The Copper Hen Minneapolis
I’ve eaten at the Copper Hen several times over the couple of years that they’ve been open. The space is beyond beautiful and it is worth it for dinner just to enjoy the unique ambiance in the city. It makes me feel relaxed.
Firstly, the cocktail menu is fun and so Minnesota which I happen to love. They have many classics with fun twists and many of them have local booze. Their beer menu is local and you’ll be able to find something that is what you are looking for and the wine menu is tastefully prepared. They have options for any price range from a glass of $7 Cava to a $10 glass of red both won’t disappoint.
When you come, don’t miss out on the shareables side of the menu. They have so many great options and they are truly easy to share. I know that we don’t tend to like the tapas idea here but, you can go with a date and pick out three of them or two of them and a pizza. I tried the pretzels and the crabby toast. Both were excellent. The pretzels and cheese were just what I felt like eating, perfectly warm and salty. The toast had all the elements I like: good bread, avocado, tomato, bacon, and a soft egg. Honestly, the tomato was the star because it was red, ripe, and tasted like a tomato should taste. Not that common right now especially in supermarket tomatoes.
Their entrees are great too, on several separate occasions I’ve tried the mac n’ cheese, chicken pot pie, and a few other items. All were good, come hungry. This time I tried a pizza and I enjoyed it because I always like lamb. It was a lot of salt flavor so make sure you are in the mood for that. Sometimes I am, sometimes I am looking for a light pizza. This one isn’t it. But, it’s good!
Copper Hen is one of those places that you feel comfortable bringing family and friends to and even out of town guests because you know that they will find something on the menu that they like and you still get to eat really good food. Crave has an expansive menu that accommodates literally everyone but the food is not good. This is WAY better.
I haven’t been to the brunch before but, it sounds amazing and I cannot even imagine how pretty the summer morning light is as it comes through the big windows in the front. Plus, take a look at the description for their bloody mary. Yum! The egg that was on my toast was cooked just right as well. So, I have confidence that their brunch is where it’s at. Also, I’ve never tried a boozy dessert. But, that’s another reason to come back, right?
because beautiful things are worth it
Guthrie Theater Instameet with MNCommunity
I’ve always wanted to go behind the scenes at the new Guthrie Theater. I grew up as a theater kid trying unsuccessfully to be a triple threat. Acting was never my strong suit although people who know me will would say that I still have the flair for the dramatics. I did local community theater where I wore an epic fruit hat, starred as Robin Hood, and even once played an 8 year old as a high school freshman. In college, I had the BEST job ever working at the theater where I was able to see any of the shows for free while getting paid. That’s what I would call a dream job. So, you can see why I jumped at the chance to get a tour of the Guthrie Theater.
I knew this was going to be an epic tour when one of the people hosting the event from the Guthrie told us that she hadn’t even been to some of the spaces yet.
We took tours of where they build the sets, store the props, and even were able to play a little bit in the black box theater. One of my favorite parts was that I was able to see some of the props and set pieces from South Pacific. I got a good laugh when I saw the sign for Billie’s Shower above the special hazard eyewash station. Someone has a great sense of humor there. I also spotted some of the letters to Nellie, each one hand written with a lot of care. After seeing the Guthrie from another angle I am even more excited to get season tickets!
All of us that were there last night are part of a group called MNCommunity. It’s run by a couple of cool cats that put together events around Minnesota where people simply meet up and take pictures. These pictures then get posted on the Instagram app under a specific hashtag. The one for the Guthrie was #mncomm_guthrie. What is great about this group is that it is just people who like to get together and be creative. Some are professional photographers, others are aspiring photographers there to learn, and others use only our iPhones. It’s awesome to get together with people to really highlight something amazing in Minnesota and see it pictured in so many different ways.
Thinking about coming to an event? Follow MNCommunity on Facebook and subscribe to their events. They are also out there on all the social channels.
Check out two of my favorite local instagrammers: @carterwdick and @papalando
Because getting together is good
Why the column about Jana Shortal made me so upset
Trending in Minneapolis today and around the country tomorrow was the story that a Star Tribune gossip columnist wrote about local journalist Jana Shortal’s pants. The “gossip column” asserted that jeans are not appropriate attire to wear when reporting on the Jacob Wetterling story.
Clearly, you know how I felt about it because of my headline. I was upset. I found the original column to be strange and unnecessary. Why would any news outlet publish a column about a journalists pants? What made this absurd column even worse for me were the tweets and the non-apology “apology” put out by the columnist afterwards.
People are upset. Why? because everyone knows what it feels like.
I can’t say that I’ve never written words that were mean or said or done something hurtful to another human. But, I try to do better each day. AND if someone points out to me the insensitive words I’d written or told me when I did something hurtful I would sincerely apologize and try to do better.
