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The Moxy Experience

You’ve just gotten off your flight and snagged a lyft from the airport. You’re likely impressed at how beautiful, sunny, and likely, humid, the Minneapolis summer is. You hop out of the car, slip your friendly driver a five star rating and stroll into your hotel. Sauntering toward the bar, you check in, get your key, and head upstairs. A contemporary chic room is there to greet you as you kick off your shoes and float down onto the plush bed. Soft leather chairs, floor to ceiling windows, an electric guitar hanging glamorously in the corner.

Welcome to Moxy Minneapolis.

 Photo by Asha Belk

Photo by Asha Belk

 Photo by Asha Belk

Photo by Asha Belk

The Moxy Hotel in Uptown is Minneapolis’ newest hotel addition. Having opened in early 2018, some of its first guests were Superbowl celebs. The hotel offers primarily one-bed rooms costing under $200 a night. Check in is at the bar (open hotel-side and sidewalk-side) and while there’s no hotel restaurant to grab a dinner (save for some snacky flatbreads), you’ll soon find you don’t need one. All of Uptown rests at your fingertips.

Dozens of restaurants and food trucks nearby means it’s nearly impossible to go hungry. Vegan? Head to Fig and Farro. Spending Taco Tuesday in Uptown? Venture down to Lago Tacos. Something coastal? Stella’s is right around the corner. In the summer, leave the hotel for a walk through the heart of Uptown and end up at the brand new Lola’s on the Lake at Bde Maka Ska.

UpDown is perfect for all your gaming needs, and the Lagoon and Uptown movie theaters aren’t far either. All the fun in Uptown continues well past sundown too, as you can bar hop all night long. With Libertine, Stella’s, Uptown Tavern, and even the newly added Pourhouse, you won’t even need to step foot downtown. Plus, Moxy is located right on the 21 bus line, so it’s an easy trip right down to downtown Saint Paul and Union Station.

Late June, we at Eat.Drink.Dish hosted a ticketed Summer Social event in Moxy's Green Room. The Moxy Experience included complimentary house-made cocktails and food from some local businesses-- Fig & Farro, Lago Tacos, Kafe 421, SomruS Liqueur, HipPop Popcorn, and Carousel Macarons-- along with a hotel tour, as well as a PhotoBooth and live DJing from DJ Sticky and Nora Events. Skyline Specs and Carol’s Candles also joined the party. If only we had the whole weekend to stay.

For the moments you may want to stay close to home (so to speak) in the hotel, feel free to take a seat at the bar with one of their craft cocktails, or relax in the Vinyl Listening Lounge. A gym is tucked away in the basement for all you fitness junkies-- and there’s even some tantalizing neon “fitspo” hanging above the treadmills. For when you're all done with your workout, snag a spot in the hammock lounge. 

Whether you’re visiting Minneapolis for the first time, or the 100th-- even if you live here-- Moxy is a top choice-- walkable, cozy, trendy, and affordable. It’s your comfy place to sleep and the essential jumping off point for city exploration.

Missed this last event? You're in luck-- we'll be back at the Moxy this fall with Mighty Spark Food Company. Keep an eye out for details coming soon! 


For more information or to book a room at The Moxy Hotel Uptown, visit the website or follow Moxy on Social: Instagram @moxymplsuptown and #AtTheMoxy.

All Photos by Asha Belk

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At Nicollet Island Inn, Pair Fine Dining With Fine Entertainment

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While newer, quicker dining trends have begun to dominate the hospitality scene in Minneapolis, many restaurants are still celebrating the tradition of fine dining.

One such restaurant is doing so by going back to the golden era, and pairing a fine meal with fine entertainment.

On Friday, Feb. 23, Nicollet Island Inn is bringing back its cabaret series with “Love Inspires.” From 6 – 9 p.m., singer Jennifer Eckes will take the stage to perform love songs from throughout the ages.

Owners Larry and Caryl Abdo want to take diners back to a time when a night on the town included great food, drink and showmanship in one place. To do so, they’ve forged with the Twin Cities Cabaret Artist Network to create a series at their venue. Through the network, their series will feature local accompanists, singers and directors that have repertoires to please all ages. Eckes will be Nicollet Island Inn’s second performance in the series.

In addition to live, the evening will also include classic cocktails and a prefixed menu by Chef Noah Balow.

