Best of

the Twin Cities

BEST BARTENDER

Dan Oskey, the Strip Club

High on a bluff on the east side of St. Paul sits a magical place. Housed in a brownstone dating back to the late 1800s, with an iron lantern lighting the entrance, the Strip Club is reminiscent of a speakeasy, where the best bartender in town is waiting to fix you a lil' something nice. Dan Oskey, the ever-gracious man behind the bar, believes a drink should be complicated, melodious, and, as he states, "should almost tell you a story and have a beginning, middle, and an end." He accomplishes this feat with his bubbling concoctions, stewing away somewhere on the premises preparing house-made everything: glorious seasonal infusions, savory tonics, vinegary shrubs, and crazy-ass bitters, made out of unlikely ingredients like tonka beans and mangos. While his drink wizardry is always impressive, he also understands that half the fun of sitting at the bar is enjoying the company of the person behind it. Oskey is an easy conversationalist who always seems glad to have you there. While the drink menu features a handful of favorites, the selections are constantly changing, and Oskey is always enthusiastic when letting you sample new creations or preparing something special off the menu. Oskey's influence is a big part of the Strip Club's success. He takes on the difficult task of making the cocktails as important as the restaurant's heavenly food—and comes out a champ.

City Pages presents: Best Bartenders produced by MPLS.TV.

Best Restaurant in St. Paul (2014) The Strip Club Meat & Fish

Best Restaurant (St. Paul) (2013) Strip Club Meat & Fish

Best Brunch (2013) Strip Club Meat & Fish

Best Service (2012) The Strip Club Meat & Fish

Best Cocktail for Putting Hair on Your Chest (2012) Cobra Kai at the Strip Club Meat & Fish

Best Steak House (2011) The Strip Club

Best Neighborhood Cafe (St. Paul) (2009) The Strip Club

BEST RESTAURANT (ST. PAUL) (2010) The Strip Club

BEST BAGEL Common Roots

BEST BAKERY Rustica

BEST BARBECUE 128 Cafe

BEST BEER SELECTION IN A BAR Muddy Pig

BEST BLOODY MARY Hell's Kitchen

BEST BREAKFAST D'Amico Kitchen

BEST BREWPUB Barley John's

BEST BURGER The Anchor Fish & Chips

BEST BURRITO Pineda Tacos

BEST CANDY STORE Sugar Sugar Candy

BEST CARIBBEAN RESTAURANT Harry Singh's

BEST CENTRAL/SOUTH AMERICAN RESTAURANT El Rincón Salvadoreño

BEST CHEAP EATS Taj Grill

BEST CHEESE SHOP France 44

BEST CHEF Sameh Wadi of Saffron

BEST CHILI The Loon Cafe

BEST CHINESE RESTAURANT Szechuan

BEST COCKTAILS Prohibition

BEST COFFEE White Rock Coffee Roasters

BEST COFFEE SHOP Bull Run Coffee Bar

BEST DELICATESSEN Broders' Cucina Italiana

BEST DESSERTS Cosmos

BEST DIM SUM Mandarin Kitchen

BEST DINER St. Clair Broiler

BEST DIVE BAR The Red Dragon

BEST ETHIOPIAN RESTAURANT Fasika

BEST FARMERS' MARKET St. Paul Farmers' Market

BEST FRENCH FRIES Acadia Cafe

BEST FRENCH RESTAURANT Meritage

BEST GREEK RESTAURANT Gardens of Salonica

BEST HANGOVER BREAKFAST Triple Rock Social Club

BEST HAPPY HOUR Il Gatto

BEST HOT DOG Italian Veggie Dog from the Wienery

BEST HOTEL BAR The Living Room at the W Hotel

BEST ICE CREAM PARLOR Pumphouse Creamery

BEST INDIAN RESTAURANT OM

BEST IRISH PUB The Local

BEST ITALIAN RESTAURANT Bar La Grassa

BEST JAPANESE RESTAURANT Fuji-Ya

BEST KOREAN RESTAURANT Dong Yang Oriental Food

BEST LATE-NIGHT DINING The Dakota Jazz Club & Restaurant

BEST LOCAL BEER Summit Unchained Series

BEST MARGARITA The Cobra Verde at Barrio

BEST MEXICAN RESTAURANT El Burrito Mercado

BEST MIDDLE EASTERN RESTAURANT Babani's Kurdish Restaurant

BEST NEIGHBORHOOD BAR (MINNEAPOLIS) Merlins Rest Pub

BEST NEIGHBORHOOD BAR (MINNEAPOLIS) Merlins Rest Pub

BEST NEIGHBORHOOD CAFÉ (MINNEAPOLIS) Victory 44

BEST NEIGHBORHOOD CAFÉ (ST. PAUL) Tanpopo Noodle Shop

BEST NEW RESTAURANT Piccolo

BEST OLD-GUY BAR Yannarelly's Bar

BEST OUTDOOR DINING Seven Sushi Ultralounge and Skybar

BEST PANCAKE Colossal Cafe

BEST PEPPER DISH Habanero Hell Poppers, Chino Latino

BEST PIZZA Galactic Pizza

BEST PLACE TO EAT WITH KIDS D'Amico and Sons

BEST RESTAURANT (MINNEAPOLIS) La Belle Vie

BEST RESTAURANT (ST. PAUL) The Strip Club

BEST RESTAURANT FOR A FIRST DATE Northeast Social

BEST RESTAURANT FOR ROMANCE Forepaugh's

BEST RESTAURANT TREND House-made charcuterie

BEST RESTAURANT WHEN SOMEONE ELSE IS PAYING Corner Table

BEST RESTAURANT WORTH THE DRIVE Nosh Restaurant & Bar

BEST SANDWICH Bacon, egg, and harissa sandwich at 112 Eatery

BEST SEAFOOD RESTAURANT Sea Change

BEST SERVICE Lucia's

BEST SOUL FOOD Brasa

BEST STEAKHOUSE Mancini's Char House

BEST STREET FOOD Chef Shack

BEST STRIP CLUB LUNCH Schieks Palace Royale

BEST SUBURBAN BAR Barley John's

BEST SUNDAY BRUNCH Grand Cafe

BEST SUSHI Giapponese Sushi

BEST SWEET ROLLS Isles Bun & Coffee

BEST TACO Carne asada from Los Ocampo

BEST TAKE-HOME BREW Town Hall Brewery

BEST TAKEOUT Marla's Caribbean Cuisine

BEST TAPAS Subo

BEST TEA SHOP TeaSource

BEST THAI RESTAURANT Sen Yai Sen Lek

BEST THEMED BAR Donny Dirk's Zombie Den

BEST VEGETARIAN-FRIENDLY RESTAURANT Triple Rock Social Club

BEST VIETNAMESE RESTAURANT Saigon Restaurant and Bakery

BEST WINE BAR Kings

BEST WINE LIST Barbette

BEST WINE SHOP France 44

BEST WINGS Girvan Grille