A Few Of My Favorite Things

June 25, 2012

I’ve been a pony for less than two weeks and as an introduction to myself, here’s a “peep” into some of my favorite spots. Yes, this is mostly a list of places to eat because well, that’s what I like to do.

Disclaimer: I’ve just recently moved back home to Minneapolis after a decade in Chicago, so not all places are in the Twin Cities area. If you’re making a trip to the Windy City this summer, use this as a reference guide, and enjoy!

CHICAGO

Smokey violet smash

Maude’s Liquor Bar
Brendan Sodikoff, chef and restaurateur, is the 33-year-old mastermind behind Maude’s. I have yet to uncover his secret to success but a recipe he must have, as all of his creations — Gilt Bar, The Doughnut Vault, Au Cheval, and recently Bavette’s Bar & Boeuf — are pure genius.

Must gets: Smokey violet smash cocktail, foie gras pate – ask for extra sour cherry jam (you’re welcome), and the classic lyonnaise salad.

Lincoln Karaoke
Private karaoke rooms, rented out by the hour, this is a guaranteed good time. (Really anytime you can safely—sans judgment—belt out all the lyrics to an Ace of Base song qualifies as a good time). If anything like this exists in the Twin Cities, please help a fellow songbird out and pass along the details.

Publican

Publican, avec, Big Star
Each one holds a special place in my heart, er belly. I’ve got restaurateur’s Paul Kahan, Donnie Madia and Terry Alexandar to thank for expanding my waistline. Publican: Go for Sunday brunch. Get the maple-braised syrup Publican bacon, bloody mary, ricotta with sweet bread and call it a day. Big Star: A honky-tonk restaurant/bar that only accepts cash and has Chicagoans lined-up down the block (you’ve been warned). Belly up to the bar for a mean fish taco and wash it down with a spicy Michelada.

TWIN CITIES

As mentioned, I’ve only been in the Twin Cities for a few weeks but I’ve already managed to find myself seated at soon-to-be regular haunts.

Pat’s Tap
A noteworthy craft beer list coupled with the friendliest bartenders I’ve ever met—I guess “Minnesota nice” really does exist—will keep me coming back for more.

Bar La Grassa
Soft eggs and lobster bruschetta? Yes please, I will take two.

Sebastian Joe’s
Threw you for a loop with this one didn’t I? Well, if you don’t have Sebastian Joe’s on your list as a favorite than I’m not sure you can call yourself a Minnesotan.

I look forward to rediscovering the Twin Cities, loosening up the ole belt buckle, and eating my way through the menus of Bachelor Farmer, Tilia, Meritage, Heidi’s and Café Lurcat.