First Look: Lake & Irving

Categories: Now Open
Joy Summers
Now open in Uptown

They've been teasing Facebook fans for weeks with construction updates and tantalizing photos of food. Now, Lake & Irving is finally open, and you can head to this hotly anticipated Uptown eatery and get a sample for yourself.

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Owned by brothers Chris and Andrew Ikeda, this comfortable new spot is located just off the intersection of -- you guessed it -- Lake Street and Irving Avenue.

Joy Summers
Setting the bar
The room is unrecognizable as the one-time Einstein Brother's Bagels (or Blue Sky Ice Cream). It's open and cozy with an easy view of the open kitchen. There is a full bar where they offer several takes on classic cocktails done up with a little extra class. A martini is mixed with Hayman's Old Tom gin, Imbue bittersweet vermouth, and an olive. An Old Fashioned is made with Highwest Double Rye, cane sugar, a little Angostura bitters, and the requisite orange. Most drinks are $9, although that Old Fashioned will set you back $12.

Joy Summers
Warming the cockles of our hearts
For a non-boozey and caffeine free drink, we sampled a house made "tea." They take the lemongrass simple syrup the house makes for their salad dressing and mix it with warm water. Throw in a tart lemon wedge and you have a sweet way to stave off the chill with added cold fighting benefits for just $2.
Joy Summers
Lox and potato salad
Lake & Irving is open for lunch and dinner throughout the week and adds a brunch service on the weekend. One of the first dishes we sampled was a creamy fingerling potato salad topped with tender slices of salmon lox -- a lush little snack for $6.

Joy Summers
Fried chicken sandwich inspired by a childhood favorite
The buttermilk battered chicken sandwich was inspired by a dish the boys loved to order at Perkin's when they were kids. It's been put through the fine-dining mill and the resulting mash up is crispy fried chicken breast sandwiched between cheese and Patisserie 46 sourdough, topped with slices of Duroc pork bacon for $12. Unfortunately, the chicken slid out naked from its crusty breading confines, but it was tasty enough to keep tucking back in for another bite.

Joy Summers
That's a big burger
The cheeseburger was actually two smaller patties of Pat La Frieda beef, cooked medium well, encased in gooey cheddar, and topped with bacon and a zesty sauce. The Patisserie 46 bun ate more like a croissant, with buttery, flaky layers. The fries were crispy fried potato perfection. With the bacon add-on, this burger comes to $13.

The food was approachable and familiar with a few unexpected twists. Brussels sprouts are fried with white soy, olive oil, and togarashi (which just happens to be naturally gluten-free). There are little nods to Hawaii and wine-country eating, but the basics are very Minnesota.

Lake & Irving
1513 West Lake Street
Minneapolis, MN 55408
(612) 354-2453
Hours: 11 a.m. to 1 a.m. Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 1 a.m. Saturday and Sunday

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