Stephen Travels

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Minervas, Sioux Falls, South Dakota

Minervas (Sioux Falls, South Dakota)

I wasn’t sure if the restaurant was named for the original owner or, more likely, for the Roman goddess of wisdom. If it was the latter, then she should also be the goddess of food. One of the top restaurants in Sioux Falls, Minervas prides itself on “Making Memories Since 1997” — and “making more of them is our promise of the future.” The classy split-level restaurant first achieves its goal with its interior, an elegant setting with high-back booths, soft lighting, and polished wood. Live music makes weekends extra special, but you’re really here for the food, and that’s something that every gastronome will remember for a very long time.

Fork and KnifeTry This: Drink up from Minervas’ long list of specialty cocktails — particularly refreshing in summer — whether it’s the watermelon cucumber mint cooler, with cucumber vodka, watermelon liqueur, fresh cucumber and mint, soda water, and a splash of lemonade, or the cantaloupe-tini, with vodka blended with fresh cantaloupe, orange juice, lime juice, and a salt rim (or both). Then start with a roasted red and gold beet salad with pears, toasted almonds, mozzarella, spring greens, and honey-mustard vinaigrette. Plenty of hand-cut, in-house aged steak options may tempt you for a main course, but I opted for the slow-roasted half duckling with a multi-grain blend crust and orange-brandy sauce, accompanied by asparagus, wild rice, and grains. The house-made desserts will demolish any diet you may currently be following, but indulge yourself, either with the key lime pie made from scratch, or especially the fantastic blueberry cheesecake with blueberry syrup.