When you create content, write stories, or are a public figure you need to hold yourself to a high standard. You have a platform and the means to tell a story. It’s a very important job and you should take pride in the work that you do. It’s not always easy but if you are good at it you should be able to tell yourself what is ready to share with the rest of the world. It also helps to have great Editors that guide you.
Lets be honest, as soon as you hit that publish button it it out there–there’s no way to take it back. Only apologize and try to do better when you’ve made a mistake.
Over and over again I’ve watched Jana tell the stories. Tell stories that are hard to tell and speak the truth about herself. That is why this hurts me. She got up that morning, went to work, did her job and was singled out. Who or what is next if this is fair game?
What should the Star Tribune do? That’s up to them, but they should hold themselves up to higher journalistic standards.
To the columnist– think about what you just did. If you don’t feel remorse that’s on you. But, be mindful that most of us out there wore an item of clothing and we were put down, made to feel less than, or down right terrorized because we were different or just the person to attack at that time. Most of us have been there. Most of us have worn those jeans.
Let me leave you with a little nugget that I keep at my desk:
“Before you speak, think–Is it necessary? Is it true? Is it kind? Will it hurt anyone? Will it improve on the silence?”
Because we are better than this
Xoxo – mplsgossipgirl
Jana would love if you donated to the Jacob Wetterling Foundation HERE
Revival – Fried Chicken has arrived in Minneapolis
I am all about Revival. If there’s one place that I would recommend right now in Minneapolis this is surely on my list. From the lighting to the wall paper this place is exactly where I want to eat a meal with a friend. It’s comfort food done extremely well and can easily turn a frown upside-down.
You cannot miss the chicken. There’s a reason why they put it right in the center of the menu. Order it any way that you like because you really can’t go wrong with any of the choices that you make here. I can’t imagine how busy this place is going to be in the winter. It’s been busy this summer but fried chicken and warm sides are perfect for cold weather cures.
Get a few sides including the biscuits with sorghum butter. If you want help choosing ask your waiter or waitress they can help suggest items that might be what you are looking for at that moment. Or just order all of them.
What you should know: It’s a pretty small space. Be prepared to wait for a table and be seated close to another group. I also wouldn’t suggest this for larger groups. Unless you want to rent out the entire restaurant (do they do that?). Sit at the bar, you get to talk to the bartenders and look right into the kitchen. It’s really amazing to watch.
If you are looking for comfort head over there now. Did I mention they do takeout too?
Thank goodness they are opening another location in St. Paul soon because this place is the bomb.com.
because there’s never enough good food or fried chicken
Have you been? What was your favorite menu item?
Always Stop at Surdyk’s Wine and Cheese Shop
Recently, one of my favorite activities has been stopping at Surdyk’s to get cheese and a bottle of something to enjoy. I’d forgotten how great this place can be to stop in and learn something new and try something new too.
I highly suggest stopping in their cheese shop which is so much more than just a cheese shop. They have some grab and go items, meat from Red Meat Table Company, bread, and everything else you could possibly add to a sophisticated cheese plate.
What’s even better than the selection is the knowledge that every person working there has about the items that fill the shop. Ask and you will learn something new and most likely discover a new favorite. The other week I was looking for a brie that had a creamy flavor without too much funk and they were able to point me to a perfect selection. Not only a perfect selection but the perfect ripeness of the cheese. A combination that made the brie divine.
I’ve come in needing help picking out the right cheeses for a cheese board for people who don’t like blue cheese and also needing help picking out a wine for people who enjoy both Spanish reds and whites. How can you help me find something that people who you are hosting will love but something that they may not have had before? They seem to do it with ease and they make me seem like a thoughtful host with great taste. The great taste I have is that I know a place where they know how to amuse and delight my guests and well, amuse me too. I always get a little something. How can you not?
because if you ask you might just learn something new
What is your go to item when you stop at Surdyk’s?
Saturday Stroll- Minneapolis Farmers Market
I am an early riser. I always have been. I am secretly jealous of people who are able to sleep in when they’ve stayed up the late the night before. Regardless of the late night I’ve had before I am usually up by 6:00am. One of the many upsides of being a morning person is that I am able to get things done in the morning before others have even woken up.
On the weekends I like to go and hang out with people who are up even before me. On either Saturday or Sunday I love to stroll over to the Minneapolis Farmers Market. Each week I like to stop by my favorite stalls and pick up an ingredient that I hadn’t even planned on buying and then I try and make a meal with that ingredient.
This week I picked up radishes that I plan on quick pickling for tacos this week. I also picked up some spring onions that I put on a sourdough breakfast sandwich with an egg and goat cheese. That Rustica sourdough sandwich was delicious!
I really enjoy just strolling around the market and looking at what each stall has and planning menus in my head and getting there early helps me avoid the crowds that show up around 9:30am. Sometime this summer get out to the Farmers Market early in the morning pick up something special for yourself and enjoy something new on your table.
because a Saturday stroll can make your weekend delicious
What do you like to do when you wake up early?
