|A new type of tiki drink|
Let us consider the tiki drink. The flavors are often as novel as the glassware. Pineapple, coconut, rum, syrup mix: cute, but nothing you haven't had (and likely regretted later.) Now, take yourself into the new Torpedo Room, the tiki bar at Eat Street Social, and find that everything you thought you knew was dead wrong.
"When tiki drinks were created, those bartenders were taking everything that was going on in cocktails and re-inventing it -- just like we're doing with craft cocktails now," explains Marco Zappia. He's one of the mixologists manning the bar and the man throwing the flames.
|The man behind the flame: Marco Zappia, we're calling him Don Fuego|
The bar was originally planned for outside the restaurant on the patio. After facing several delays, Eat Street Social's owners, including giant of the local bartending world, Nick Kosevich, decided to bring the bar indoors. They took over their private party area, a room to the right of the dining room and bar, and converted it into a dimly lit island paradise.
One of our first sips was a taste of their house-infused spiced rum. It's a heady mix of spices, distinctive dry herbs, vanilla, and a far cry from the sickly sweet variety that lurks behind most bars.
The drinks follow suit from bright, light refreshers to drinks that challenge the drinker's palate. Each drink was filled with crafted ingredients made from scratch, in house.
For these few days we have left where the mercury threatens to bubble out of the temperature gauge, it's easy to imagine tucking into this room adorned with a giant marlin, tiki gods and a grass thatched bar roof (which we were assured, several times, is flame retardant).
|Sno-cones for grown-ups|
A sultry day like today calls for one of their boozy sno-cones (they are also available in non-alcoholic form). The Nectar is blushing pink, with hints of creamy almond, spiked with Cognac, and topped with a brandied cherry.
Although the drink is far from Polynesian, a mint julep makes perfect sense as a sno-cone, crushed ice is doused in sugar-sweetened bourbon and garnished with a shrub's worth of mint.
The food menu is still in development, but we were offered a first taste of steamed buns stuffed with their riff on Spam. There are likely more surprises in store inside this new spot.
The Torpedo Room is open every day at 6 p.m. inside Eat Street Social.
18 W. 26th St., Minneapolis, MN