Home for the 'Paulidays'
The city of St. Paul is branding the holiday season with a tourist-beckoning lineup of fun, including GLOW at CHS Field and the lovely twinkle lights at Rice Park. Here are a few highlights where there might be something fun to eat:
Look for multiple events at Union Depot's Hub for the Holidays, from the Polar Express to the European Christmas Market, which features 70 unique vendors offering handmade crafts and delightful treats (214 E. 4th St., St. Paul, uniondepot.org).
Cue Schroeder: The Amsterdam is hosting a live playing of Vince Guaraldi's "Charlie Brown Christmas" soundtrack. You can even dance along and get an order of those onion-y fries (6 W. 6th St., St. Paul, amsterdambarandhall.com).
Can Can Wonderland is all decked out in the dazzling and the kitsch with a Winter Wonderland installation. Meet Buddy the Elf or bring your dollars for a family-friendly "Soul Christmas" drag performance, taking everything wonderful about the season over the top. (755 Prior Av., St. Paul, cancanwonderland.com).
Apostle Supper Club, the 1960s-style supper club in downtown St. Paul (253 Kellogg Blvd., apostlesupperclub.com) with the ski-chalet themed fire pit, has dolled up the dining room with more Christmas trees than you can shake a conifer stick at. The restaurant group is also raising money for families in need; sponsor a happy holiday for those who need help putting something under the tree this year.
From Red Cow to the Red Nose Room
The Uptown location of Red Cow (2626 Hennepin Av. S., Mpls., redcowmn.com) is now the Red Nose Room through Jan. 7. Celebrate the season with holiday lights, music and 12 special holiday cocktails, mocktails and beers created by beverage director and co-owner Ian Lowther. (With holiday glassware, of course.) Examples include a peppermint espresso martini slushie and the Abominable Snowman to a Merry Spritzmas and an N/A mint-espresso martini. The Red Nose Room is open for walk-ins 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Tue.-Thu., 11 a.m.-11 p.m. Fri., 10 a.m.-11 p.m. Sat., and 10 a.m.-10 p.m. Sun.
The grinchiest of celebrations
Grinch's Lair, Hotel Emery's Wholiday Pop-up Bar in downtown Minneapolis, is based on the premise that the Grinch has journeyed to the Midwest. The festive cocktail menu includes a pear and pomegranate cosmo named for Cindy Lou Who, a gingerbread-spiced martini honoring Max the Reindeer and more. The Seussian celebration kicks off Dec. 1 and runs through Jan. 7. Grinch's Lair is also available for private bookings.
That's not where tinsel feelings end. Guests are invited to bring a new, unwrapped toy to donate to the Twin Cities Toy Drive and get a token of appreciation in return. Hotel Emery is at 215 S. 4th St., Mpls.; more info and reservations at thegrinchslair.com. It's a 21-plus event.
A Basement holiday vacation
Travail Kitchen and Amusements is already on a Holiday Vacation at its festive Basement Bar. A festive cocktail adventure is paired with a multicourse tasting meal showcasing Pan-Asian and Polynesian-inspired cuisine. The party has already started, but continues through Jan. 6 with seatings at 5:45 and 8 p.m. Tickets start at $69; make reservations at travailkitchen.com/holidaybar. Travail is at 4134 Hubbard Av. N., Robbinsdale.
Welcome to Tinseltown
The dedicated Christmas bar pop-up Tinseltown is coming to O'Donovan's Irish Pub (700 1st Av. N., Mpls.) Nov. 24 through Dec. 30. Expect Santa's elves, festive music, wintry drinks and, of course, tinsel, tunes and lots of wintery drinks (nonalcoholic drinks are available; let the team know when you arrive). Hours are 5:30-11 p.m. Wed.-Fri. and 11 a.m.-10:30 p.m. Sat.-Sun. Tickets to enter are $15 and include 90 minutes of holiday cheer. The event is 21-plus; there will be family-friendly (and mocktail-only) times, too. Get tickets at tinyurl.com/jxws93v4.
It's a Miracle
It's a holly, jolly menu of holiday cocktails and themed mugs at this year's Miracle pop-up, which is moving to Pinz in Oakdale (7520 32nd St. N.). The jingle bells start ringing Nov. 24 and won't stop until Jan. 5. Expect over-the-top decor and a cocktail menu with cheeky names like Christmapolitan, Rudolph's Replacement and the Krampus. Hours are 4-11 p.m. Mon. and Thu., 4-10 p.m. Tue.-Wed., noon-midnight Fri., 10 a.m.-midnight Sat., 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Sun. Make your reservation at tripleshift.com/pinz/ or by calling 651-770-8000. Tickets are $20 and include a souvenir glass and a two-hour time slot. A portion of glassware sales will be donated to Seva Foundation, a global nonprofit eye care organization.
Feast at Nicollet Island Inn
The historic Nicollet Island Inn (95 Merriam St., Mpls.) is holding a three-course Feast of St. Nic Dinner at the Nic on Dec. 6. Start with a St. Nicholas soup, continue with your choice of entree — mustard-coated pork tenderloin, sautéed red snapper with crabcake, or freshly made tagliatelle with asparagus and roasted artichokes in a mushroom cream sauce — and end on a sweet note with chocolate-covered currant shortbread with chocolate mousse. Cost is $60 per person; make your reservation at nicolletislandinn.com.