Chorizo, chihuahua cheese, lemongrass, and bamboo shoots are equally at home in Señor Wong’s kitchen, where executive chef Cody Monson fills the menu with Asian Mexican fusion plates. Tacos topped with barbacoa or smoky black beans join entrees such as szechwan steak stir-fry served with jasmine rice. Señor Wong also pairs more traditional bar bites, such as what the Star Tribune thinks “might be the best sweet potato fries in town,” with 18 draft craft beers from breweries such as Surly Brewing Co. and Summit Brewing Company. Weekly special events such as trivia and karaoke further foster the laid-back pub vibe, as patrons can sample sakes or sing lullabies to the Yuzo Sour Baby cocktail, which mixes rye whiskey, sour mix, egg whites, and lemon-peel essence.
Focusing on fare sourced locally from family farms, the WA Frost menu features dishes dictated by the growing calendar and micromanaging harvest gods. For the nonce, you can sample small-plate selections such as homemade rutabaga gnocchi tossed with Brussels-sprout petals, Parmesan, sage, pancetta, and truffle syrup ($8.50), and marinated diver sea scallops bedded in a grapefruit, apple, and radicchio salad with verjus vinaigrette ($9.50). Grilled sustainable Wisconsin rainbow trout ($21), monkfish chioppino ($25), and Norwegian grilled salmon with black trumpet mushrooms and cabbage ($24) all star in WA Frost's featured dinner entrees, with assists from collard greens and smoked ham hock, vegetable mélange, or Yukon Gold potato puree ($6 each). Follow up the feast with a sophisticated sweet ending like the organic carrot cake ($6.75) mounted with chevre-cream-cheese mousse. WA Frost also boasts an impressive wine list with a strong representation of Bordeaux, California cabernet sauvignon, and chardonnay, as well as a wide range of vintage and non-vintage champagnes and sparkling wines.
At Dive Bar & Grill, the rules are simple: the party goes late, flip-flops are permissible, and cowboy hats are always welcome. The sports bar and dance club fires up a group party each night with thumping DJ sets, group events, and VIP bottle service. Take a break from the action to scarf down sizzling bar treats from the kitchen, including tater-tot nachos, crinkle-cut fries, and burgers stuffed with fillings from mushroom and swiss to jalapeño bacon. The kitchen also serves breakfast dishes all day, and tosses wings in a choice of eight sauces, one for each nostril on Mount Rushmore.
Inside a restaurant whose vibrant purple awnings help diners spot it from afar, cooks concoct 75 different dishes derived from the "roof of the world." Artwork-laden walls surround the tables and cushioned chairs in the dining area, where patrons enjoy home-cooked items ranging from Tibetan-style dumplings made with lean chopped beef to batter-fried sesame chicken. The restaurant's separate bar area provides patrons with a place where they can grab a drink, watch TV, and practice thumb-wrestling moves with others.
Part dance club, part sports bar, 508's two-level venue features contemporary American cuisine and plenty of space to catch the game or cut rugs into parallelograms on the dance floor downstairs. An extensive menu features starters such as hand-cut fries ($6) and asparagus flat bread ($8.95), while heartier fare includes a 12 oz. NY strip steak topped with roasted garlic and herb butter ($19.95). Gourmet sandwiches include the earthy portabella ($8.25), which melds the hearty mushroom with herbed cream cheese, butternut squash, and the savory envy of other, less handsome fungi. Irrigate your stomach soil with a pint from the extensive beer list or wet your whistling epiglottis with a specialty martini.