West Seventh is a long stretch of street coming out of downtown St. Paul—and suddenly one of the most exciting restaurant areas. The warm weather is moments away, making this the perfect opportunity to don some non-Sorel footwear and head out on a real-deal bar crawl of the area. There are so many cool buildings to look at, nice wide sidewalks, and so many tasty drinks.
Parlour Bar, Going Dutch: The just-opened outpost of this Minneapolis bar serves Instagram-baiting burgers and outstanding cocktails. All the beverages are wonderfully balanced, with a fun little kick of the unexpected. Take, for example, the Going Dutch, a sophisticated refreshment with Bols Genever, a spirit that brings together gin lovers and those who firmly believe they hate gin (trust me, you just hate bad, naked gin). It’s mixed with amaro, cardamom, lime, pineapple, and a bitter lemon soda. It’s just the right amount of sweet without ever being syrupy.
Bad Weather Brewing, Ominous: My beer preference is usually on the dark end of things, and this creamy brown specimen has been a recent obsession. I’m certain that I would have lost my damn mind in that blizzard if it wasn’t for a trusty little growler I had tucked away. The taproom is super family- and pooch-friendly.
Pajarito, Chino Latino: There’s a new bar menu kicking off tomorrow, but I got an advance taste of this new cocktail, and it’s destined to be my spring obsession. Rimmed with a little salty sugar, it has a toasty, smoky mezcal mixed with bright guava juice that looks like spring in a glass. Pair with fresh tortilla chips and that zesty cashew chile de abrol salsa and you’re in business.