My first entry at Dark Horse was just so St. Paul. Immediately I spotted five familiar faces dotting the bar and dining room, met a politician, fielded a couple of questions about The Lexington re-opening (not soon), and eased into a seat as comfortable as my favorite pair of jeans. Lowertown’s newest restaurant nails the “St. Small” feel at first blush.
The room is a mixture of dark wood with a couple of steampunk light fixtures, tastefully placed TV screens and a menu that draws inspiration from around the globe. Part of the ownership also operates Muddy Waters at LynLake and the vibe is similar, although the room is entirely different.
The bar is the heart of the room, with a sliding ladder and stacks of alluring bottles whose glass dances in the evening light. House cocktails are $11 or less with the Brooklyn running a cool $8. This hipper take on the Manhattan mixes Bulleit rye with dry vermouth, a little Luxardo for the cherry flavor, and a dash of classic Angostura. It’s served up in a martini glass and disappears at an alarming rate. It’s cool as the other side of the pillow—just like the neighborhood it’s in.
Dark Horse Bar and Eatery
250 E. 7th St., Saint Paul