The menu includes:

Passed Appetizer
White Cheddar and Thyme Gougères with Sea Salt
Amuse
Chef’s Choice
First Course
Roasted Broccoli Salad - Pine Nuts, Chevre, Mustard Seed, Brown Butter Vin
Second Course
Stuffed Pork Tenderloin - Green Apples & Herb Stuffing, Speck, Green Beans, Yam Puree
Dessert Course
New York Cheese Cake Topped with Raspberry Puree
(includes Prosecco Toast)

Entertainment will take place from 6 – 9 p.m. Tickets cost $89 per person, which includes dinner.

Eckes has performed with the Minnesota Opera, Bloomington Civic Theater, the Ordway and has twice been a Fellow at Yale University’s Cabaret Conference.

For more information, or to purchase tickets, visit the Nicollet Island Inn online.

New Year, New Pop-Up: Soul Bowl Returns To N. Mpls.

 Credit: Klassics

Credit: Klassics

By: Katie Fraser

New year, new food!

For the first weekend in the New Year, Klassics is bringing back its Soul Bowl pop-up.

Started by Chef Gerard Klass of Kaskaid Hospitality, Klassics is a hospitality business specializing in pop-up restaurants. The return of Soul Bowl marks its fourth venture.

First held in mid-November of last year, Soul Bowl is a quick service restaurant reimagining southern style food.

The build-your-own menu allows diners to customize their dishes from base to sauce. Bases include cauliflower, mac and cheese, cornbread dressing or red beans and rice. Then, guests can top their bowls with veggies, meats and sauces.

The menu will once again include the AA Sandwich – a fried chicken topped with collard greens and mac and cheese on hot water cornbread – deviled eggs and corn bread muffins.

Also, the Best of New Soul Music will once again provide entertainment.

Soul Bowl will be open from 5 – 9 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 6 and 12 – 5 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 7.  It will be hosted at 1825 N Glenwood Avenue in Minneapolis.

For more information, visit Klassics on Facebook.

Behind the Bar: Guest Mixology at Aloft Minneapolis

Eat local, drink local-- the lifestyle of Minneapolis foodies. With Minneapolis owned distilleries and Twin Cities mixologists making it big, Aloft decided to take the local-centric movement up one more notch.

On the evening of December 13, Aloft and Coca Cola invited our very own Golnaz Yamoutpour to be the guest mixologist behind the bar during the latest Aloft Live concert.

 

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Crafted special for the event, guests could get one of two locally-inspired cocktails for the evening: the Mintapolis-- a refreshing tequila based drink featuring Suja’s Strawberry Balsamic drinking vinegar--  and the Spoonbridge Cherry -- a rye whiskey drink featuring both Sharab Shrub’s Asian Pear shrub, and a Cherry Coke reduction.

 

In order to stick with a technically innovative theme for the night, customers were able to order their drinks via emoji text, to have their drink ready at the end of the bar.

 

With a packed house and crowded bar, singer Joshua Radin performed an acoustic set for Minneapolitans and hotel guests alike. Radin has released 6 albums over the past 10 years and is well known for his musical contributions to shows like Scrubs, Greys Anatomy, and One Tree Hill.

 

Other concert series have taken place in New Orleans, Denver, Brooklyn, San Francisco and Portland.

 Make the Mintapolis at home:  1.5 oz. Tequila Blanco  1 oz. Suja’s Strawberry Balsamic drinking vinegar  0.5 oz. fresh lime juice  0.25 oz. agave or honey  2 oz. Sprite

Make the Mintapolis at home:

1.5 oz. Tequila Blanco

1 oz. Suja’s Strawberry Balsamic drinking vinegar

0.5 oz. fresh lime juice

0.25 oz. agave or honey

2 oz. Sprite

 Make the Spoonbridge Cherry at home:  1.25 oz. Rye Whiskey  0.5 oz. Cherry Coke Reduction  0.5 oz. Campari  0.5 oz. Sharab Shrub’s Asian Pear Shrub  0.25 oz. Sweet Vermouth.

Make the Spoonbridge Cherry at home:

1.25 oz. Rye Whiskey

0.5 oz. Cherry Coke Reduction

0.5 oz. Campari

0.5 oz. Sharab Shrub’s Asian Pear Shrub

0.25 oz. Sweet Vermouth.

Former Gopher Football Player, 1 Year Supply of Bacon, and Egg Rolls

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By: Katie Fraser

The holidays are a time of traditions.

Often, these center around food. The special preparation of stuffing, the ham on Christmas day, no matter where family or friends are in life they often come together over the holiday meal.

It's this common ground that Minnesota Gopher Victor Keise III is hoping to highlight with his new business, The Get Together.

As with many great food adventures, Keise’s story begins at the Minnesota State Fair.

