Johnny Michaels

  • Blogs

    October 24, 2014

    Innovative Drinks from Rainbow Chinese? Yep, This Eat Street Darling Shakes It Up

    Jimmy Vongsouvanh works the shoe box-sized back bar of Rainbow Chinese, poised and dressed in a way that elevates the image of a young bartender. Vest-clad with a touch of hipster, he rocks a slicked-back '90s skater coiffure as he warmly greets patrons sidling up to the eight-seat bar. He wins them ... More >>

  • Blogs

    July 24, 2014

    Cured & Crafted event to pair prosciutto with local pints

    On Thursday, July 31 seven local chefs will gather at Muse Event Center to celebrate the thin, salty, aged pork wonder that is prosciutto di Parma. They're teaming up with some local breweries and calling the night -- what else? -- Cured & Crafted. Attendees will sample dishes, sip some featured b ... More >>

  • Blogs

    January 22, 2014

    Northstar Bartenders Guild: Winter Gala

    You haven't lived until you've found yourself in the middle of the action at a North Star Bartenders Guild party. The best craft cocktail shakers in the Twin Cities are all done up in their finery and making drinks not just to impress you, their honored guest, but to show off a bit and impress their ... More >>

  • Blogs

    January 15, 2014

    Johnny Michaels, La Belle Vie's longtime bar man is out

    Chances are, if you've tippled at any number of local bars, you've had a drink created or inspired by Johnny Michaels.Now Michaels, the local craft cocktail godfather, is leaving his long term station at La Belle Vie. Michaels has been with the James Beard Award-winning restaurant since 2005, a ... More >>

  • Blogs

    October 4, 2013

    NorthStar's Iron Bartender competition begins Sunday

    There can be only one winning team. This Sunday kicks off the hottest drink shaking competition in town: The North Star Bartenders Guild's Iron Bartender. This event pits select drink makers from across our fair Twin Cities against one another to find out who can crush the cocktail competition. Thes ... More >>

  • Calendar

    September 25, 2013
  • Blogs

    July 2, 2013

    How to be a better home bartender: The Old Fashioned [RECIPE]

    Watching those skilled drink technicians carve a hunk of ice into a sphere and place it into your glass before showering it with myriad hard-to-pronounce spirits to create a flavor combination specifically to your discerning tastes is always a thrill. Ever wonder if you have what it takes to attempt ... More >>

  • Blogs

    February 22, 2013

    Dara Moskowitz Grumdahl adds a new gig

    Yesterday via her Facebook page, nationally lauded local dining critic Dara Moskowitz Grumdahl announced that beginning March 2 she will be hosting a new radio show on WCCO Radio every Saturday at 11 a.m. We caught up with Mpls/St. Paul magazine's senior editor to find out what we can expect to hear ... More >>

  • Restaurants

    January 9, 2013

    Union: Amazing dining from the top of the town

    Hennepin's newest multilevel hotspot has outstanding cocktails, thoughtful food, and a lively vibe

  • Blogs

    October 5, 2012

    Top 10 craft cocktail bars in the Twin Cities

    There's never been a better time to be a drinker. It's become almost mandatory for every new restaurant of a certain price point to employ a master mixologist behind the bar. These days you can't swing a shaker without smacking over a few bottles of handmade bitters. While the craft cocktail movemen ... More >>

  • Blogs

    October 5, 2012

    De Stijl's Clint Simonson talks music and rates cocktails at Icehouse

    It's happy hour at the Icehouse on Eat Street in Minneapolis. Clint Simonson, owner and operator of the small indie label, De Stijl has already found a home at the bar. "Hey man, how you been?" he asks giving me a hug as I sit down. "Have I gotten you this Robust Worlds CD yet?" Checking out the a ... More >>

  • Blogs

    September 12, 2012

    Cafe Maude Loring Park: A first look

    The awning is familiar, but the interior is a bit more Loring Park in decor than the original southwest Minneapolis location of Cafe Maude. A golden fabric with tie-dye effect crowns the bar, wrapping around it and drawing the eye deeper into the restaurant, where plush, gold fabric cushions decorat ... More >>

  • Blogs

    July 26, 2012

    New restaurant in Shinders space has a chef and a name

    After months of folks trying to get a glimpse of what was going inside the old Shinders space at Hennepin and Eighth Street, plans have finally been announced. It will be an ambitious space, with year-round dining under the stars, a talented chef, and a stellar bar program. Everybody hold onto your ... More >>

  • Blogs

    July 23, 2012

    Masu Sushi and Robata at Mall of America: a first look

    See also:Masu Sushi Mall of America has an opening dateBest Japanese Restaurant: Masu Sushi & RobataMasu Sushi & Robata goes the extra mile for happy hourTurn your head away from the steady stream of shoppers and it's not hard to imagine that the new Mall of America restaurant is the Nordeas ... More >>

