Lamb manti dumplings at Corner Table. Photo by Joy Summers.
Finally it’s warm outside! What are you doing behind those four walls? It’s time to get outside. Right now. Wait! Come back! Read this first, then go.
Dark Horse Patio
New patios are blooming all over town and it’s hard to know which one to race to first. Well, Lowertown might just be in possession of the very newest in the alley next to Dark Horse. The world cuisine and killer beer selection has been packing new fans in and this outdoor space will fill up fast once word gets out that they’ve opened (like—Monday. Really, it’s that new.) I’m heading over while there are still seats to snag. darkhorsebarandeatery.com
Corner Table’s lamb manti dumplings
Last week while at Corner Table, I was lucky enough to stumble into New York’s chef Michael White who was in town for a couple of nights to cook at Spoon and Stable’s special new Synergy Series dinner. While I stared at him (he’s oddly hypnotic after two glasses of wine), he happily dug into a meal alongside Gavin Kaysen, and what had to be a quadruple order of the new lamb manti appetizer—little gyro spiced meatballs are wrapped in a crust and floated atop a sea of spicy farmer’s cheese. They were so good and I was so distracted that I’m totally going back to order four more of my very own to savor. This time I swear I’m not going to stare at the other guests, and will only focus on my own beautiful plate of food. And maybe if I ask nicely, they’ll save me my favorite seat on the patio. cornertablerestaurant.com
BET Vodka and Lemonade
Sometimes, the outdoor patios are just a little too packed and I’m feeling a little too poor. That’s why I have a marginally stocked home bar that I turn to. As much as I love a fancy cocktail, a simple lemonade and vodka is quintessential summer in a glass. I was recently sent a sample of the new BET vodka (that’s beet—not like the TV network) and it’s fantastic: crisp, clean and an awesome summer sipper. It’s locally made from sugar beets which is so awesomely Minnesotan, I can barely stand it. betvodka.com