Restaurant of the Year: Spoon & Stable
Every restaurant conversation in the Twin Cities leads back to Spoon & Stable. As much as we were all aflutter with the news that Gavin Kaysen would leave NYC for Minneapolis, it's been even more of a pleasure to watch this eatery come into its own. Food that was good at the outset has blossomed into an outstanding dining experience from hoststand to bar and dining room to desserts. While there were other great restaurants of 2015, the year belongs to Spoon & Stable.
Chef of the Year: Thomas Boemer
It's hard to imagine that chef Thomas Boemer was once just a cook at a Ground Round. Much has changed since those early years. He wasn't even sure he would be a chef (or a cabinet maker, or a guitarist or...) We in Minneapolis are so very pleased to call the Alain Ducasse-trained chef our own. Last year, Corner Table delighted diners in its new location, but this was the year the chef dominated the culinary landscape. From his victory in the national Cochon 555 competition to delivering the long-promised perfect fried chicken at Revival, all that chef Boemer touches turns to gold.
So Hot Right Now: Eastside
Without Eastside, would we even consider the east side of downtown a neighborhood? This new eatery is fast becoming a Cheers for the Millenial set. The bartenders know your pour (and likely your name). Plus, the fried wild rice, shoyu dressed calamari and perfectly prepared hanger steak are dishes we didn't know we couldn't live without.
Bartender of the Year: Tim Leary
Tattersall Distilling didn't open so much as unleashed upon Minneapolis a hail of next level cocktails. As much as the spirits lend themselves to the stunning mixtures, it's the bar men that create these pristine flavors so perfectly in balance. Tim Leary is more than just a friendly face behind a bar, he is a force to be reckoned packaged as the boy next door. As much as his drinks were long loved inside the Strip Club, now Tattersall offers an ever better stage for his excellent service and impressive shaking abilities.
Stone Cold Stunner: Eastside
There's no question that Eastside's owner Ryan Burnet has an eye for art, but that doesn't always translate to a room. The team behind the restaurant blended their style with the design creativity from powerhouse firm Shea, Inc. resulted in a classically beautiful room. Small touches, like the golden horse heads that stand guard beneath the bar, to the giant metal cog that lifts the window between the private dining space and the dining room all create a space that is timelessly elegant, effortlessly modern and perfectly suited for the neighborhood.