Chicken Wings at United Noodles
These are some chicken wings that you write to your Mom about. Seriously people, would you ever think of coming to deli inside a grocery store for awesome wings? To be honest, I didn’t. You’ll have to give them a try!
I had never been to United Noodles before and had no idea where it was. Turns out it’s right off Minnehaha Ave. in the Seward neighborhood. I worked in that neighborhood one summer awhile back and I had no idea what sort of places it held. I am just starting to discover the wonderfulness of the Seward neighborhood. Behind each place that I’ve been recently there is some sort of story and passion. This neighborhood boasts some of the best foods, if you take the time to search them out. They don’t boast– they just love what they do.
Although, it is tucked a little bit away, it is easy to find by the sign. They have ample parking and it would be a great place to stop after work or during your lunch hour if you are nearby. I know I will be. I crave ramen during the fall and winter and cannot wait to get my fix at Unideli.
They also have new specials each week. AKA- a reason to come back every week.
Let’s talk about these wings. You might notice that I rarely ever post chicken wings. They usually aren’t for me. I don’t like how most of the time you have to eat around them, sometimes there’s not a lot of meat, and other times they are just a deep fried meltdown. It also might have to do with the fact that a certain wing place that shall not be named that “makes” a bunch of types of wings ALWAYS makes me sick. For real, I felt sick after a salad there. All this has led me to not ordering wings off a menu. It’s not my thing.
BUT- these wings would be something I would order every-single-time. They were the perfect mix of salty, sweet, and spice. Plus, crisped up just right and great chicken inside. I am now a believer. Turns out that I just don’t like shitty chicken wings. I dream about these wings because of the mix that they are. It’s not just about how hot and spicy they are it’s really about how all of the flavors work so well together. It’s almost like they were best friends since childhood.
If you think I’m being a little brash, simply go try them. This is one of those things that I almost didn’t want to write anything about because I didn’t want the secret to get out and then I would have to fight with people to get some wings. Also, come early because I’ve heard that they sometimes sell out.
Best wings in Minnesota? I think so. I’ll see you soon my little nuggets of joy.
I’m going to be talking about more of the cool things that I discovered at UniDeli. Keep an eye out on future posts.
DISCLOSURE: I met with the team at United Deli and was given items from their menu to try. Also, I was given some foods from the grocery to try. In no way does that dictate what I write or how I feel about the food. This place is going to be one of my go-to places from now on and I was so thankful they invited me over to give it a try. Yes, I will spend my “real” money there. I never have time to get to every single place in Minneapolis. But, when I am invited to try something that I’ve never done before (going shopping with a master of pan-Asian foods) you do it!
Because sometimes you just need to try it one more time!
What places do you love in the Seward neighborhood? (I’m a huge fan of the Seward Co-op and Birchwood) What are your favorite chicken wings?
Why Fine Dining is Dead in the Twin Cities
I was saddened to hear the news of the closing of two of the great local establishments. La Belle Vie and Vincent A will be closing their doors by the end of the winter. There has been much speculation as to why and I don’t have all of the answers but my last experience at La Belle Vie might give you insight as to why fine dining is dead in the Twin Cities.
Recently, I went out to La Belle Vie to get a final meal. To say “Goodbye.” There’s really nothing like sitting down for a menu of food and wine that have been given so much love and attention. What ensued that night was a fine example of why we are the reason that fine dining is dying. Or already dead.
Many people have explained that the prices are unreasonable or that the cost of staffing is driving profits down. While both of these things may be true we are still missing one big part about fine dining that is in my opinion completely dead. Our ability to enjoy the meal for what it is. Time to enjoy the food and company.
That Friday, I sat down to eat the 8 course tasting menu with the wine paring in the exquisite dining room. The perfect lighting, the linen table cloth, and the way we were greeted were exactly what you would expect at a restaurant of this caliber.
At the table next to me sat a father and his adult daughter who had already started the tasting menu that I was going to enjoy that night. I ordered, eagerly awaiting the first course to arrive at the table. As I waited, my companion and I discussed our week and what we were doing this weekend.
I was struck by surprise when I heard a ringtone go off at the table next to us. Again. Again. It was a text message tone. The father then looked down and answered the texts while the course was being served to him. As the explanation of this fourth course he gazed down at his phone. Not even lifting his eyes to meet the person describing how the food was prepared.
I think this would be the only explanation necessary to illustrate how little this meal meant to him. Unfortunately, it got worse. In between the next course he decided to start watching YouTube videos with the sound on. Who needs to watch pan flute videos on YouTube during dinner? or anytime really? At least he somewhat involved his daughter halfway through the second video. His phone was out for the entirety of the dinner and he was on it for most of the time that I would think he would want to pay attention to the food and the drinks that were being served to him and his daughter. They maybe said a total of 15 words to each other the whole time I was there.
