Bradstreet Crafthouse Restaurant

Kristen and I hadn’t met up in far too long, and we wanted to try a new venue, so we chose Bradstreet in the Graves 601 Hotel in downtown Minneapolis.

There were three seating areas. One was a row of tables and booths in the restaurant area, one was around the kitchen, and one was at the bar. We chose the bar, because we wanted to learn more about the way the drinks were made.

I had heard that they take their mixology very seriously, and do they ever. They had a row of medicine droppers and vials along the back of the bar, and the vials contained specially blended bitters. The row of bottles was unlike any other I’d seen. I recognized a few familiar names (Bombay Sapphire, Tanqueray), and many uncommon ones that I would soon come to love (hello, St. Germain liqueur).

I started with a Pimm’s Cup (Pimms #1, Lime, Tanqueray Gin, Mint, Cucumber, Strawberry), while Kristen opted for the Juliet & Romeo (Plymouth, Lime, Mint, Cucumber, Rose Water).  The drinks were fresh and aromatic. To drink at Bradstreet is an experience, from the way the bartenders mix the cocktails, to the visually pleasing presentation, to the unique smells and tastes of the cocktails. They have elevated mixology to an art form.

They are generous with the samples, too. One of the bartenders was creating a new drink for fall, and we tested it for him. It was delicious and whiskey-based — smoky and spicy with a creamy finish, even though there was no cream in the drink. Kristen said it tasted like the smell of the air when people are burning leaves.

For our next round, Kristen got the Black Walnut Old Fashioned (Bulleit Bourbon, Demerara Syrup, Nux Alpina Black Walnut Liqueur, House Orange Bitters), while I had the Son of a Preacher (a bunch of tasty stuff topped with absinthe). Both drinks were served in old fashioned glasses, with a giant sphere of ice in the middle. The large piece of ice serves two purposes: 1. For us to spin really fast while the bartenders finish making the rest of the drinks and 2. It melts more slowly, so it keeps the drink cool without watering it down.

For food, we had the Spicy Marcona Almonds with paprika, the crab cakes with honey fillo, and the spicy lamb sliders. Everything was delicately prepared and delicious. The almonds were a great starter and very flavorful. The crab cakes were seared to form the slightest crispy crust on the outside, and the honey fillo complemented the crab perfectly. The lamb sliders were incredible, and so were the fries and house-made ketchup.

We finished with dessert drinks. I was all set to order the Cooper’s Union (made with my new favorite St. Germain liqueur, which tastes like lychee), when the bartender stopped me and said he’d make me something else. The result was one of the most amazing drinks I’ve ever had in my life. He called it the Girls Can Tell (after an album by Spoon), and it contained strawberry, grapefruit, St. Germain, bitters, special bitters, and club soda. It was fresh and complex and herby and fruity and wonderful. And the cool thing is, if he were to make it again, it would turn out slightly different, so it was like lightning in a bottle (only much more tasty and less life-threatening).

We chatted briefly with a woman from Chicago. She ordered Amstel Lights because she had a presentation to give in the morning. We asked the bartenders if anyone ever came in and ordered rum and Coke. They said people did, but often they hear it’s the best rum and Coke the customer has ever had. They use small bottles of Coke, which tastes different (and better) than Coke from a can or gun.

The evening went far too quickly, even though we were there for five and a half hours. This is my new favorite bar and I can’t wait to return (especially if Ethan and Birk are working).


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3 Responses to “Bradstreet Crafthouse Restaurant”

  1. Dave Lifton Says:

    Thanks for mentioning lychee. Reminded me of another classic FHBM moment.

  2. Stephen Says:

    Funny blog Michelle. I was catching up on old FHBM and heard it mentioned. One question, how did you come up ith the name? I used to listen to a great sportstalk announcer in the 80’s called Anita Martini. I believe she was one of the first woman to have such a role. Is it one in the same?
    Back to Vegas in a month, so you and what’s his name may hear from me on your other hobby.
    Keep up the good (funny) work.

    (Pile of Shit-Stirrer)

  3. Michele Says:

    Oh Sterling Brunch, how I miss you and your lychee…

    Pinata Massengill was already taken, so I chose the other name. I haven’t done any research to see if anyone else has the name– it’s just been my nickname on a variety of sites (mostly Twitter).

    Thanks for the kind words, and thanks for stopping by!

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