What: For a brief time in the autumn of 2013, Travail moved into an empty storefront in North Minneapolis and ran the most exciting dim sum party in the city had ever seen. After construction was completely on Travail 2.0 in downtown Robbinsdale, Umami was shuttered and faded into restaurant legend. Now, as Travail begins construction on its next location, the chef collective is bringing the good times back, this time in Minneapolis’ Lowry Hill neighborhood in the former Bradstreet/Rye Deli/Auriga space. With the fun times returns the with sum cart service and the gonzo stylings of a Travail tasting menu. Tickets will go on sale Monday November 19 to Travail members and open to the rest of us on Tuesday November 20.
There will also be a full bar will some dishes available for take out. That space will function much like the bar at the current Travail does.
Where: 1930 Hennepin Avenue Minneapolis
When: January and February
Cost: $85 for the tasting menu with optional $50 beverage pairings. Tickets are available here.
Why It’s Worth Your Dollars: For a while there was hope that UMAMI would stick around, but as the Travail team moved on to opening its main restaurant, the owners realized they had to focus on that task at hand. Diners and the chefs have missed this idea ever since. Expect the flavors and good times to come roaring back.
What: The lively Mexican restaurant from chefs Stephan Hesse and Tyge Nelson is throwing a birthday bash and inviting well-known friends to help out. Justin Carlisle of Milwaukee’s famed Ardent, Laughing Taco and Red Light Ramen will be cooking as will John Kraus, the very big deal chef and chocolate master of Patisserie 46 and the Rose Street Patisseries. Food will be a mix of tacos, ramen and likely some pretty crazy good desserts. Pajarito is also pairing with neighbor-brewers Bad Weather to create a special beer for the day.
Where: Pajarito 605 West 7th Street, Saint Paul
When: December 5 and 6, 4 pm to 10 pm
Cost: Menu items are a la cart, but tickets are required with a $20 deposit
Why it’s worth your dollars: Who doesn’t want to order party ramen with a side of birthday taco?
What: A fever dream of holiday spirit returns to Lawless Distilling. The pop-up feels like an LSD trip through It’s A Wonderful Life and with Lawless fresh off its champion win at the 2018 Iron Bartender the drinks, twinkle lights and jingle bells should be extra vivid this year.
Where: Lawless Distilling 2619 28th Avenue South, Minneapolis
When: November 23 through December 31
Cost: Price of cocktails
Why its worth your dollars: It’s the embodiment of hate-watching the Hallmark channel while drinking game of shots of Schnapps every time the characters have a light-hearted misunderstanding. (Double shots for mistaken identities.) Or maybe that’s just us. C’mon, it’s the holidays, you grinch! Get to drinking with friends.