Not only did he miss the elegance of this beautifully prepared meal, he also missed a night spent with his daughter. It takes approximately three hours to do the full 8 course tasting with wine pairings and he couldn’t spare that much time away from his text messages and YouTube videos to have a deep conversation with his daughter.
We have literally killed fine dining with our inability to put everything aside and enjoy a meal with the people around us. How hard is it for us to put our phones away for 3 hours and hold a conversation with someone? I ask these questions because it occurred to me that while I was sitting there I had to check my phone. My work rarely allows me free-time away from my phone. How sad is it that I couldn’t part from it for three hours?
I also found myself asking myself realizing that I hadn’t spent 3 hours in conversation with anyone for a long time. Yes, I spend time away from screens but how often had I had a deep conversation in the last couple of months?
I am equally as guilty of not being in the present moment.
Fine dining requires us to leave our shit at the door. Your ability to enjoy the food and the company requires you to shut down the outside world and live in the present moment. For some reason, we have all decided that it’s not worth it anymore and that is sad. While we lose two of the fine dining players in Minneapolis we need to ask ourselves what part did we have to play in this?
We all need to hit the focus button.
My case for fine dining is simple. Having a meal like the one I had on Friday is meditative. It’s restorative. Shutting out the outside world and focusing on a meal with someone can center you again.
There is a place for fine dining here in Minnesota. It’s just that we need to make it a priority again. There has to be a sacred place where you can have a meal with people that matters enough to pay attention to the food and the company. Next time you go out to have a great meal try and leave your phone in the car, see if you can sit there for 3 hours, and genuinely be in the present moment.
I hope that we can have a place where we go to celebrate big life events with food and that we don’t kill them all.
because food is meditative and restorative.
Eli’s East -Northeast Minneapolis Restaurant
I know, I am behind the times. This was my first time at Eli’s East and I loved it! It has a great casual atmosphere but with a great menu of supper club classics and new local dishes. It made me wish that I lived in Northeast so this could be my neighborhood spot.
I had a great cocktail to start the night with gin and a blueberry lemonade sort of thing. It was a great summer cocktail. I did see a bunch of people order a pink martini that I want to try next time. It must be very popular since they kept coming out of the bar. Don’t miss out on their wine specials as well. I thought they had a well curated wine list with many great options to go with their dishes.
I had a really hard time picking what I wanted for dinner. They had many items on their menu that appealed to me but ended up going with a burger. It was cooked perfectly to order and the fresh avocado on top was delightful. One of the highlights for me was their chips. No other place does homemade chips like they do. It was a nice change from the fries that you get everywhere else.
I also was able to try the Coq Au Vin. It had great flavor and looked beautiful when it came out of the kitchen. The chicken was a little dry for my taste but overall it was a great dish and something that I want to try again in the winter. It was very comforting.
They have a great dessert menu that I didn’t get to try because I was way too full. Their portion sizes are a little bigger.
They have an excellent outdoor patio and a parking lot which makes this a great place to go for smaller groups 8-12. Plus, a back area that many families with children were using. They give you a little bit more privacy which is great for those with young ones who still want a fantastic meal!
Because I love a good neighborhood place.
Where else do I need to try in Northeast? Any places I should move to in Northeast?
I’ve been meaning to go here forever and finally made it out to Eastlake Brewery! I am a huge fan of the Midtown Global Market where it is located. I think it holds some of the best food found in Minneapolis. If you haven’t been to The Rabbit Hole or The Salty Tart yet, go there soon.
When you go to Eastlake Brewery come with an empty stomach because you can get food from the market and bring it in to the brewery to enjoy. The space is fairly big and contains a lot of natural light. It is also family friendly. When I was there, there were several families sitting around and having a meal together.
I wasn’t hugely impressed by the beers that I sampled other than their current sour brew Kirby Pucker and Belgian Pale Ale. They were a little too fruity and floral for my personal taste. I am the first to admit that don’t take my word on it. I love to drink beer. BUT– I think beer is such a personal thing that beers that I am not a fan of, others would like. Their current Saison with ginger and pink lemons was not my thing but I could see people who like fruity beers loving it.
With all that being said, I would come back even though I wasn’t a huge fan of their brews I tried. I didn’t get a chance to try their IPA’s since I got their lighter flight. I will be back to give those a try sometime soon. I went lighter because I was looking for a great summer beer.
I loved the space and it’s fun to bring food from any of the places in the market. If you are going to eat at the Brewery try Hot Indian Foods or Manny’s Tortas. Both are wonderful!
Overall, I liked this place as a perfect place to hang out and I’m excited to try some of their heavier brews next time.
because a great hangout and great food make a wonderful night.
What’s your favorite brewery to hangout in?