I was very happy to hear that a restaurant would be moving in to the old The Independent space in Calhoun Square. I was a huge fan of the Independent because of the location. It was a bit tucked back in Calhoun Square and you needed to know that it was there to be able to find it.
I love Uptown but I really have a hard time enjoying the bar atmosphere of some of the restaurants during weekday meal times. They sometimes can be filled with non-working- inappropriately dressed- I am just here to get really wasted because they have super cheap happy hour specials. Oh yeah and I am going to screech at the top of my lungs every time I see someone I know and invite them over to my over-crowded table filled with empties. And I NEVER tip.
You can tell that I have some pent-up frustration with some of the frequent loud day drinkers of Uptown. Not that I didn’t used to be one of them partaking in the happy hour deals when I got off of work early. I did always tip though.
Republic in Uptown is the perfect chill, relaxed, and calm bar destination. I was able to visit during a weeknight and was able to have a conversation with the person next to me, enjoy a drink, and eat some fantastic food. This is not your normal bar menu.
If I lived in Uptown. This would be my go-to bar.
This bar has an everything menu. It has bar favorites plus items for someone who chooses to eat a bit healthier. The salads are not your typical house salad with ranch either. You have choices of a kale salad with a white balsamic and another with asparagus ham and even manchego cheese.
When I visited, I tried the Minnesota Po’Boy sandwich. It was a walleye sandwich with a really nice tartar sauce or as they call it a lemon aioli.
I would also highly recommend the burgers because they are grass-fed beef. It always makes a burger more tasty and delicious. Next time, I will be trying the brie and red wine reduction burger. Yes, I know that sounds fantastic.
Save room for dessert. This is a salted caramel pot de creme. Yes, it was as good as it sounded.
You should follow them on twitter because they are always changing out their taps and they tell you about them. One of the best beer selections that I have seen in the cities so far. Cocktails are also good, so give them a try as well. Republic also has a Seven Corners location in St. Paul which has a different menu. That should be worth a try also.
because this is my new favorite bar.
Reve 324 is a cozy restaurant located in Stillwater, MN. As you can tell from reading many of my recent posts, I love to visit Stillwater. It is one of those places that you can get lost during a warm summer day by going shopping, walking near the river, and eating delicious food. It is a Minnesota foodie destination because of the beautiful surroundings.
One weekend I found myself at Reve 324, it was a place that I have walked by a few times but had not eaten at before. I was pleasantly surprised by the dinner menu and the different options. It certianly was not what I expected. It is called a bistro bar and has the feel of a secluded resturant on a bricklined street.
They have bottles on their wine list that are affordable. I had a bottle that was new for me. It was called HandCraft and now has become part of the rotation in my house because I liked it that much.
Another must order when you visit Reve 324 is the Artisan Cheese Plate. I enjoyed the selection of cheese as well as the other items that came with the plate. The honey was magnificent and if Reve would be willing to share where the honey is from they will have a new customer as well.
I tried several selections from their dinner menu that night but a few items that stood out for me was the side of wild rice salad. It was fresh and a nice option besides the normal side items that are options at restaurants.
The beet and goat cheese salad was also a highlight. The pecans and the bacon were a nice change for a beet salad, I liked the salty taste of the bacon without being too fatty and overpowering.
A surprise was the burger that I tried. It was perfectly cooked and juicy. I am a sucker for a burger with an egg on top.
The service at Reve 324 was also notable as well. Our server was attentive but not over powering and did a great job explaining dishes to us.
because something that is as simple as a cheese plate can be amazing because of the ingredients
What is your favorite Stillwater restaurant?
Guest Post: mplsgossipgirl’s Mom
If you thought you were going to the Ordway to just watch “The Sound of Music” on a big screen and sing along to all those beautiful songs that you already know by heart, you were very surprised. Not only were theatergoers encouraged to dress in costume, (my favorite was the ten women who dressed as the goats) but you were also given a goodie bag with props to use at different parts of the movie. They included a piece of edelweiss, cards to hold up during the song “How do you solve a problem like Maria” and best of all, a party popper to pop the first time that Maria and the Captain kiss.
Erin Schwab was the host for the movie and before the movie started she came out on the stage and gave the go ahead for the frequent audience participation parts of the movie; cheering whenever you saw Maria, booing at the Nazis and the hand motions for Do Re Mi. This got the audience whipped into frenzy for the start of the movie. It had the feeling of an Austrian Rocky Horror Picture Show.
Even if you weren’t into all the participation parts of the movie, it was wonderful to see this beautiful movie on a big screen. Most people under the age of 50 have only seen the movie on their television screens. The beautiful scenery of the Alps and Salzburg definitely was conducive to seeing it on a big screen and it didn’t disappoint. So, if this is one of your favorite movies make sure you put the Sound of Music Sing-A-Long on your list of shows to see.
because it will definitely become one of your favorite things
I don’t usually share very personal stories or events on here. I thought that this would be a good time to share with all my followers something that is important to me.
A few years ago my partner and I decided that we would wait to get married until it was legal in Minnesota for the LGBT community to marry as well. This is not something that we share with everyone or really anyone. In fact, at the last wedding I was at I was asked by a handful of people why my partner and I have not married yet. It is a common question since we have been dating over 6 years now. We say that we are just not ready yet.
