2013 12:00:00 AM
I've been to First Course
I've been to First Course many times because it is withing walking distance of my home. I know it's our neighborhood gem, but it was a first visit for my friend. She really enjoyed it and remarked that she would love to have it near her home. The food was delicious, the wait staff cordial and efficient, as always, and we were reluctant to leave -- we almost closed the place down!
Of course I'll be back -- and my friend may be, as well.
7/18/2013 12:00:00 AM
My wife and I were in Minneapolis visiting from the east coast and we found "First Course" through the Open Table app after a day of touring the city. We were there on a Sunday night and it was very quiet. We were seated promptly outside. Our server was very attentive and made menu recommendations when asked. The food was very good. The portions were on the small side. This may not appeal to everyone but we like it that way. The restaurant was a cute little neighborhood affair and we would recommend it as a place for really good food or a quiet little romantic dinner out.
7/21/2013 12:00:00 AM
Lucky South Minneapolitans
What a gem you have down there! And it can be whatever you want it to be: patio hangout, pizza with the kids, romantic interlude, beer and tapas with friends, etc. In every scenario, the food is thoughtful, fresh and totally yummy. One thing I would do differently: get the goat cheese with "boozy cherries" as desert - it was too sweet and "boozy" for an appetizer. We went on a Thursday, when they had a special menu of cheap (around $8) and artful pizza and sandwiches. My husband had an asparagus and Gruyere sandwich with oyster 'shrooms and caramelized onions on crusty bread. I felt like splashing out, so I had the cornmeal crusted tilapia ($20) on a bed of greens with roasted tomatoes on the side. So fresh, so flavorful. So grateful!
8/8/2013 12:00:00 AM
Great Neighborhood Spot.
Great food, reasonable prices, the live music was great. Can't believe I've walked past this place countless times and this is the first time stopping by. It won't be the last.
8/9/2013 12:00:00 AM
Never a bad meal.
We have been customers of First Course Bistro for years. We love it.
8/14/2013 12:00:00 AM
Neighborhood Gem, Indeed!
A lot of places have good food and wine/beer lists. Very few, however, can provide the same caring, attentive (but not smothering) and seamless service. These people genuinely want you to enjoy your experience at First Course and it shows in everything they do. Bravo!
8/14/2013 12:00:00 AM
Will go back again and again
I've been to First Course twice. Both times the service and food were great.
I really like the atmosphere and music; This is what will keep me coming back.
I look forward to trying more dishes and coming up with my favorites.
8/16/2013 12:00:00 AM
Dining at First Course
We sat outside on a beautiful evening. The food was delicious. There were a lot of airplanes going overhead. It was kind of noisy. We have never noticed this when dining inside. Overall, it was a lovely evening. We will be going back.
8/16/2013 12:00:00 AM
A little expensive for the size of the portions but food was very good.
8/17/2013 12:00:00 AM
Eclectic Night Out
Great food with a fun atmosphere, service slower but gives you time to relax. Order from tapas if you are hungry. Everything we tried tasted great....fresh. We will go back. It was a wonderful first experience!
8/18/2013 12:00:00 AM
We had a great time at First
We had a great time at First Course. Wonderful food, great wine. Good waiter. And the music of Two and a half tenors on Thursday night was a blast. They sang lots of oldies from the past but also beautifully romantic Italian songs. Very diverse group! So much fun.
8/22/2013 12:00:00 AM
Good food good service
We went here for anniversary...nice food and wine options...tapas and main course were great!
8/29/2013 12:00:00 AM
Excellent food, excellent
Excellent food, excellent service, excellent wine list! I give it 5 stars :) One of my favorite new places, total GEM!
8/30/2013 12:00:00 AM
What a gem!
This is tucked away in a neighborhood location that's worth a GPS search to find.
The service was fantastic, attentive, friendly, and a clear desire for you to have an outstanding dining experience.
Great for the foodie in you, they have tantalizing dishes to tickle the taste buds in may ways and a perfect wine pairing to top it off.
The Tres Leche cake was fabulous!!
8/31/2013 12:00:00 AM
Great but a little spendy
the food is really wonderful but felt for the portion size it was way too expensive.
9/7/2013 12:00:00 AM
Wonderful neighborhood gem!
Great food, ambience, easy parking, friendly staff. Salads were outstanding and the pork chop was beautiful, moist, flavorful, and interesting. A great menu with lots of nice choices. Portion sizes were perfect!
9/13/2013 12:00:00 AM
Secret is out, this is a great find
This neighborhood nook is a secret taste haven. The wine list is very nice, all the courses are intriguing, so much so that you either want to get things and share (if you are not from the area) or plan to come again.
The ambiance is a cozy, and could be too cozy for a very private conversation, but for regular socializing with friends, it is perfect. Looks like they have a nice outdoor seating area, but depending upon how busy Chicago Ave. is, that may not be a first choice. (We didn't try it because it was raining).
9/20/2013 12:00:00 AM
The food and its presentation were wonderful. We all had different choices and all were good.
9/21/2013 12:00:00 AM
Really liked this place. Took a chance with short notice and was very pleasantly surprised. The waiter was absolutely great and provided really good advice and commentary. The wild salmon was excellent. Loved the fried blue cheese stuffed green olives. The deserts were also very tasty. Portion sizes were just right. Very laid back and private feeling. Nice sized dining room with wonderful ambience. HIghly recommended.
