Best Gastropub Minneapolis 2014 - The Happy Gnome
"Gastropub" is a tricky term to parse out around here, but most folks agree that any establishment hoping to wear the mantle ought to have innovative food and an overwhelming craft brew selection. While the Selby-Dale neighborhood landmark the Happy Gnome veers a little closer to the "pub" side with a dizzying 76 taps and countless bottled imports, the restaurant's unique vision of bar food crystallizes with a dish like the Surly Bender-braised short ribs. Beer as a flavoring agent can be a gimmick in the wrong hands, but the Gnome's chefs know exactly how to feature the malty flavor while also doing justice to a truly luscious piece of meat. Much like how our local brew scene is constantly spinning out new variations on well-worn traditional recipes, the Happy Gnome's talented chefs elevate small-town pub favorites with touches like the sherry demi-glace on their mouth-watering wild boar chops. Those just looking to belly up to the long, gorgeous wooden bar should leave happy as well. The Happy Gnome sources some of the best beers from around the region on the rotating seasonal tap list, nicely categorized to prevent confusion for those still dabbling in our local brew-boom.