Where to Warm Up With Good Music, Great Food

There’s something about subzero temperatures that just makes me want to… go out. Some kind of nose-thumbing at nature, I suspect—”You can’t stop me!” And in fact, a warm drink, a sweet cocktail, and some Midwest comfort food never tastes better than when the windows are steamed up. Considering that many first-class restaurant/bars have recession-proofed their menus by stacking the deck with just the sort of hearty, inexpensive comfort food I love, it’s also never been a better time to seek out this experience.

To narrow the field, and to help you linger on into the night, here are a few places that combine great food and drinks with stellar live music:

At the lively yet cozy Red Stag supper club in northeast Minneapolis, this week’s late-night musical lineup (10 p.m.) includes Sophia Shorai and Supreme Privacy on January 6, the Pistol Whippin Party Penguins on January 7, and Nikki and the RueMates on January 10.

Barbette, Red Stag’s sister restaurant in Uptown, brings in some slightly better-known acts, including Kid Dakota tonight, Courtney Yasmineh + Nyteowl  on January 7, and  Jelloslave and Saltee on January 11.

Further south at Cafe Maude, the names get even bigger and more diverse on Fridays and Saturdays. Trio Mateo, a jazz trio with some middle-eastern influences, on January 8; Dean Granros on solo jazz guitar on January 9; Chris Koza and Peter Sieve the weekend after with some indie folk-pop.

The Dakota Jazz Club and Restaurant kicks off the new year (its 25th season) with a couple of strong-voiced female vocalists: Nellie McKay on January 6 and 7, and the legendary Lesley Gore on January 10 and 11. Two words on Lesley: Catwoman’s sidekick.

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