9/21/2013 12:00:00 AM
Nice but a bit noisy outdoors
We sat outdoors, and unsurprisingly, it was quite noisy at times with the airplanes pass overhead and frequent bus stops. We knew it would be like that, but if you want a quieter meal, it is probably best to eat indoors. I thought our meal was very good. The stuffed olives on the tapas menu were excellent. The Bistro salad is great as well. All of our dishes were very good. A nice seletion of beers and the house white wine proved great as well. Very good, attententive service.
9/27/2013 12:00:00 AM
Get in before word gets out
Yes I realize the contradictory nature of recommending a hidden gem with the disclaimer to get in now before it gets popular, however First Course is quite possibly the single most underrated restaurant in all of the Twin Cities.
9/28/2013 12:00:00 AM
Maybe an off night
We had a party of six and it was a quiet Sunday night. However, there was only one server and one chef. Our server was pleasant but not overly helpful with menu selections. We had been there before, quite some time ago, and it was excellent. Could have just been an off night. The food was fresh - but didn't seem as spectacular as usual. We will go back again - we love the charm of the restaurant. And do want to support the smaller, neighborhood gems.
9/29/2013 12:00:00 AM
A group of seven of us got the time we wanted (7:15) and although there were lots of dining guests there, we didn't have to wait to be seated. Drinks came quickly. We particularly loved the tapas (great variety) and found the calamari to be especially good. I had the cornmeal crusted tilapia with vegetables. Very good. Would definitely return for another visit.
10/17/2013 12:00:00 AM
Stumbled across this neighborhood spot and thought we'd give it a try. Really wonderful menu with all sorts of plate sizes available. It's a foodie destination but with serving sizes more in line with what a Midwesterner might demand for the price. Nobody should leave here without having the cheese-stuffed fried green olives. The two of us shared a few starter plates and then an incredible pork chop entree. Great wine and beer selections, too.
10/18/2013 12:00:00 AM
Only complaint is uncomfortable
Only complaint is uncomfortable bench seating. at the very least there should be pillows available to cushion your tush!
11/2/2013 12:00:00 AM
Date night treat
This is a great place to go instead to go instead of your usual "go-to" restaurants. The wine list has quite a few choices that we want to try and we made our meal out of all of the tapas and appetizers. The crème brulee? Heavenly!!!
11/15/2013 4:00:00 PM
We had not dined at First Course for several years as it was small, the menu was limited and often noisy. We took another chance and are very glad we did. They enlarged the restaurant and updated the interior- very lovely. They improved the menu with more selections, all healthy interesting and very good. This restaurant is definitely on our list again and we willt ell all of our freinds about it.
11/15/2013 4:00:00 PM
First Course is the model neighborhood restaurant -- a couple of other businesses (not even a strip mall) in a residential neighborhood. Entree menu is limited but nicely diverse: fowl (chicken, duck), fish (salmon, scallops; seafood linguini, which could have used a bit more lobster); meat (pork chop, steak). The pasta is house-made and excellent. Atmosphere is pleasantly funky, cozy, and on this night (Tuesday) quiet. Service is attentive and efficient. Selection of wines is quite lengthy for a small restaurant, well-chosen, fairly priced (as is the menu) and with a good range of choice. Lots of happy tables each time we've been, and with good reason!
11/18/2013 4:00:00 PM
First Course is always a reliable
First Course is always a reliable place to find a good meal. The fried olives are great!
11/19/2013 4:00:00 PM
Really good meal.
We are a group that gets together once a month and has dinner at a restaurant that none of us has been to. We've been doing this for about 5 years. This was a top 10 selection. Intimate setting. Great food and really good service. will recommend it to everyone!
11/19/2013 4:00:00 PM
Great food, ambiance lacking
My husband and I went to First Course this past weekend and the food was amazing. The red curry mussels are a must - great flavor and just the right amount of spicy. I got the ancho gnocchi with beef tips and that was delicious. The only downside of the experience was the atmosphere. We sat at a small table that was by a wall, a pole, and the main area the waiters walked through. It was annoying to sit there because with the waiters rushing past and the door letting in cold air, we were constantly getting little gusts of wind. But, we couldn't get out of their way because of the wall and pole. So we felt a bit cramped.
11/21/2013 4:00:00 PM
Nice small restaurant
Nice atmosphere. Service is at a slow pace which we liked and enough staff around to help if you needed something. Food is generally good American bistro fare. No outstanding favorites though the asparagus/portabella salad was really good. Love the small intimate size have been there several times.
11/22/2013 4:00:00 PM
First Couse never fails. The food is always excellent. We were very lucky to get a last minute reservation on a Saturday night.
11/22/2013 4:00:00 PM
Great place to take friends
Were entertaining friends from out of town - they loved the casual, intimate feel of First Course. Nice variety of appetizer, food, and dessert options. Had several different seafood entrees - all were exceptional and the presention was very appealing. Wine list was small but adequate. Service was genuinely friendly and attentive without being intrusive. Pricing was reasonable for the calibre of food.
No need to dress up - we went in jeans and sweaters and felt perfectly comfortable. Will definitely return .
11/28/2013 4:00:00 PM
Great neighborhood restaurant
Great food and service. It was a slow night but this restaurant was excellent. Exactly what we wanted for a large group ranging from teens to seniors. Nice, quality wine selection too.
11/28/2013 4:00:00 PM
Don't let the curbside view
Don't let the curbside view fool you. This is a very quaint and pleasing location. A good neighborhood restaurant that delivers a good dining experience.
11/29/2013 4:00:00 PM