There’s a reason this Mediterranean restaurant is one of the Twin Cities’ most raved-about dining spots: Saffron puts the finishing touches on all of its Middle Eastern-inspired dishes and ensures its service is as lovely as the presentation.

This is a contemporary, swanky downtown joint that never feels stuffy or pretentious; in fact, most everything here, including the fresh ingredients, comes naturally.

Entrees include chicken rubbed with exotic spices and tahini, salmon and clam “tagine,” as well as succulent lamb shoulder. From the hummus to the inspired desserts, Saffron easily delights.