While that is true, we are waiting until those of our friends who are gay are able to get be married as well. How thankful we are that we even get to choose when it is we want to marry. We discussed that it did not feel right to us to be married, while others do not get to make that choice.
To us marriage is a legal document that allows us specific inclusions under the law. Even though we are not married yet, does not mean we have a different relationship from other married couples. Like many of our LGBT friends, family members, coworkers, and neighbors we have a committed relationship. Us, like many other committed unmarried couples are already living the, “until death do us part.” We believe that our relationship is no different from that of two men or two women; we are all entitled to the equal protection under the law.
When we finally do choose to get married we want to be able to have a celebration that we can invite all of our friends and family members to share the special day with us. It will be a day that reaffirms our relationship and creates a support system of people who share in the love that I have with my partner.
We also will then have the opportunity to use all of the protections that marriage gives us under the law.
It doesn’t seem right for us to invite our friends who do not get to make this choice to come and celebrate. They are not able to have the same protections that our marriage will have.
My hope is… that very soon this will change. Yesterday showed me that it is close. Soon my partner and I will not have to think about this as part of our decision to get married. Undoubtably, the discussion will then center around cost.
Even with this monumental change. It will not change the mind of everyone.
I know there are still opponents to gay marriage and people who are not supportive of LGBT people. They say because of their religious beliefs that they cannot support it. Well, until it is your child, your grandchild, your cousin, your best friend, your neighbor, your co-worker, your aunt, or your parent I doubt you will change your mind. But, when that does happen it is how you choose to react that will define you. Don’t look back and regret how you have treated another human being.
because it is time
This Thursday night is the perfect night to go out to eat. Each year over 180 restaurants in Minnesota participate in Dining Out For Life, this year it is on Thursday, April 25th. A percentage of proceeds from participating restaurants go to the Aliveness Project and RAAN that provide support for those living with HIV/AIDS.
It just makes sense to eat breakfast, lunch, and dinner out on Thursday. Not only do you get to eat great food, but you get to give as well.
Visit the website to see which restaurants are participating and at what level: HERE
Here are a few restaurants that I suggest that you should visit this Thursday:
- The Saloon – 100% of both Lunch and Dinner will be donated. Located in downtown Minneapolis, The Saloon is known for its billboard of gorgeous men.
- Rustica Bakery- 40% of breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Rustica is one of my favorite spots in Uptown. You can check out my recent review HERE.
- Acqua- 35% of dinner. This is one of my favorite hidden gems. Acqua just opened a new restaurant in Forest Lake. Read my review HERE. See photo above.
- Blackbird Cafe- 35% of breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
- George and The Dragon- 35% of lunch and dinner.
- Hazels Northeast- 35% of breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
- Herkimer- 35% of dinner. This brew-pub in Uptown is a great place to get together with groups. Good options for all types of eaters. Get together a group of friends and head out there on Thursday night.
- Moto-i - 35% of dinner. A sleek Uptown hotspot with a great variety of items on the menu. Try the ramen or the bibimbap Hopefully, the weather will be nice enough that people will get to enjoy the patio.
- Republic- 35% of lunch and dinner. I have been meaning to try this place.
- Spill the Wine- 35% of lunch and dinner. Now in a new location, this is one of my favorite places to go on a date.
If you are in Duluth, Sir Ben’s is giving 35% of both lunch and dinner.
I would highly suggest that you make a reservation at participating restaurants since it can get very busy!
because giving back is easy and delicious
I had to post these pictures from the last two days to remind those who no longer live in Minnesota of why they left. WINTER NEVER ENDS.
Plus, I had to preserve my pictures for posterity to remind myself next year that it could be much worse, it could be the end of April.
because sometimes you need to remember
It is very important to me to shop local and to shop small whenever possible. That is why I enjoy events such as the HAMMS event where many local small businesses are in one space. HAMMS stands for Help a Minnesota Maker Succeed and aims to give up to $5,000 to one of the vendors. I am also excited to attend Saturday because there will be food trucks there!
Here are a few particular items that I am excited to see at the event:
- Glass water bottles from Moss Envy
I chose this water bottle because of the ease of use, both of the bottle and the sleeve can be put in the dishwasher. I also find that I do not enjoy the metal or plastic taste of other water bottles.
Moss Envy sells eco items for your home and life. They choose eco-friendly items to fill their store that you would use every day.
You can find more products on the Moss Envy website: HERE
- Turban from Kedrin
Kedrin sells beautiful handmade crochet goods. I love any fashionable item that I can wear during the winter months to accessorize my parka.
At the HAMMS event Kedrin is giving shoppers at least 20% off of items from her collection posted on her website HERE, and 10% off of pre-orders of new looks from her fall 2013 look book. VIP shoppers save even more!
- Market Bags from Jeanne Beatrice
Please read my post from Tuesday about Jeanne Beatrice: HERE. These market bags from Jeanne Beatrice would be a great Mother’s Day gift.
