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Sooki & Mimi, Owamni by the Sioux Chef among NYT favorite restaurants

The Times' 2021 Restaurant List features two new Minneapolis restaurants created by James Beard Award-winning chefs.

MINNEAPOLIS — Editor's note: The video above first aired July 22, 2021.

Two Minnesota restaurants are among the 50 best places to eat out in America, according to the New York Times.

Sooki & Mimi, the new haunt brought to town by James Beard Award-winning chef and restaurateur Ann Kim, opened in February in Minneapolis' Lyn-Lake neighborhood of Uptown. Kim was already well-established in Minneapolis after the successes of her other restaurants, Pizzeria Lola and Young Joni. 

According to Sooki & Mimi's website, the restaurant was named for Kim's late Korean grandmother who "influenced her love of food and cooking" and her American grandmother who "introduced Ann to the arts and Western culture." 

The menu is inspired by Kim's "personal journey as a south korean immigrant woman raised in a suburb of minnesota, educated in nyc, fueled by a hunger for tortillas and profound respect for masa." 

The New York Times calls the menu "genre-defying" and gives a nod to chef Fiona Hunter "churning out dishes that seem to mirror the clean-lined interior design."

The other Minnesota restaurant recognized on the Times' list comes from James Beard Award-winning chef Sean Sherman and his business partner Dana Thompson. Owamni by the Sioux Chef was opened in July in the new Water Works Pavilion building at Mill Ruins Park near downtown Minneapolis. The menu draws from ingredients sourced from Native American producers and highlights Indigenous cuisine. 

KARE 11's Heidi Wigdahl interviewed Sherman days after Owamni first opened.

"We really just try to bring awareness because we believe there should be Native American Indigenous restaurants all over the place that really represent the land and the history and the cultures of where we are today," said Sherman.

Sherman said the menu doesn't have any colonial ingredients.

"There's no dairy, no wheat flour, no cane sugar, no beef, pork or chicken," he said. "We've worked really hard to create something utilizing a lot of wild foods, utilizing a lot of Native American agricultural products."

The Times calls the location "both scenic and symbolic" and says Sherman's cooking is "as on-point as Sioux Chef’s activism." 

RELATED: The Sioux Chef's Indigenous restaurant Owamni is now open

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