Devil's Advocate keeps it simple

The new Minneapolis pub focuses on meatballs and beer

Sides help round out your meal, including a creamy but edging on too-soft bowl of polenta with cheddar cheese, kale at its height of heartiness braised with slow-cooked pork and finished with a sour note of pickled ramps, and some very well executed skin-on fries.

Desserts were fine: simple shakes, ice cream, and little crescent-shaped fried pies, which were pretty hard to resist. The sour fruit of the cherry version struck a nice balance with the sugar-dusted pastry but were too sweet overall. Instead, go with this bar's strong suit for your last course and ask Erik Forsberg to make you a delicious concoction of his own design: a chocolaty and slightly smoky Russian Imperial stout topped off with some framboise lambic. The raspberry in the lambic sets off the beer beautifully and almost has the effect of a liquid truffle.

Owner Erik Forsberg
Benjamin Carter Grimes
Owner Erik Forsberg

Maybe Devil's Advocate's meatballs aren't to be talked about in superlatives, but it's refreshing to see a new downtown spot open with a full menu of items all under $10, and it's good to have the meatball-only trend rolling into Minneapolis. Hopefully Devil's Advocate will continue experimenting with new flavors and other interpretations of what a meatball can be. It can be a wise move for a restaurant to allow a little room for improvement. For now, its exceptional beer list, served by a knowledgeable staff with reverence and personal attention, is the icing on the cake. Or scratch that — let's start a new trend: It's the sauce on the meatball.

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