Minneapolis as a shopping mecca as it is home to the Mall of America, one of the largest malls in the world. I recently started hearing more about the cities food and cocktail scene and decided it was something I needed to check out for myself.
It’s about an eight hour ride from my home in Champaign, Illinois, to Minneapolis, Minnesota. I brought my friend Jaimee along for the ride and we were both surprised to see the change in landscape as we drove through Wisconsin to Minnesota. I made note that I needed to check out the Badger state on a future visit.
We were staying right downtown at the Hotel Ivy, a four-star hotel next to Orchestra Hall. The room won my favor with a large tub (I will never understand hotel rooms with only showers). I was also surprised to learn that this contemporary accommodation is actually on the National Register of Historic Places as the Ivy Tower was originally designed by architect Thomas R. Kimball for the Second Church of Christ Scientist.
Our first stop was to meet Kristen Montag from Meet Minneapolis for drinks. We were originally set to meet at Union Restaurant (which has a retractable rooftop on the upper level), but it was closed for a party so we instead had martinis at Zelo before heading to Eat Street Social for dinner.
Eat Street Social is quite an eclectic place. From the selection of house made bitters to the unusual menu, I was thoroughly impressed, despite what first looked like an overcrowded bar. This place is anything but a “bar” given the menu of food and drinks they offer.
I picked the right cocktail to start – T & Tea. It was a smoked plum black tea infused gin with winter tonic (they make and change their own tonics as well as the bitters). Jaimee enjoyed sipping the Tropical Void with Milwaukee’s Rehorst Vodka, pineapple, Jamaican #2 Bitters and lime.
The drinks were delicious, as was dinner. We had a selection of dishes from Steak Tartar (Jaimee said it was tender and flavorful) to a juicy pork chop with wonderful sweet potatoes.
The dessert selection at Eat Street Social changes often, but if the Upside Down Apple Cake we had is any indication, you won’t want to skip the final course.
We took a cab back to Hotel Ivy for the night and stopped for a nightcap at the Ivy Bar (warm and inviting) before heading upstairs. We had one more day left in Minneapolis to sample some more food and check out some art.