Country Flavor: New London’s Model Citizen is poised to shape the future of Minnesota food

Minnesota cooks are going wild. Established chefs laden with talent are packing up their knives and fleeing Minneapolis–St. Paul. From Moose Bear Wolf in Ely to Poplar Haus on the Gunflint Trail, and from the Falls Landing supper club in Cannon Falls to Willard’s in Cambridge, chefs with the chops and drive to make it … [ Read more]

Bold New Farmer: A renewed Bachelor Farmer is positively vibrant

Since its 2011 debut, The Bachelor Farmer has been among Minnesota’s most ambitious restaurants, combining a loose Scandinavian aesthetic with a farm-to-table mandate. In the years since opening, the restaurant has settled into a comfortable niche: a polished, reliable, Scandi-cute fixture of the North Loop neighborhood of Minneapolis. Even with the presence of the co-located … [ Read more]

Northern Lights: Talent and ambition powers the dining room of Poplar Haus on the Gunflint Trail

Ask a handful of Minnesotans about going “up north” and you’ll probably get a cluster of different responses that share a few things in common. Up north isn’t a specific place, although many people have a place in mind. It’s not a where, it’s a what—a slower pace of life, a retreat from the lacerating … [ Read more]

Order Up! Dining scene in Minneapolis’ Longfellow neighborhood heating up

Updated March 14, 2019 Order Up! is the Growler’s ongoing biweekly account of noteworthy Minnesota restaurant openings, closings, and future openings. Please send any tips to [email protected] All dates are approximate based on best information available; opening dates, in particular, tend to shift around a lot. THIS WEEK’S GIST: The Longfellow neighborhood in Minneapolis may … [ Read more]

Whirlwind Tour: Minneapolis Skyway Dining

To an infrequent visitor, the streets of downtown Minneapolis can seem cold and sterile. Where any other city’s core would be filled with the bustle of crowds on the sidewalks and in the crosswalks, Minneapolis’ downtown looks suspiciously like the set of “I Am Legend.” This, we contend, is simply because the casual visitor does … [ Read more]

For Minnesota’s Restaurant Scene, 2018 Was a Hell of a Year

The state of independent restaurants in Minnesota in 2018 is not merely strong; it’s exceptionally strong. A number of high-profile openings and announced expansions leave diners with a glittering galaxy of choices that will only continue to brighten as we move into 2019. First and foremost: Carefully curated mini-empires are expanding incrementally and wisely to … [ Read more]

Minnesota Restaurant Openings and Closing in 2018

The restaurant business is famously volatile, and 2018 in Minnesota was par for the course—dozens of high-profile spots opened or closed their doors in an environment rife with change. But the continued shift of entertainment dollars into dining is still paying dividends for the industry, and openings outnumbered closings as an already lively scene gathered … [ Read more]

Culinary partners J.D. Fratzke and Matty O’Reilly part ways with a handshake

A quest for work-life balance has led to an amicable parting of ways at one of the metro’s most prominent restaurant groups. J.D. Fratzke, the chef-entrepreneur whose work at The Strip Club Meat and Fish made him a regional standout, has worked as a culinary director over the past three years for Matty O’Reilly to … [ Read more]

Bayfield or Bust: Our 10-Stop Dining Roadtrip to Wisconsin’s South Shore

If you’re one of the thousands of people heading north and east to Wisconsin’s famous Bayfield Apple Festival this weekend, wear some stretchy pants—the crescent-shaped land of Chequamegon Bay has a lot more than fruit to offer its visitors. The South Shore community is relatively small—about 30,000 people living in the coastal counties of Ashland and … [ Read more]

Last of the Embers: The final holdout of the Embers restaurant chain keeps the flames burning in Fridley

On a recent Thursday, we stopped by Ricky’s Embers Family Restaurant, just off 694 in Fridley. We’d arrived for the last Cruise Night of the summer season, and the parking lot was full of cars from every era, some more interesting than others—like a souped-up ’58 Ford Custom 300 with stainless steel dice on the … [ Read more]

Raw Talent: The new St. Paul chef collective just/us creates wild coursed meals

Everyone loves to talk about the so-called rock star chef—young, brash, arrogant, a servant only to their own wild imagination—but truthfully there aren’t too many of them around. For the most part, restaurants aren’t stages that play host to wild performances. They’re businesses with carefully calculated margins that represent a holy covenant between the investors … [ Read more]

Taste of the Twin Ports: A six-stop restaurant blitz through Duluth and Superior

Here’s our Twin Ports tour by the numbers: six restaurants, 14 hours, a five-year-old, and a baby riding shotgun. We had a blast checking in on the insanely active dining scene in Duluth and Superior, although we caution readers that this schedule and/or this choice of traveling companions may create a noticeable strain on your … [ Read more]

Taste of the Great Lakes: The changing food scenes of Milwaukee, Detroit, and Toronto

The Great Lakes are home to some of the largest metropolises in the Upper Midwest, and it’s no surprise why. The shipping industry helped build port cities like Detroit, Milwaukee, and Toronto into the towering urban landscapes they are today. But while they are linked in their industrial origins, each city’s identity is as unique … [ Read more]

In The Weeds: Creating a culture of self-care in the restaurant industry

Several years ago, chef J.D. Fratzke went missing from family photos. Juggling his role as co-owner and chef at The Strip Club Meat & Fish in St. Paul and opening a new venture, Saint Dinette, meant he was rarely at home with his wife and his daughter. Instead, he’d arrive at Strip Club around 11am, … [ Read more]

Supatra’s Thai Holiday: The longest month of the year

It happens at the same time every winter, but it always feels like a shock. Supatra’s Thai Cuisine, located at 967 West 7th Street in St. Paul, locks the doors, turns off the lights, and a posts a sign in the window that strikes fear and hunger into the hearts the entire staff of The Growler: “Supatra’s Thai … [ Read more]

A Blind Tasting beer festival

Taste & Rate 48 Minnesota Oktoberfests

Sept. 20, 2019 | 5:30–9pm
Upper Landing Park
Tickets: GA $40 | DD $20