Just in time for the biggest dining night of the year, Bottle Rocket threw open its doors February 14. The location, just off of Fairview Avenue on St. Clair in St. Paul’s quiet Mac/Groveland was recently occupied by Scusi and is still under the same ownership of Blue Plate Company. Blue Plate, run by Stephanie Shimp and David Burley are best known for its casual neighborhoody eateries. There are a few things that haven’t changed, but there’s much to discover inside this freshly opened restaurant.
The restaurant has had a split layout since its first incarnation (as the original Heartland.) When diners walk in, you can either head straight into a long, narrow bar or hang a left into the airy dining room. Up until now, the address only held a beer and wine license, but with Bottle Rocket comes full booze. The cocktail list is full of classics with just a tiny twist, like beet and ginger agave in the margarita or a negroni with hibiscus-infused vermouth.
The restaurant is right on the busline, which is useful because this neighborhood can be a professional parallel parker challenge. There is an open air lot just down the block that Bottle Rocket shares with sibling restaurant Groveland Tap.
When to Go
The restaurant is open from 11:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. Monday through Thursday. 11:00 a.m. to midnight on Friday and open for brunch at 8:00 a.m. on the weekend.
What to Eat
Even though the hours say its open for lunch, Bottle Rocket is serving breakfast all day, every day with everything from a rice bowl to enchiladas to an egg salad sandwich on the menu. Dishes have a Southern flare with andouille sausage and pimento cheese popping up in a few places, but to simply call the dishes by a given name is far to pedestrian. Whoever wrote the menu was clearly having some kind of craven fun. The Coop Deville is a turkey sandwich. Supercharged Flashcracker Wings are apparently so mind-blowing that entirely new words needed to be invented and a take what we are guessing is ettouffee is titled “Stew-fay.”
Like all Blue Plate restaurants, this place is also kid friendly. The small-human menu contains the usual cast of cheeseburger characters and a mini steak dinner.