Tried & Must-Try

I am constantly reading about new bars, restaurants, distilleries, tap rooms, etc  and often forget what’s on my local wish list. So this will be a very informal list of the places I want to get to ASAP.

  • 4Bells – Been on my radar for a while, knew something interesting was going into the Joe’s Garage space. Expectations are high thanks to the history of Butcher & the Boar. Bumped up in interest after hearing more about the cocktail program.
    • Must Try Drink: Mr. Perkin’s Punch-Passion Fruit Ginger Punch, Jim Beam Bourbon, Dry Curacao, Cappelletti Bitter, Peychaud’s Bitters
    • Must Try Food: Seared Scallops – Sweet Corn Cake, Bacon, Chicory, Coffee-Maple Jus
  • Bradstreet Neighborhood Crafthouse – Made it to the old location a couple of times and while I was always impressed by the food and cocktails, the atmosphere felt a bit too posh for frequent visits. The new location appears to have the same quality but in a more friendly atmosphere. Throwing “Neighborhood” into the name is a good way to convey a new dynamic from the start!
    • Must Try Drink: One Bam BirdPeach Tea Steeped Famous Grouse, Lazarroni Amaretto, Demerara, Lemon, Peach Bitters,Orange Flower Water, Egg White
    • Must Try Food: Pork Neck Toast caramelized red onion, wood sorrel, kewpie mayo
    • Note: We did stop by for one drink on Friday, 9/11 but it was very busy and so I won’t count it until we can get there for food and conversation with the bartenders. That said, the One Bam Bird *was* delicious!
  • Il Foro – There has been an Italian BOOM in MSP this summer! One sure way into my heart is with the words “all pastas are made in house.” Seriously, a good fresh pasta is pretty much my favorite thing ever. I don’t anticipate anyone knocking Broder’s out of my number one Italian spot, but I look forward to letting the newbies try! Il Foro also has the benefit of being in a beautiful Art Deco space.
    • Must Try Drink: I couldn’t find a drink menu online but we had a lovely chat with someone from the bar at the Fernet Summer Side Show event so I am enthusiastically curious.
    • Must Try Food: Parmesan Agnolotti sweet corn, summer truffle, fava bean
  • Nighthawks – This has been on the edge of my radar since it opened, but it keeps hiding behind new things. The MSP Mag review caught my eye when I was reading about it’s new offshoot, Birdie, and now Nighthawks is officially going on my Must Try list. Comfort food done right? Count me in.
    • Must Try Drink: Pineapple Shandy – pineapple cordial, clove, witbier, Cocchi Americano.
    • Must Try Food: Pancakes. I am usually wary of pancakes because my Grandma’s recipe is SO GOOD, but I want to try these. Also, because I’m always curious about unique Foie presentations – the Foie Gras & Cheese Omelette with strawberries, brie, and brioche. Whaaaaaaaaaaat? Get in my mouth.
  • Piccolo – I admit, this has been on my radar since Anthony Bourdain raved about his meal. The small plate style dining is a favorite of mine because it allows for trying so many things, and it forces a chef to concentrate a lot of flavor into a few bites.
    • Must Try Drink: This place is all about the meal.
    • Must Try Food: Probably the “rabbit and summer trifle terrine with compressed melon, celery, and honey” even though it’s likely to be off the menu with the season changing. This is one of those menus where I can’t pick a favorite because every dish has a component that makes me think “Huh, I’m not sure how that works together but I really want to find out!”
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