For the third year in a row, Minneapolis St. Paul Magazine’s Best of the Best Party was an absolute blast. Greeted at the door by fire throwers and costumed stilt walkers, I knew we were in for a great night. My husband, Ryan, and I quickly checked in (with tickets thanks to MSP Mag) and headed into the Guthrie with great anticipation of beautifully dressed people and mouthwatering food. We made sure to come hungry.
I was thoroughly impressed with how the party ran this year. They capped the attendees at 1,000 and increased the number of restaurants from around 15 to 22, which made for a much smoother flow. We rarely waited in line for an item and could easily go back for seconds, but surprisingly we were so stuffed that we couldn’t manage seconds of anything!
Favorites from the evening were:
Sea Change – (tuna poke, octopus, oysters with chimichurri sauce and shrimp) – my first time trying well prepared octopus. It was tender and not at all rubbery. Marinated in a brine and likely sous vide, I would absolutely order this at Sea Change.
Chino Latino’s Pink Taco – Yum, yum, yum! This was spicy tuna tartar with citrus aioli served between two fried wontons. Despite the questionable name, I definitely wanted seconds of this.
Burger Jones’ Salted Caramel Shakes – I like that they did the unusual by bringing in a blender and making these shakes instead of the expected mini burgers. Equally sweet and salty, I think a sample sized cup was the perfect amount.
OM’s Thai Chile Cardamom Soup – I have ordered this the last couple times I have been to OM. With just five ingredients (thai chiles, cashews, paneer, cilantro and cardamom), it’s a super simple yet complex soup.
Good Earth’s Apple Trifle- Another welcomed relief from all the dinner-like dishes; this trifle was wonderful with sweet apples, a hint of Makers Mark and creamy mascarpone cheese.
4 Oranges Vodka – One of the sponsors for this event, they offered creative cocktails throughout the night. I’m not usually a fan of flavored vodkas, but the Grovestand cocktail was impressive: 4 Oranges vodka + grapefruit and lemon juice + simple syrup + crème de cassis.
While there were plenty more impressive dishes, there were a few let downs. Cowboy Slims offered a mushy and off putting Tater Tot Hotdish, Salut gave out dry and flavorless Wild Mushroom Crepes, and Red Stag seemed to be confused as to what they were offering – was it a Pork & Duck Terrine or an unimpressive Lobster Egg Salad? Some plates got both and some got just one.
I’m practicing my video skills again and put together a 1 ½ minute video of the evening. Next year (when I have a fancy DSLR) I can capture some more food pics for you. Until then, here’s the hodgepodge.
If you love trying new restaurants, be sure to dine out this week for Restaurant Week. Check out the participating restaurants and menus here: http://mspmag/restaurantweek
Lucky for us, Ryan’s birthday usually falls during Restaurant Week, so this year we’re checking out Ginger Hop for the first time. Yay for cheap meals!
FTC Disclaimer: I did receive free tickets to this event, but would have bought them anyway as I love going every year. I was not required to blog about it - I just want to share more of my experiences.