Two years ago, while attending the fair with his wife and daughter, he noticed a booth advertising free bacon.

“There was a sign that said, ‘Win free bacon for a year.’ And, obviously, that’s all you need to say,” Keise said.

To advertise their work, the Minnesota Pork Board was hosting a competition for fairgoers to attempt to win 52 pounds of bacon for a year. The challenge was to post a photo on social media using provided props and clever captions to get enough likes.

Keise and his family took their photo, which he posted boasting if he were to win he’d throw a bacon party for everyone, and went on their way.

 Credit: @thegettogether_

Credit: @thegettogether_

 “I kind of forgot about it until I got a DM one day saying, ‘Congratulations, you won!” he said.

They could receive their prize all at once, twice a year or 13 pounds every three months. They chose the latter.

When their first batch arrived, the first thing they did was throw that bacon party.

 “Being a man of my word, one Sunday I [threw the party],” Keise said. “The weather was nice, we went to the park across the street. I bought some glazed doughnuts to make French toast and we had spicy guacamole deviled eggs.”

And, of course, bacon.

The gathering consisted of former teammates, colleagues and friends from miscellaneous groups.

“Everyone was outside, and I was bringing out my last tray and it was a moment of clarity. I stopped and I looked at everybody,” Keise said. “I just felt so good…and I was like this is what I want to do.”

More than just the cooking, Keise felt moved by the power food had to bring people of all backgrounds together. He knew he wanted to continue to use food as an agent of fusion, but he still wasn’t clear on how.

Then, in the spring of 2017, Keise experienced two major losses. In the span of one week, he lost his job and his grandmother.

“For about one to two weeks I didn’t do much.” Keise said. “[Then one day, I] woke up and said ‘This is not who you are. Stop feeling bad for yourself.’”

With new found motivation, Keise returned to his passion of cooking and bringing people together.

He decided to start a business that would focus on community with food as the center point.

Thus, The Get Together was born.

The concept was simple, host an event that brings people from all walks of life together in a new environment to try really great food.

The first event was scheduled for May and Keise decided he would serve three dishes. But as he began to prep he realized it was a bit more time consuming than he planned. One of the dishes he planned to serve was an eggroll and, like the bacon party earlier, a lightbulb went off.

“When you think of an eggroll, you think you can put anything in there. It’s a combination of so many different things,” Keise said. “So many people in one place is kind of like an eggroll.”

Like his gatherings, Keise began to fill eggrolls with unique flavors such as Jamaican jerk chicken with bacon and ranch, eggs and bacon, apple pie and even Thanksgiving leftovers.

As the concept continued to grow, so, too, did the business.

Keise hosted several events in 2017 and will soon be selling his eggrolls at the Minneapolis Farmers Market. In 2018 he hopes to open a food truck, and, eventually, a brick and motor store.

And while an eggroll is nothing new, Keise believes it’s his message behind it that will set him apart.

“Food is food,” he said. “It’s a way to reach people.”

The  Get Together’s next event is 7 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 16 at 3200 Inglewood Avenue. Tickets are available on Eventbrite.

For more information on events, follow @thegettogether_ on Instagram.

Borough Begins Happy Hour

 Credit: Borough&nbsp;

Credit: Borough 

By: Katie Fraser

For many, happy hour is the highlight of the work day.

Not only is it a break from the stress, but it’s often a cheaper way to try out some of the cities trendiest restaurants.

Now, another hot spot is adding a happy hour to their offerings.

Starting Monday, Nov. 13, Borough in Minneapolis’ North Loop will host happy hour.

Available at the bar from 5 – 7 p.m., guests can enjoy half off select beer taps, $1/ounce pours of select wines and $6 craft cocktails. There will also be a special happy hour food menu.

Borough is located at 730 North Washington Street, above Parlour and next to Bar La Grassa. Happy hour will be available Monday through Friday. For more information, visit Borough online.

Cocktails, Arcade Games, Vaudeville – Oh My!

Can Can Wonderland and Bittercube Bitters team up for a theatrical experience

 Credit: Can Can Wonderland

Credit: Can Can Wonderland

By: Katie Fraser

Since its opening nearly a year ago, Can Can Wonderland has aimed to amuse and delight guests.

For those unfamiliar, the St. Paul spot features fantastical cocktails, carnival food, arcade games and mini golf.

Now, Can Can Wonderland, together with Bittercube Bitters, is adding theater onto their list of offerings.

On Saturday, Nov. 18 the Cocktail Theater Performance will take place on the Indeed Brewing Company stage.

The performance will feature puppets pouring, machines mixing and fire and ice.

