Good times in Minneapolis – Night #1

August 14, 2008 at 11:02 am (Travel) (, )

I travel to Minneapolis once every couple of months for business.  I love the city.  It has Midwestern charm, mixed with a hip urban edge.  There is shopping, restaurants, and bars…what more can a girl ask for?

When visiting, I spend most of my time in the Target building attending meetings or watching the parade of people in the ever-so-interesting cafeteria.  Over the years, a routine has been established for every visit…dinner at Vincent’s and bed time at the Double Tree. 

It was a good routine, it worked, but after awhile I needed to try something new.  So I enlisted my friend TK (a Minneapolis native) to show me what the city had to offer.  Our first outing was last May when we visited Psycho Suzie’s to have pickle roll-ups and then rolled across the street to have “Greenie” drinks.  It was a great night out with all new places, I couldn’t wait to do it again on my next trip.

I arrived yesterday and met TK in the hotel lobby of the Marriott Downtown, which has just been renovated due to the GOP Convention in September.  I was quite pleased with my new sleeping arrangements and immediately noticed the lobby’s modern decor with the bar area where lots of people were enjoying cocktails.  DoubleTree bar, dingy and not so fun.

We walked over to The Ivy– a swanky new hotel in downtown – to have a cocktail and snack.  The restaurant at the hotel is Porter and Frye…very hip, very elegant yet relaxed.  My cocktail:   “Lover, You Should Have Come Over”.  A fabulous blend of raspberry syrup, Effen Vodka, Lime and Ginger Beer garnished with fresh raspberries and mint.  It was absolutely delicious!  We shared 2 snacks 1)  Pommes Juliet and 2)  Berkshire Terrine

The Pommes Juliet were definately not your average french fries.  Hand-chopped golden brown fries topped with parmesan cheese and and a drizzle of the ever-so-yummy truffle oil.

A Berkshire Pig

A Berkshire Pig

Whenever I see any terrine on a menu it is a must order.  This one was soooo worth it.  My first question “What is the Berkshire in this terrine?” and as it turns out Berkshire Pigs are a rare breed of pig originating from Britain and are said to be “Britain’s oldest pig breed”.  You can’t go wrong with pork TK and I agreed, and we were right…a perfectly seasoned pork frosted with potato butter (never heard of this before) and garnished with radish and celery leaf; served with smoked golden raisin puree, violet stone ground mustard, and pickled shallots.  We enjoyed every bite and have recommended it to anyone that will listen to us talk.

Of course being the lushes that we are, by the time the food came along we were done with round 1 of cocktails so we had the bartender recommend something to go with the fries and Terrine.  What she recommended was honestly one of the BEST white wines I have ever had.  From the Penedes region of Spain this wine is made by Gramona Winery and is a white blend called Gassami.  Seriously, try this wine it blew both of us away!

After the fabulous experience at Porter and Frye we strolled down to a jazz club called Rossi’s and listened to a rock-a-billy band.  Located underground Rossi’s reminded me of somewhere people would have hung out during prohibition – a speakeasy.  Brick walls, dark green leather booths, black and white photos of old Hollywood.  Here we enjoyed a beer and a slice of Martini pizza – basically an Alfredo pizza dotted with sliced green olives.  Simple yet oh so good!

We ended the night at The Local.  An Irish pub on the main drag of lots and lots of happy hour bars.  My favorite part about this place was in the back they had a Kissing Booth.  Yes, a room with saloon-like doors where people can sneak in and get a little!  Enjoyed one more beer and then called it a night!

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