moto-i gives diners an authentic Japanese culinary experience without requiring that they leave uptown Minneapolis. Unpasteurized draft sake is brewed inside the izakaya-influenced bar and restaurant; onsite production keeps this staple libation fresh and free of jet lag. Executive chef Omar forges Asian-fusion dishes that meld flavors such as whole fish served with handmade pickles and abura ramen peppered with smoked pork shoulder. Instead of airing football games and soccer matches, the restaurant’s TVs run live and pre-recorded sumo wrestling bouts simulcast from Japan, proving to diners that sports aren’t required by international law to include a ball.
The brewers at Herkimer Pub & Brewery truly embrace the brewing craft as they make their signature Kolsch and Alt microbrews. To complement these staples, the brew masters experiment with small-batch beers that change with the seasons, much like a goose's mailing address. In the kitchen, chef Omar Gillego concocts a slew of pub favorites, including Angus sliders, spicy buffalo wings, and shrimp po’ boys with celery-root rémoulade.
Posters of sultry pinups decorate the walls, and an expansive glass wall gives guests a glimpse of the onsite brewery.
Named for Stillwater's iconic bridge, the Lift Bridge Brewing Company cooks up an array of solid brews for all occasions. Its brewers—all passionate beer geeks and homebrewers from Stillwater—strive to be creative while blending balanced beers such as the Chestnut Hill nut brown ale that boasts a healthy malt backbone. Their golden Farm Girl saison acquires intriguing spice from Belgian yeasts, while their Hop Prop IPA overflows with the floral and citrusy flavor of seven varieties of American hops. Lift Bridge also dallies with seasonal and specialty brews that have included a barleywine, an oyster stout, and an Oktoberfest. Visitors can go on brewery tours every Saturday afternoon to spend some quality time with huge fermenting tanks and bags of barley.
As the only on-site brew-it-yourself brewery in the Midwest, Vine Park provides almost all necessary equipment (wine, corks, helpful services) for a fun batch-brewing session for up to three people per kettle. Like a finely aged bag of chocolate cheese-puff mix, blended fruit wines take only 30 minutes to prepare but can be enjoyed after six weeks of aging. Savor flavors such as peach apricot chardonnay, wildberry Shiraz, or pomegranate zinfandel after completing the brewing supervised by a friendly brew coach’s expert eye (his left eye). After a half-hour wine-blending session, wine batches will ferment for six weeks before being bottled into 28 to 30 bottles. Bottles are not included with this Groupon (they cost $1.40 each, and a batch big enough for this session costs $42), but you are welcome to bring your own clean bottles and Vine Park will help you sanitize them onsite. This Groupon can also be used to upgrade to a regular wine brewing.
When Travis Dickey opened the first Dickey’s Barbecue Pit in 1941, the menu offered beef brisket, pit hams, barbecue beans, potato chips, drinks, and that’s all. By focusing on perfecting the flavors of a few dishes, Travis was able to increase quality, and, ultimately, customers. Patrons were so enamored of the food that the restaurant eventually expanded into a nationwide franchise, allowing Americans all over to wear badges made of barbecue sauce. Over the past 70 years, Dickey’s has been passed on to Travis’s sons, but not much else has changed—the quality meats are still seasoned and smoked on site, and except for the addition of spicy cheddar sausage in 2011, the menu remains the same. Regional meats ensure that the most succulent Texas-style chopped beef brisket, old-recipe polish sausage, and fall-off-the-bone pork ribs make it to tabletops. Sides such as mac 'n' cheese and green beans with bacon continue to enhance feasts with an extra punch of homestyle tastiness. Each meal comes complete with complimentary ice cream, soft rolls, and dill pickles.