Doors open at 8 p.m. and the show starts at 9 p.m.

Tickets cost $25 and can be purchased online.

For more information, visit Can Can Wonderland online.

Bittercube Bitters, Marvel Bar Create ‘Marvel BarBitters’

 Credit: Bittercube Bitters

Credit: Bittercube Bitters

By: Katie Fraser

There’s something new brewing in Minneapolis.

Two Twin Cities powerhouses have paired up to create a new concoction, and after two years of tinkering and toiling they are finally unveiling it.

Bittercube Bitters and Marvel Bar have come together to create Marvel BarBitters.

Known for their avant-garde cocktails, Marvel Bar had been blending different variations of libations and bitters to achieve the perfect rum Old Fashioned.

After several attempts, they approached Bittercube and the partnership began.

For two years, they worked to create a blend specific to Marvel Bar’s needs.

Now, it is exists.

Marvel BarBitters is a mix of Korinji and Saigon cinnamon aromas paired with saffron, ginger and cardamom notes, and dill and chocolate flavors. Dry to start, it finishes textured and light.

The two teams suggest the bitters pairs well in Old Fashioneds, rum cocktails and whiskey cocktails.

A 5 oz. bottle cost $22 before tax.

To learn more about where, and how, you can try Marvel BarBitters, visit Bittercube online.

Soul Bowl Pops Up In North Minneapolis

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By: Katie Fraser

There are few things foodies pride themselves on more than their knowledge of exclusive dining experiences.

Now, there is one more to add to their lists!

Saturday, Nov. 11, Klassics is hosting its third pop up – Soul Bowl.

Klassics, the side project of Chef Gerard Klass the regional chef for Kaskaid Hospitality, started as a way to bring together the love of cooking and culture.

Klass’ latest project highlights his West Indian and African American background while reimagining classic soul food.

Soul Bowl is a quick service restaurant featuring southern style food made healthy.

“Neo Soul Food,” as Klass defines it, features staples such as fried chicken, collard greens, black-eyed peas and corn bread but with a healthy twist.

Using the build-your-own model, guests can customize their dishes to fit their diet as needed.

Diners start with a base of cauliflower, mac and cheese, dirty rice or common cornbread dressin’ – a mix of Holy trinity, sage, cornbread and bread crumbs.

Then, guests choose from veggies, meats and sauce. Mix sweet corn with smoked turkey or black-eyed peas with fried chicken and top it with cranberry sauce, Cajun gravy or bourbon barbeque.

Finally, finish it off by making it soul style – adding beef bacon, Parmesan, lemon zest, chives and breadcrumbs.

Guests can also choose to enjoy the AA Sandwich, fried chicken collard greens, mac and cheese and hot water cornbread. Sides include smoked devil eggs and corn bread muffins.

For dessert, there’s sweet potato pie,  Red Bottoms – red velvet and tiramisu mixed together – and Pam Grier – a mixture of peaches, bourbon, cornbread, apple chips and salted whip cream.

To recognize dietary needs of all groups of people, there is no pork or alcohol on Soul Bowl’s menu.

“I wanted this pop up to give you a look into the future of soul food,” Klass said.

Soul Bowl will be open from 5 – 9 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 11 and 12 – 5 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 12 at New Rules in North Minneapolis.

The best of Neo Soul Music will act as the soundtrack to the event.

Guests are invited to share the experience by eating together at the communal style tables and sharing photos of the event at the selfie wall using the hashtags #soulbowl and #saygrace.

So, foodies, mark your calendars because after next Sunday Soul Bowl will be no more!

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Soul Bowl will be popping up at New Rules in North Minneapolis from 5 – 9 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 11 and 12 – 5 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 12. New Rules is located at 2015 Lowry Avenue N. 

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Northeast’s Sen Yai Sen Lek Makes Thai A Neighborhood Staple

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By: Katie Fraser

Disclosure: Fraser is a contributor to Eat.Drink.Dish.Mpls, who sponsored the event at Sen Yai Sen Lek.

As with many places along Northeast’s Central Avenue, blink and you could miss Sen Yai Sen Lek’s storefront.

Seated just around the corner from Lowry Avenue, among a sea of Mexican restaurants, its red awning and warm lighting glow invitingly yet unassumingly.

But don’t let this lead you to believe their flavors are the same.

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Nine years ago, husband and wife team Joe and Holly Hatch-Surisook decided to take the plunge and open their own restaurant.

The pair had met while working in restaurants and, as many in the business do, would often talk about what they would do different if they owned their own spot.

