Three Things to Eat & Drink Right Now

Twin Cities, drinks, Joy Summers, Scena Tavern
The smoke and stormy at scena tavern. Photo by Joy Summers

Welcome to the online companion to the new Minnesota Monthly food section. Joy will be blogging each week, sharing tips on great restaurants that maybe don’t make it into print, and directing you to dishes you can’t miss. Catch Jason DeRusha’s blog each Thursday for more dining coverage.

New neighborhood restaurants in Minneapolis are popping up all over. These are the three dishes to make room for your New Year’s Resolution:

Pavé a la Poutine at St. Genevieve
The new French-inspired restaurant at 5003 Bryant Avenue in Minneapolis is the second from chef Steven Brown (who also has Linden Hills’ Tilia.) The bubbles flow freely from the bar and the menu is filled with beautiful comfort foods. No dish embodies all that is right in this world more than the tiny slices of tender potato, stacked up atop one another into fat fingers for the tastiest game of Pick-Up Sticks ever. Beneath the crispy, tender pave are nobs of squeaky fresh cheese draped in a light gravy. $8. St. Genevieve, 5003 Bryant Ave. S., Minneapolis, 612-353-4843

Swedish Meatballs at Upton 43
Another well-known chef and his second restaurant—this time Erick Harcey has branched out from Victory 44 and into Linden Hills. He draws inspiration from his grandfather and the food is Minnesota familiar in theory. I know I grew up eating my family recipe for cream gravy covered meatballs and while these are similar—they are done as only Harcey can do. The walnut sized meatballs are indeed topped with gravy and served alongside a cloud of potatoes and fried cucumbers. $26. Upton 43, 4312 Upton Ave. S., Minneapolis, 612-920-3406,

Smoke and Stormy at Scena Tavern
Okay, so it’s not really food, and that’s kind of cheating, but here’s one last holdover from my former weekly drinks blog. The bar is created by Bittercube Bitters and the cocktails are sophisticated without being overly frou-frou. This drink arrives smoking—it’s not just a clever name. Knob Creek Bourbon is mixed with Black Strap Rum, ginger beer, spritz of lime and served with a carefully arranged sliver of smoking cedar. The intoxicating perfume amplifies the oak cask notes of the bourbon and enlivens the spices in the rum while mellowing out the ginger zing of the ginger beer. $11. Scena Tavern, 2943 Girard Ave. S., Minneapolis, 612-200-8641,

Learn more about Joy and her dining compatriot Jason.

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