Innovative Drinks from Rainbow Chinese? Yep, This Eat Street Darling Shakes It Up

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Danielle McFarland
Jimmy (left) tasting with his best friend since fourth grade, Eu-k Hua, who is chef/owner Tammy Wong's son and also works at Rainbow

Jimmy Vongsouvanh works the shoe box-sized back bar of Rainbow Chinese, poised and dressed in a way that elevates the image of a young bartender. Vest-clad with a touch of hipster, he rocks a slicked-back '90s skater coiffure as he warmly greets patrons sidling up to the eight-seat bar. He wins them over with no forced laughter. His mild demeanor and perceptiveness speak to the attention he puts into mixing each drink.

See also:
Eat Street Social's Marco Zappia Wants This Simple But Perfect Gin Martini

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Introducing Cocktailian: An Evening of Craft Cocktails, Edibles, and Live Music

Categories: Cocktails, Events

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Shoring up a year of food-centric events (get your Iron Fork tickets while you still can), City Pages is introducing a celebration dedicated to the art of craft cocktails and fine spirits. Cocktailian will take over the Varsity Theater on December 11, and presale tickets are available now.

See also:
Don Saunders on Climbing the Ranks, Opening the Kenwood, and Training for Iron Fork


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Eat Street Social's Marco Zappia Wants This Simple But Perfect Gin Martini

Categories: Cocktails


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Marsha Trainer
Marco Zappia enjoys a simple but perfect drink at Eat Street Social

Marco Zappia can astound you with a very detailed -- borderline obsessive -- discussion about deconstructing the elements of a cocktail. As part of Eat Street Social and local bitters company Bittercube, he's deep into the process of creating oleo-citrates, which arose because of the great lime crisis of 2014. Now they are on the latest Eat Street cocktail menu that came out this week (check out the Maleficent). Suffice it to say they are a really complex way to replace the citrus in your tiki bar selections.

If you'd like to discuss the vagaries of extracting flavor profiles from classic libations or how to reverse engineer lime juice, he's your man. But despite all the seemingly highbrow talk, he's a rather egalitarian guy. He likes a simple drink made from his favorite spirit.

See also:
Best Bartender Minneapolis 2014 - Marco Zappia of Eat Street Social


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Bird Bath at the Third Bird Is a Margarita for Scotch Lovers

Categories: Cocktails

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David McCrindle
Get down and dirty in this Bird Bath

Bird Bath at the Third Bird
$12

We confirmed that Kim Bartmann's the Third Bird is a worthy new tenant in the revolving door of restaurants that have made their home along Loring Park (look for a full review next week). It has a prevalent bar area, views overlooking the park, and a hip, laid-back sort of ambience. We decided to evaluate how well the Bird caters to those customers who just want to drink solo.

See also:
5 new(ish) brunches to change your weekend routine


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Marvel Bar's Tyler Kleinow Gives Us the Scoop on Where to Drink After Work

Categories: Cocktails

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The man, his bar, his drinks and his Big Buck card

Isn't Marvel Bar swell? And one of the reasons it's so awesome is the drink stylings of Tyler Kleinow, the regional winner of this year's Bombay Sapphire/GQ Most Imaginative Bartender contest. The Hot Dish paid him a visit the day before he flew off to Vegas to compete in the quarterfinals, to find out what he's imbibing these days. He gave us an earful -- not just about what he's drinking but also where to find a real bartender's bartender.

See also:
Best Cocktails 2014 Minneapolis - Marvel Bar

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The Marché happy hour: Just drink deals but still swanky

Categories: Cocktails


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Marsha Trainer
Marche's marble counter is the site of some happy, happy hour deals

Marché debuted this summer in Uptown and has maintained a fairly low profile. It's a bright, classy space with a marble counter that offers up breakfast and lunch, plus beverages that span all tastes -- espresso, craft sodas, wine, beer, drinks, and even bottled cocktails.

The patio and the pastries are admittedly lovely, but Marché for happy hour? It may seem an unlikely spot to unwind after work and yet, upon getting a cool glass of wine and a savory grilled cheese, the drink deals feel a little like the cherry on top of a swank sundae.

See also:
Marché does a quick breakfast and simple, elegant lunch in Lyn-Lake

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Parlour's Jesse Held shows us the next hot thing with a sipper & shot

Categories: Cocktails


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Marsha Trainer
Jesse Held's seemingly serious pouring technique - flawless!

Jesse Held has a packed schedule. His daily duties often start with getting his two daughters on the school bus around 8:30 a.m. and frequently keep him on the go until 3 a.m. He may only have two shifts a week behind a bar, but he's expertly managing the beverage programs at many establishments: Parlour, Borough, Coup d'Etat, and the new Marché (yes, it has cocktails).

Lucky for us, he's not too busy to reveal what's wetting his whistle as summer wanes. So get ready for the latest edition of What's in your glass? Held not only shows his deftness with a delicate quaff but also introduces us to the next hot thing. Hint: It's a twofer you don't want to miss.

See also:
Best Bartender Minneapolis 2012 - Jesse Held at Eat Street Social

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Enjoy the view and the rice balls at Louis Ristorante's happy hour

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Marsha Trainer
A range of happy hour dining options

If you ever worry that you're missing out on the charms of downtown St. Paul, we're here to help. Let us remind you of things like the roof deck at Louis Ristorante, an amazing spot where you can admire both the Cathedral of St. Paul and the rice balls and still get a deal on your drink.

During these fleeting days of summer, don't you deserve a happy hour that gives you a buzz with a view?

See also:
Louis Ristorante aims to revive St. Paul


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Wander North Distillery opens with Outpost Vodka launch

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Tammy Kimbler
We've got spirits, yes we do.

Riding the wave of new micro-distilleries opening after the 2011 Minnesota micro-distillery law, Wander North Distillery opened for business last Wednesday with a ribbon cutting ceremony and launch of their first spirit, Outpost Vodka. Owner Brian Winter cut the ceremonial ribbon with city councilman Kevin Reich. "Being in northeast Minneapolis is fantastic," says Winter. "The synergy and collaboration here is phenomenal."

See also:
Brasserie Zentral's Trish Gavin shares her favorite shot/chaser combination

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Brasserie Zentral's Trish Gavin shares her favorite shot/chaser combination

Categories: Cocktails

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Marsha Trainer
Trish Gavin 'tending at Brasserie Zentral

The bar at Brasserie Zentral is a great place to enjoy a well-made cocktail in a decidedly non-rock 'n' roll atmosphere. And that suits bartender Trish Gavin to a T. She's more than happy to preside over a bar that caters to adults where you can make pleasant conversation over Old Fashioneds without having to yell or worry about stepping in something sticky.

Yes, she'll make you a delicious Frueling Negroni or Garden Gimlet, but we're turning the tables. What about Trish herself -- what the heck is she drinking these days? That's what the intrepid Hot Dish went downtown to find out in this edition of "What's in your glass?"

See also:
Brasserie Zentral's new spin on Old World cuisine

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