They soon got married and got out of the business. Holly went on to work at the University of Minnesota and Joe became a stay-at-home dad to the couple’s two children.

But Joe’s drive to own a restaurant stayed, and he continued to curate recipes from his mother and create new dishes.

Finally, 12 years after they left the industry, Holly decided it was time.

“I was working late one night while at the ‘U’ and I thought, ‘If I’m doing late nights while doing this I might as well be doing it for our own business,” Holly said.

Thus, Sen Yai Sen Lek was born.

“My son, who was 5 at the time, had a different take,” Holly laughed. “He would say we opened because ‘My dad didn’t have a job so we had to open a restaurant!’”

Of course, it wasn’t quite that easy. The pair threw everything they had into the costs of location, construction, food and décor. 

Additionally, at the time there were no other Thai restaurants in Northeast Minneapolis.

Luckily for them, they found a welcoming community eager to have them join their neighborhood.

“When we opened, someone brought us an orchid and left it our doorstep with no note. Just saying ‘Welcome to the neighborhood!” Holly said.

They landed on the two-door store front in Northeast where they currently reside today.

At the time Holly felt it was too much space, but now they feel its just right.

Joe handles the menu and cooking, while Holly does front of house. 

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Their second room is often used to host events, where, on Tuesday, Eat.Drink.Dish.Mpls held their latest Exclusive Foodie Dinner.

The evening, which also included a pairing from Sociable Cider Werks, featured six courses, four Instagram contest winners and a visit from local artist Dylan. 

Joe greeted guests by sharing how he used recipes he learned from his mother to help create the restaurant. He then explained he crafted the evening’s menu using dishes that were both on and off the menu and really showcased traditional Thai cuisine.

Guests were greeted with a sampling of Sociable’s Training Wheels, a scrumpy (unfiltered) cider.

The first course was, as Joe described, quintessential Thai street food. Kanom Pang Naa Moo, which roughly translates as “pork covers toast”, was a pork toast with cucumber relish.

While seemly simple, the dish was layered with flavors and texture. The body of the toast soaked up the fattiness of the pork, becoming soft and doughy, while the crust stayed crispy. The softness of the toast and pork were offset by the crispiness of the cucumber, and the salty, fatty pork was cut with the tart vinegar from the vegetables’ marinade.

Next course was Laab Pla. As Joe explained, this is a salad commonly served in northeastern Thailand, often with chicken, pork or beef.

For Tuesday’s dinner, Joe decided to serve it with fried catfish.

Tossed in a fish sauce, along with lime juice, cilantro and mint each bite was filled with crispy, citrusy and earthy flavor.

This was paired with Sociable’s flagship Freewheeler, a dry cider made from a combination of Harrelson, Honey Crisp and Sweet Tango apples.

The third course was Tom Leud, a soup meant to act as a palate cleanser.

Joe explained that Thailand borrows several of its flavor profiles from the surrounding countries, like China, India and Cambodia. He said the soup’s name, Tom Leud, means “boil and bland,” but that bland in Thailand often just means “not very spicy.”

The daikon radish soup was made with fried garlic, a garlic broth, black pepper and a hint of Thai chili.

It served as the perfect bridge between the citrus, vinegar flavors of the appetizers and umami, rich flavors of the entrées.

To pair with the richness of the entrées, Sociable served its Hop-A-Wheelie cider. A dry cider brewed with hops to add a tart, grapefruit note to the apples.

The fourth and fifth courses were a noodle and curry dish respectively.

The Pad Kee Mao was made with flat, wide rice noodles mixed in a light soy flavor with mushrooms, chicken, onions and a light spice.

The curry, perhaps the spiciest dish of the evening, was also the least Thai inspired.

Highlighted as one of the dishes that borrowed the most from neighboring countries, the curry was made with coconut milk, pork belly and morning glory.

Served with rice, it created the perfect bite of creamy, crunchy, spicy and fatty.

Finally, the dinner was capped with sankaya and Rusty Chain cider.

Sankaya is a traditional dessert made of kabocha squash, steamed pandan custard and coconut sauce. 

The pairing, Rusty Chain, was a tart cranberry cider, whose tartness offset the silky sweetness of the coconut and custard.

While many of the dishes were exclusive to the event each was comprised of flavors found on their menu and in Thai tradition, something Joe and Holly pride themselves in.

“We wanted our restaurant to feel welcoming, like home.”

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View More Photos below > Photo Credit: Asha Belk

Sen Yai Sen Lek is located at 2422 Central Avenue NE in Minneapolis. For more information, call 612-781-3046 or visit them online.

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