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Le Chloe at Vincent A Restaurant


photo by joy summers

Nothing beats the sophisticated elegance of a happy hour tucked inside the cozy bar space at Vincent A Restaurant. There are beer and wine specials (and good wine, too—not like some places, where the happy-hour wine tastes like it was left open from the night before). From 4:30 to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday and again from 8:30 to 9:30 p.m Monday through Thursday, there are all kinds of food specials, too—and most importantly, the famous Vincent Burger is only $8.

Whenever I visit during happy hour, I feel like it’s this secret spot. Vincent is always a go-to for business lunches and romantic dinners, but happy hour is my time. It’s poutine time. Plus, I recently encountered a new cocktail that I sampled at the suggestion of Le Grand Fromage himself. (That’s the Big Cheese—aka chef Vincent Francoual.) Le Chloe Neige was inspired by the chef’s impossibly adorable daughter and concocted by the restaurant’s bar maestro, Bradley Pittman.

They infuse vodka with blackberries in house and mix with Rothman’s crème de violette, then finish the drink with a splash of sparkling wine. The result is an intoxicating burgundy color with a lightly floral aroma. The crème de violette is difficult to source in most markets, but we’re lucky enough to have a local importer of this delicately flavored liqueur that’s made with violets, distilled grapes, and a little sugar. The tiny bubbles from the wine dance across the tongue, elevating the sweetness off the palate. The bright, tart berry flavor in the vodka also leaves a clean sweetness in the mouth. Plus, it’s such a pretty little drink, served in a coupe with a lemon twist. Paired with those delicate fries from the kitchen, c'est magnifique.

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Minnesota Monthly's Taste Blog answers your restaurant and dining questions, dishes on latest discoveries, reflects on breaking news, and generally brings the plate to the page with a skilled crew of experts: Learn more about the Taste bloggers.

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