  • Blogs

    July 2, 2012

    Brunch at Icehouse: the savory eclair

    See Also: Icehouse cometh: Exclusive details and an opening dateIcehouse: A sneak peek before today's Eat Street openingThough it's barely been open a month (full review is coming soon), we've already found many reasons to love Icehouse on Eat Street. Like the bar program, headed up by Northsta ... More >>

  • Blogs

    May 17, 2012

    La Belle Vie named one of the top 25 bars in the country

    It's nice to get the notice, when the man running the bar program literally wrote the book on fine drinks cocktails. Johnny Michaels's cocktail-shaking star continues to rise. This week Men's Fitness magazine named La Belle Vie one of the 25 best bars in America.

  • Blogs

    May 17, 2012

    Icehouse cometh: Exclusive details and an opening date

    Long near the top of the list of highly anticipated restaurants of 2012, Icehouse has finally declared an opening date. The owners who brought us Be'wiched Deli describe their new venture as a "restaurant with a stage." We were invited inside to take a sneak peek at the space, which is quickly comin ... More >>

  • Blogs

    May 7, 2012

    Northstar Bartenders Guild mashes Kentucky Derby and Cinco de Mayo

    What do you get when you cross a Mexican holiday, a historic horse race, and the best drink mixers in the business? A room full of giant hats, refreshing cocktails, and one inexplicable guy in a kilt. The Northstar Bartenders Guild held its latest bash in a posh loft with 180-degree views of downtow ... More >>

  • Blogs

    April 17, 2012

    Current, Gather, and Masu all celebrating their 1-year anniversaries

    The traditional gift for the first anniversary celebration is paper. We're wrapping up a paper boat, interpretative collage, and a little origami for the upcoming one-year milestones for the Current, just off the river in Afton; Gather, tucked into the monster-head of the Walker Art Center; and Masu ... More >>

  • Blogs

    April 12, 2012

    Northstar Bartenders Guild announces next event

    The Northstar Bartenders Guild creates dazzling cocktail experiences. From the kickoff for Johnny Michaels's cocktail book to the after-New Year's party, these events are packed with fantastic beverages, elegant bites of food, and a cache of extraordinary personalities.This year they're combining tw ... More >>

  • Blogs

    March 7, 2012

    Northstar Bartenders Guild to host 'Imbibes of March' party

    ​After blowing the roof of its not actually New Year's Eve party, the Northstar Bartenders Guild is now promoting its second event, cleverly titled the Imbibes of March.Like the last event, there will be cocktail samples galore from the area's top craft drink shakers, as well as food bites, DJs, a ... More >>

  • Blogs

    March 5, 2012

    Cake Walk was a sweet success

    ​What began as a simple cake walk soon transformed into a sort of sweet vision quest for WCCO newsman Jason DeRusha. "I just don't know how I'm going to get this thing home," he remarked as the cake he'd won from event organizer and James Beard Award-nominated pastry chef Michelle Gayer loomed beh ... More >>

  • Calendar

    February 29, 2012
  • Blogs

    February 27, 2012

    Time for charity and a leap beer this Week in Food

    $2.50 pints at Town Hall on Wednesday​There's an extra day this month to cram in some more eating, so we recommend a few charitable dining enterprises or the well-timed "leap beer" at Town Hall on Wednesday to make the most of it. 2/28 Don't wait for takeout to get your Thai fix. Hit up the ... More >>

  • Blogs

    February 6, 2012

    Top 10 margaritas in the Twin Cities

    ​ The margarita is a classic, no doubt about it. The earliest published recipe we can find is in Esquire magazine in 1953. The recipe called for tequila, orange liqueur, and fresh lime. As everything else does, this drink evolved in various ways, sometimes for the better, sometimes for the worse ... More >>

  • Calendar

    January 11, 2012
  • Blogs

    January 4, 2012

    La Belle Vie offers exquisite fare for $12 or less in the Lounge

    To kick off 2012, we're highlighting 12 of the best dishes under $12 in the Twin Cities. Scroll down to view the complete list. Tim McKee's fingerprints are scattered around the Twin Cities. And we all eat better because of it. The first Minnesotan to be anointed Best Chef: Midwest by the James Be ... More >>

  • Blogs

    January 3, 2012

    Top 10 martinis in the Twin Cities

    ​Life keeps getting better for Twin Cities cocktail lovers. New and exciting craft cocktails are being conceived, and classic cocktails are being rediscovered. No list of classic cocktails would be complete without the martini.It's clean, elegant, sexy, and its simplicity is part of it genius. The ... More >>

