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."

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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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World Street Kitchen's daily happy hour means two beers and guac for under $10

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Marsha Trainer
A beacon of cheap happy hour snacks and drafts in Lyn-Lake

It's great to sit out on the big picnic tables in front of World Street Kitchen and watch the cars whiz by on Lyndale Avenue. Why? Because there's tons of tasty grub a mere counter away and you know it's much wiser to stay put at Sameh Wadi's casual eatery than to speed off somewhere.

And with happy hour happening twice a day, there's even more reason to hit up WSK this summer.

See also:
World Street Kitchen is a tasty winner


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What Hola Arepa's Dan Oskey and Birk Stefan Grudem are sipping this summer

Categories: Cocktails

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Marsha Trainer
Dan and Birk work well together at Hola Arepa

With summer at the height of its powers and our thirst for refreshing cocktails nearly unquenchable, Hot Dish introduces the first installment of a series in which we ask local bartenders, "What's in your glass?"

To kick it off with a bang, we spoke to Dan Oskey and Birk Stefan Grudem of the hugely successful Hola Arepa. Oskey is the new restaurant's resident barman and Grudem runs the place with his fiancée, Christina Nguyen. Back in the day, this duo tended bar together at Longfellow Grill.

See also:
Hola Arepa blooms in south Minneapolis


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Happy hour at Hola Arepa: Killer food, cheap beer, and a charming patio

Categories: Cocktails

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Benjamin Carter Grimes
Snacks and drinks at Hola Arepa
You made it to the end of the week.

And now, to paraphrase the wisdom and conviction of the lady from the Watson's commercials: It's hot and you need a drink. So we at the Hot Dish have taken it upon ourselves to recommend a good happy hour.

To kick things off, we're outlining the best deals at a cheery little place with killer food and a nice neighborhood patio.

See Also:
Top 10 Happy Hours in the Twin Cities


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Not just for caffeine addicts: Lowry Hill Dunn Bros. introduces cocktails, wine, and beer

Categories: Cocktails, Coffee

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Courtesy of Dunn Bros.

Sanjeev and Loveleen Azad, owners of the new Dunn Bros. location near Hennepin and 25th, wanted to create a coffee shop that fits the feel of their neighborhood. The end result is less chain coffeeshop and more wine bar meets cocktail bar meets neighborhood hangout.

See also:
Muddy Pig and Pig and Fiddle team up on a brewery tour of Surly, Steel Toe, and 612

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Are cocktail rooms the next taprooms?

Categories: Cocktails

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Joy Summers

Let's paint a scene: You enter a bar and grab a seat. You're handed a copy of the latest menu, hot off the press. As you peruse the menu, you notice a variety of choice cocktails crafted from house-made liquors. You make your choice, order, sit back and revel in a refined experience designed with a focus on craft-made, small-batch booze. Welcome to a Twin Cities cocktail room.

See also:
Local Spirits: A look at Twin Cities micro-distillers

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Why we hate "His and Hers" drinks

Categories: Cocktails
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Joy Summers
Keep your gender binary out of my cocktail.
When we first visited the Freehouse back in January, our initial impression was less than glowing. Maybe a lot less. Since then the brewpub has been fine-tuning the things it does best: appetizers (the hard cider-battered cheese curds with quince jam disappeared very quickly at a recent happy hour), brunch, and drinks. The Freehouse's cocktails have proved to be a pleasant surprise, including signature breakfast drink the Wake-Up Call. The bar program has a strong enough point of view to differentiate itself in a neighborhood that has a high standard for beverage trends.

But there's one thorn we just weren't able to ignore, one thing that made us think much too long and hard about liquor and ice and garnish in a glass -- an experience that should be enjoyable rather than infuriating. We're talking about the His and Hers Old Fashioneds. 

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