Sunday, March 8, 2009

Eating my way through Minneapolis

The key to a girl's heart is... not just through eating, but eating at cool restaurants. Getting to know the city by dining at all kinds of different establishments has been a fun way to explore our new home. I've salivated over a few local lists of the Twin Cities' Best of the Best as well as comprehensive neighborhood-by-neighborhood guides. From Minneapolis institutions to nearby Uptown restaurants, I have compiled my own take on things.

Rachael's Best:
Happy Hour: Chino Latino. The ambiance is sexy/swanky, and the house red for $3/glass served in a juice glass stands out as the best cheap wine I've ever had. It was incredibly smooth and delicious, and between Adam and I, we easily drank at least a bottle's worth. They also had great appetizers from a mixture of ethnic backgrounds: such as $5 sushi and $3 empanadas.

Date: Heidi's. As a going-away/holidays present, my mom gave Adam and I a gift card to Heidi's after reading a review of the restaurant online. It's an intimate neighborhood eatery, which is owned and operated by local celebrity chefs who created Heidi's to be a low-key expression of sophisticated yet edited gourmet cooking. We went for Ad's birthday and loved every bite. Also, best service.

Summer Fantasy: Stella's. A mere two blocks from our apartment, this seafood restaurant boasts the most amazing rooftop deck and accompanying views. Dreaming of drinking Blue Moons and eating fish 'n chips outside on a warm summer night is getting me through the endless winter.

Greasy Spoon: Uptown Diner. Adam and I discovered this place on our first trip out when we were apartment-searching. As novices, we each ordered our own plate of hashbrowns. The plates are as big as a Thanksgiving turkey platter. The woman sitting at an adjacent table literally gasped in disdain when she saw my portions. We don't love it just because it's two meals worth of eggs, cheese, potatoes, seasoning and ketchup. It's also dangerously tasty.

Downtown Drinks Destination: Tie? The Local and Brit's Pub. These two could easily be owned by the same restaurant group because they are only a block apart and serve the same purpose. Large pub settings for beautiful-yuppie-watching and meeting Adam's Target co-workers.

Local Joint: Matt's Bar. Honestly haven't really done enough research on this one, but Matt's is home to the famous Jucy Lucy (not a typo). It's a burger with cheese in the center. I didn't love it more than a regular cheeseburger, but eating one made me feel like I was being inducted into Minneapolis. ** Adam thought Matt's should be "Best Date."

Steelers Bar: Pat McGovern's in Saint Paul made it possible for Adam to not freak out that he'd left Pittsburgh a month before their sixth Superbowl championship. Surrounded by 300 other transplanted fans, he felt right at home. They even included Primanti's sandwiches on the Sunday menu.

Pizza: This is a hotly contested issue among people who are either in the Lucé camp or the Punch camp. We've already tried Lucé since it's so close to our apartment, and we really liked it. But now we have to try Punch. So, the verdict is still out.

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