First Look: Hammer & Sickle in Uptown

Categories: Now Open
Hammer_Sickle_door.JPG
Joy Summers
Step inside here for vodka and vareniki
The sleek space has no sign, but the red door with the hammer and sickle handle makes it easy to spot this new Russian-influenced hot spot sandwiched between Bar Abilene and the Lagoon Cinema in Uptown. Dim lights flicker as shots are tipped back, plates of food float past, and music pumps overhead. This is the new Hammer & Sickle.

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Joy Summers
A glimpse of the red-toned glitz
The cocktail list is filled with cleverly named mixed drinks like the Siberian Sunrise and Vladimir's Magic Hangover Cure. The prices aren't marked, but stay in the $10 range. 

We sampled the Miracle on Ice, a mix of Bulleit Rye, simple syrup, and cherry bitters, topped with a bit of orange peel and a Maraschino cherry, like an Old Fashioned. The taste, however, was all sweet and no meat -- the rye was lost to the crunchy sugar crystals at the bottom of the glass.

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Joy Summers
A Miracle and a Mule

A Moscow Mule was similarly sweet with a kick of bitter ginger beer. It was served in the proper traditional cup, but we'd hoped for a more conventional cocktail taste. 

We probably ought to have ordered one of the vodka flights for $20 or the Hammer & Sickle Flight for $25 that boasts Hammer & Sickle vodka, Ketel One, Referent, and Tito's. Several shots of booze are available in three different tiers from $6 to $8. (For $8 you can get a shot of Chambord.)

If you eschew the hard stuff, Hammer & Sickle offers wines and beers ranging from a $5 Miller Lite to $250 Dom Perignon.

The menu includes small plates, caviar flights, meat and veggie skewers, and entrees that vary daily. There are also the typical Russian foods you might expect, such as borscht and pickled fish, as well as traditional pierogi.
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Joy Summers

We sampled the Comrade pierogi, dense dough packed with mashed potato and cheese, topped with caramelized onion and smoky bacon, and served with a side of not one, but two sour creams and a bit of vinegar. For $10, these make a filling snack.

They also have more creative flavors, with some not-so-politically-correct names, like the Cholo with chorizo sausage, and the Chernobyl with "potato, ground beef, 3-chile relish, sour cream, and tears..." 

Hammer & Sickle makes it easy for diners to graze through the menu and fill their bellies with vodka flights and substantial dishes, but if you'd rather a light bite, the shashlik are simple skewers of meat and vegetables that won't cause you to bust a seam.

They're currently serving happy hour every day from 4 to 7 p.m. and again from 10 p.m. to midnight. Soon they'll open even earlier for weekend brunch.

Hammer & Sickle
1300 Lagoon Ave., Minneapolis

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28 comments
derricktsweet
derricktsweet

The food is different, and very good.  bartenders are people pleasers who make strong drinks.  Its something different and definitely worth checking out.  

Eric Williams
Eric Williams

I will enjoy ironically appropriating commie chic ("another shot of vodka, comrade!") almost as much as I'll enjoy watching the owner be put up against the wall when the glorious revolution comes to our fair city!

merteselle
merteselle

Although I enjoyed your review- I beg to differ on one point- cocktails were FANTASTIC! Moscow Mule- Smirnoff Vodka, lime and Ginger Beer = hands down a favorite drink of mine! Perfectly balanced and refreshing! Miracle On Ice = SO TASTY- had to remind myself to take it easy!! I'll definitely be back to enjoy more and try everything on the menu!

Kayla Fuller
Kayla Fuller

Interesting. I'd try it at least once. I wonder if their borcht is as good as my great grandmothers. The concept of it isn't something I'd assume everyone would be keen on. For example I don't know if I'd take my grandfather there... his parents fled the Bolsheviks for a reason.

Christian Johnson
Christian Johnson

That place looks lame and it has nothing to do with the sign

Blake Anderson
Blake Anderson

They tried to charge me for booze! I shouted that they were capitalist pigs and promptly flipped my table, with over 4000$ worth of Crystal Champagne on it, onto the floor and walked out without paying my check.

Rose Karner
Rose Karner

Eastern European shit in uptown.? More vodka? I'm in.

Braden Lee
Braden Lee

They served me old dry limes in my drink. Twice. Never going back

John Lilja
John Lilja

Looks like a private Russian mob club. Keep out!

JL1969
JL1969

For anyone looking for good Russian food, Moscow On The Hill is in St Paul.  Their food is Excellent!

Angela Licciardi
Angela Licciardi

Its in that dead zone where all the suburban 20 somethings like to hang out and wreck uptown. pass

ayirad
ayirad

This place is not simply politically incorrect. It is incredibly distasteful and offensive. Naming a dish "Chernobyl" and making puns about it containing tears is like naming a sushi roll "Hiroshima" or a stack of pancakes "The Twin Towers". I grew up in Ukraine and remember this event occuring. It continues to affect people's lives, resulting in incredibly high rates of cancers, especially among children. Shame of the owners of this place making jokes about it by naming their pretentious un-authentic food after such a thing.

Josh Belmore
Josh Belmore

Well I guess that makes up for the use and proliferation of a symbol and culture that stands for and is the product of immeasurable human suffering and countless atrocities..... but I digress.

Leah Bonine
Leah Bonine

Actually, the inside is modern and sleek. They do serve food. It's good. And i thought both the moscow mule and siberian sunrise were good drinks. The staff is very nice and i'm excited to see what brunch is like, thinking about going to the new year's day one.

Josh Belmore
Josh Belmore

let me guess, plenty of Stalin portraits? They have a menu but don't actually serve any food.... you just sit there starving. Drinks are priced according to ones ability to that of another's needs?

jonmpls
jonmpls

I have an idea for a restaurant/bar: let's name it after a regime that murdered tens of millions of it's own citizens! #StayClassy

mingtran
mingtran topcommenter

"Cholo" is politically incorrect? Embarassed for you.

ChazDanger
ChazDanger topcommenter

@mingtranHow are you wrong on everything you post on this site?!?!?!

mingtran
mingtran topcommenter

You must not know what "cholo" means. Just stick to making doll clothes for your pug, ya wanker.

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