Earlier this year, our friends over at Bodega Ltd. released A Stylist’s Guide to Minneapolis + St. Paul, a perfectly sized pocket book and a must-read for visitors and locals alike looking to unearth some hidden Twin Cities treasures. It prompts those far to venture near and those native to never want to leave. Here’s a preview of what readers can expect.
Where to Eat
Unearthly service. Generally operating on some higher plane of restaurant existence. French elegance without a trace of snoot. Sunday brunch at the bar is just so, so… SO pleasurably civilized. Say yes to the Champagne. It’s Sunday; you can take a nap later. 739 Lake St. E., Wayzata
Where to Drink
The Commodore Bar & Restaurant
An over-the-top art deco time capsule created by Hollywood set designer Werner Wittkamp in the 1930s to resemble a transatlantic ocean liner. Scott Fitzgerald got drunk here and lived in the hotel above, and there is everywhere a Gatsby-ish teetering on the edge of good and bad taste that is never less than delicious. You feel instantly a little richer, wittier and better looking when you walk in. Feel free to use the word “darling.” 79 Western Ave. N., St. Paul
Where to Shop for Clothing
Hackwith Design House
Lisa Hackwith reimagined the concept of cottage industry in the Twin Cities and maybe even nationally. She operates her brand, HDH, which designs, manufactures and sells thousands of garments each year, with an awesome, mostly female staff. She’s an all-around (understated) badass.
What happens when architects are also fashion designers? You have Martha and Dan, also known as MAD, the minds behind Scarfshop, a collection of naturally dyed organic cotton, alpaca and wool scarves.
Where to Shop for Food and Wine
Known for the seriousness of their wine selection and the arch silliness of their proprietor, the irrepressible, impossible-not-to-love Chuck Kanski. Also known as one of the first local shops to take rosé seriously and to offer a for-real selection of good rosé from around the world. Their annual May rosé tasting in a tent next to the shop is a can’t-miss. 517 Selby Ave., St. Paul
Surdyk’s Liquor & Cheese Shop
If you’ve never been to Europe, Surdyk’s cheese shop is about as close as Minneapolis gets. If you have been to Europe, Surdyk’s is like a methadone cure for your acute withdrawal symptoms. Also a stylist’s dream for interesting packaging and sophisticated condiments (like when your client is a snooty chef). Also (and underrated) one of the best selections of Mediterranean olives in town. Also, a perfectly selected charcuterie/salami case. And of course — all of the cheeses that matter. And people behind the counter who know all about them. 303 E. Hennepin Ave., Minneapolis
Where to Shop for Home Goods
The Foundry Home Goods
What you do at Foundry Home Goods is place yourself in the hands of Anna, then you walk among handmade ceramics and Japanese textiles and feel grateful for the elevated ease of her vision. Also, you pet the shop dogs, Turnip, Ruby and Detective, who wander the store like the least threatening security guards ever. 322 W. 48th St., Minneapolis
A Collection of Peculiarities
Wabasha Street Caves
One of those wonderfully weird, irreproducible places. John Dillinger and gangster hangout. Former speakeasy. Former mushroom farm. At one time, the conditions here, almost identical to the caves of Roquefort, made St. Paul a likely candidate for the largest producer of blue cheese in the country. (What?) Gangster tours on Saturdays. Naturally. 215 Wabasha St. S., St. Paul