Twin Cities restaurants enjoy moment in the spotlight as they welcome Super Bowl celebrities

Restaurants are enjoying a moment in the national spotlight.
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If you live in the metro area, you'll know that the Twin Cities has a pretty damn good selection of high-quality restaurants.

Despite its burgeoning reputation at the national level, the Minneapolis culinary scene is still overlooked in an industry dominated by East and West Coast establishments.

But now the Super Bowl is in town, Twin Cities chefs are getting a moment in the spotlight to showcase their abilities.

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The rest of the country is taking notice as well, for example here's Esquire referring to Minneapolis this week as "the food world's best kept secret."

Football stars, music heroes and all manner of TV and movie personalities are in town for the big game and have been sampling the finest of what Minneapolis, St. Paul and the suburbs have to offer.

Here are some of the places they've visited – this list will be updated as more come to our attention (and we promise not add any more about Justin Timberlake).

Brit's

So one that's come to our attention on Saturday evening, Parks and Rec and Guardians of the Galaxy star Chris Pratt has been hanging out at the British bar on Nicollet Mall.

Meritage

The French-inspired restaurant in downtown St. Paul was one of several locations that Justin Timberlake, Minnesota native Jessica Biel and their friends paid a visit during his week in Minnesota preparing for the half-time show.

In fact, he celebrated his 37th birthday there, supping on oysters, duck and foie gras, according to the Pioneer Press.

Matt's Bar

When in Rome, right? The home of the Jucy Lucy is a cult phenomenon that visitors flock to when they land in Minneapolis. This week it's been hosting, among others, The Today Show anchor Al Roker.

Revival

He may not be a household name, but among football fans the name Ian Rapoport is well known.

The NFL.com reporter, often the first with the news of major trades, free agency pickups and injuries, went to Revival in Minneapolis (it also has a St. Paul restaurant) for some of its trademark fried chicken.

Butcher and the Boar

Rapoport was also impressed by the Butcher and the Boar in downtown Minneapolis, which on Friday night also hosted British music hero Sting.

Manny's Steakhouse

A tradition in downtown Minneapolis, and yet another location frequented by Jessica Biel and her husband Justin Timberlake this week.

During a press conference, Timberlake said he ate his weight in steak at Manny's and then slept for 12 hours.

Young Joni

The northeast Minneapolis wood-fired pizza restaurant hosted Barstool Sports founder Dave Portnoy, who gave it a 7.6 in his single-bite pizza reviews.

This was better than Pizza Luce and Cosetta's – which he tried earlier this week – but not as high as the 8.2 he gave to Black Sheep Pizza on a previous visit.

Filfillah Restaurant

The Middle Eastern restaurant in Columbia Heights hosted none other than Minnesota celebrity chef Andrew Zimmern on Wednesday.

Octo Fishbar

Yes, we know, it's Timberlake and Biel again, but they have really been getting into the Twin Cities food scene this week.

The recently-opened seafood and meat restaurant helmed by James Beard-winning Tim McKee welcomed the power couple to Lowertown St. Paul earlier this week.

It's not just TimberBiel either, GoMN has heard that "Iron Chef" star Cat Cora dined there on Thursday.

Tavern 23

The former Jets and Bills coach and now ESPN analyst Rex Ryan paid a visit to this neighborhood bar and restaurant in Edina.https://twitter.com/lou_nanne/status/959505460800966658

Shake Shack at MOA

The burger chain's Mall of America outlet has been filled with celebrities and NFL stars all week as they hit the megamall for countless Super Bowl related events and media obligations this week.

Among them, New Orleans Saints QB Drew Brees, who the Star Tribune's Michael Rand able to kind of get a picture of despite some needless over-the-top security.

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