Bourbon and Baker

I took the kids to Kansas this week and it’s always fun to check out the new places that have opened in my hometown. I especially love to visit downtown – it always seems like there is something new and fun opening up – and this trip was no different. Of course, what’s new to me isn’t new to the locals, and Bourbon and Baker has been open for about a year or so. It definitely has a bar feel when you walk in, and considering that bourbon is the biggest word on the menu, it was clear that I needed to start with a bourbon cocktail. Really, it would be offensive to consider anything less. It’s a good thing that my dad was driving – because I was having a Brown Derby at 11:45 this morning. I love vacation.

This is how to start lunch.

The theme of the restaurant is southern and midwestern soul food served small plate style, so it’s fun to try a bunch of different things. We ordered a pretty wide variety – ribs, red beans and rice, vegetable ceviche, chicken and a biscuit, brussels sprouts, pulled pork quesadilla, strawberry balsamic bruschetta, deviled eggs – and set out to discover our favorites. No surprise – we all liked different things.  Continue reading

Spoon and Stable

I recently had dinner with some college friends who were in town celebrating their birthdays. When they texted the restaurant, there was no way I could pass it up. Spoon and Stable is a fairly new establishment in the North Loop of Minneapolis and it’s getting a lot of press….and another notch on my James Beard nominee list. My friend joked that she had an easier time getting into French Laundry – and considering we had an 8:30 reservation on a Sunday night, she wasn’t kidding. I had to double check my Monday morning alarm carefully as the kids were starting drama camp – and believe me, I’d see drama if we were late.

This was my second time at Spoon and Stable – I had been there for a work event for Jeff, so it was in a private dining area with a selected menu. Don’t get me wrong, it was absolutely delicious and I’m still thinking about the brown butter foam, but it’s not exactly the type of environment the invites the inner foodie to rejoice. From Jeff: “You’re not going to pull out your phone for pictures, are you?” Message received. But with friends – we were seated prime time in the dining room with a view of a kitchen and of the chef himself. Let us rejoice.  Continue reading