hen it comes to assessing the drinks scene in Minnesota, Minneapolis and St. Paul often suck the oxygen out of the room. And not without good reason, considering the wealth of mixological talent and the seemingly limitless number of beer taps behind Twin Cities bars.
But, like a magician’s sleight of hand, while we’re distracted looking at the shiny cocktail glasses in MSP, the bars and restaurants outside major metropolitan centers have been spinning a bit of beverage magic on the suburban main streets.
The Suburban Martini Spectrum
The Martini List, which would always be capitalized and contain a Cosmo and an appletini, is a relic of the early-2000s and dates with Carrie Bradshaw. However, you may be surprised to learn that there are still places that feature a Martini List, especially out in the suburbs.
A Taste of California (and Beyond) in Hopkins
There’s never been a Twin Cities wine bar quite like the Vine Room in Hopkins. Such establishments in these parts are uniformly designed to be comfy-cozy, with warm wood tones and what those of a certain age call “flattering lighting” (i.e., dim and dusky).
When Craft Cocktails Come to Town
Like the glass of water starting to ripple in Jurassic Park portending the arrival of the T-Rex, many suburbs surrounding the Twin Cities have heard the clinking of shaker tins and felt the stomping of ironic combat boots coming towards them as cocktail bartenders quickly expand their reach outside of downtown.