There will be many other vendors at the event that I am excited to see and learn more about their products such as: Worker b, Irley Intimates, Larissa Loden, Scrappy Products, and many more all featured on the vendors page.
The HAMMS event is this Saturday, April 20th at the old HAMMS shipping docks in Saint Paul from 10AM-7PM. You can even bring your dog to this pup friendly event! Tickets can be purchased online HERE until 10PM on April 19th for $10 or tickets can be purchased for $15 at the door.
because you should be there
These last few weeks have been brutal for Twins fans. It is not easy to sit in your seat and watch a game in your Sorel boots and parka when it is 30 degrees or colder. Along with many other fans, I opted to watch from under the heat lamps. The bonus of making this move was that I was closer to all the food and beer stands.
What I love about the new Twins Stadium is that they keep adding more and more local foods and beer. If I am coming to a game I want to be able to eat some really wonderful food. I did just that last night.
Although, I was not able to try every new food at the stadium, I did get to try the new burger from AZ Canteen. A company started by local foodie/chef/TV star Andrew Zimmern, this stand serves a lamb and goat burger that has been deemed by many to be the best new food in the ballpark. I cannot agree more.
AZ Canteen in Section 130 serves a food item with flavor. This burger was made right in front of me and topped with roasted tomatoes and onions. At $13.00 this burger is expensive and in my view is worth it. It comes with seasoned chips, is big enough for a meal and best when paired with an IPA.
Another favorite of mine is Turkey to Go found in multiple sections. At only $7.50 for a sandwich it is a steal. The turkey is always moist (I hate that word, but it is true) and you can top the sandwich with sweet and sassy BBQ sauce.
I had to get a huge hat full of nachos after watching people walking around with one. The hat is filled with taco chips, nacho cheese, beef, tomatoes, onions, jalapenos, and sour cream.They equip you with forks to get the job done. Not in the least bit healthy but tons of fun.
I hope that the Twins keep adding more local food and beer each year because it makes coming to a game also a great place to have a meal.
Because GO TWINS!
* you can also follow AZ Canteen and Turkey to Go on Twitter to see where their food trucks and restaurants are in the Twin Cities. @AZCanteen and @TurkeyToGo
On Saturday, April 20th I will be attending the HAMMS- Help a Minnesota Maker Succeed event at the old Hamm’s Brewery Shipping Docks. This event is for men, women, their dogs and those who like to shop local and small. A portion of the ticket proceeds will be awarded to one of the small businesses at the end of the event.
As a fan of fashion, I connected with the image on the website of a really cute Market Basket from Jeanne Beatrice; the perfect summer bag (pictured above). Everyone in Minnesota is ready for summer but it feels like it may never come with all the unseasonably cold weather lately. One of my favorite summer activities is going to the farmers market on a Sunday. There is something uplifting about spending the morning at the market in the sun and picking up fresh food from local farmers. Why not do it fashionably with a market bag from Jeanne Beatrice?
Jeanne Beatrice was started by Laura J. Benson a former Lawyer who created a business doing what she loved. The baskets are made in Morocco by local artisans. Each bag takes 6-8 hours to complete and each is a unique work of art.
I chose to feature Jeanne Beatrice because the Market Bags are affordable, fun, and a great way to help someone across the world. Also, they would be a great gift for a mother for Mother’s Day or a bridal party gift for your bridesmaids. The La Vie Shadow II is on sale for only $27.00 and with its steel grey or pink details, would be perfect for the beach.
My other favorite bags are the one featured on the HAMMS site called the La Vie Henna because of the stitching around the handles and the La Vie en Colour because they are traditional with a pop of color.
You can find all products from Jeanne Beatrice on the website, https://www.jeannebeatrice.com/, or in over 150 boutiques around the world. You can even come to the HAMMS event and pick one up there.
Laura thinks you should come to the event because it, “will be an absolute blast.” It will be a shopping event like no other because the vendors are interacting with customers in different ways and are encouraged to bring wine and appetizers. A fellow foodie, Laura is looking forward to the food trucks that will be there.
If you are someone who likes to shop local and support small business this is the perfect event for you. Tickets to the HAMMS Event on Saturday, April 20th from 10AM-7PM are available online at http://www.hammsevent.com/ until 10 pm on April 19 or for 15 dollars at the door.
because you can look good and do good at the same time.
Everyone knows St. Patrick’s Day will be celebrated on Saturday this year since going out on a Sunday night is not feasible for those who work early Monday morning.
Here is 5 Fun things to do this Saint Patrick’s Day:
- Do a super- scientific poll and see how many people know that Saturday is not really Saint Patrick’s Day.
- Attend the Saint Patrick’s Day Parade. Starting at 6:30PM the parade travels down Nicollet. My favorite is the Bag Pipers and the huge Irish Setter dogs who make an appearance every year.
- Have a Jameson and Ginger or the Two Gingers at The Local in Downtown Minneapolis. It will be very crowded but don’t worry they have space outside as well.
- Drink so much green beer that your pee turns green. Just kidding. But, does that really happen? Drink a Finnegans instead 100% of their profits go to charity.
- Later tonight head to The Saloon. If you want to see the best costuming and green clothing items in town.
Because you are Irish today.