  • Blogs

    December 28, 2011

    North Star Bartenders to host Hospitality New Year's Eve Party January 8

    ​In the service industry the celebration of New Year's isn't really what it should be, even though it's a big money night for everyone on the job. You work twice as hard, and you make twice as much, but when you're done you most likely won't be in much of a mood to celebrate. If you do, that celeb ... More >>

  • Blogs

    December 2, 2011

    La Belle Vie's Taking It to the House takes the chill out of winter

    ​ Taking It to the House $12 La Belle Vie 510 Groveland Ave. S., Minneapolis 612.874.6440; La Belle Vie website Sitting in the lounge at La Belle Vie is always a great place to spend an evening: It's stylish, it's sexy, the music is always stimulating without ever being too loud, and most import ... More >>

  • Blogs

    November 11, 2011

    North Star Bartenders Guild book release party

    Joy SummersWhy hello there, you Handsome Devil​The Mill City Museum was filled with the sounds of cocktail shakers vigorously agitating booze and ice cubes Thursday night as fans of fine liquors converged to celebrate the release of Johnny Michaels's North Star Bartenders Guild book, Northstar Coc ... More >>

  • Blogs

    November 8, 2011

    Johnny Michaels, La Belle Vie mixologist, opens up about his past, his craft, and his new book

    MNHSJohnny Michaels ​Johnny Michaels has been a fixture in the Twin Cities cocktail scene for as long as I can remember. He has maintained one of the coolest and most interesting cocktail lists in town at La Belle Vie since it moved to its current location at 510 Groveland. He has written for seve ... More >>

  • Blogs

    November 7, 2011

    New Northstar Cocktails book is a home bartender's best friend

    New book will make you a cocktail pro.​ The logo on the cover of Northstar Cocktails, the new cocktail guide by local cocktail superstars Johnny Michaels and the North Star Bartenders' Guild, could be suitable as a super cool rock band logo; this is no coincidence--the guys and gals who created th ... More >>

  • Blogs

    November 1, 2011

    Northstar Bartenders Guild book release party: You're invited Nov. 10

    One of the best bartenders in the Cities has a book party, and you're invited​Here's a party guaranteed to have a dearth of Zimas available. Craft cocktail wizard Johnny Michaels is releasing his first book. Available from Borealis, the book will retail for $20. The Northstar Bartenders Guild is a ... More >>

  • Blogs

    September 8, 2011

    Five favorite Twin Cities contemporary cocktails

    The new Marvel Bar helps make up for the loss of the Inn.​We're no longer able to sip this year's Best Contemporary Cocktail winner, the Inn's Slim Shim, as the restaurant has unfortunately closed. But we lucky liquor lovers still have plenty of great cocktail choices in town, including several ... More >>

  • Blogs

    August 5, 2011

    GQ/Bombay Sapphire contest picks the Twin Cities' "Most Inspired Bartender"

    Chad Larson: WINNING!​Tuesday night four of the Twin Cities' most creative bartenders came together to compete in the GQ/Bombay Sapphire "Most Inspired Bartender" contest. The winner is sent to Las Vegas and represents Minnesota against bartenders from all around the U.S.. Each bartender developed ... More >>

  • Restaurants

    June 8, 2011
  • Blogs

    April 15, 2011

    Masu Sushi & Robata: A sneak peek Inside

    Masu Sushi & Robata Japanese meets Nordeast​Take the pop of a Shea-designed restaurant, add the sizzle of a Tim McKee-produced menu, a dash of sustainable seafood, served with a twist, and you'll find yourself with Masu Sushi and Robata, the latest venture of Minneapolis's own menu whisperer. ... More >>

  • Blogs

    August 30, 2010

    Psycho Suzi's plans fall move to old Gabby's space

    Mo PerryThe Poor Man's Paradise is upgrading to roomier digs​The sign outside Gabby's proclaims it loud and clear: "Psycho Suzi's / Future Home / Coming This November / Hopefully / Fingers Crossed." (It's a big sign). With Gabby's closure in July came a new opportunity for Nordeast's favorit ... More >>

  • Blogs

    June 18, 2010

    Taste of the Nation HOTList has a hot list of chefs

    ​The annual Taste of the Nation HOTList takes place at the Guthrie on June 24 and features the cooking/shaking of 15 favorite Twin Cities chefs and mixologists. The lineup reads like a Who's Who of the local dining scene, so if you have yet to dine at, say, Bar La Grassa, Cafe Maude, or the Strip ... More >>

  • Blogs

    June 16, 2010

    Loring Park restaurants: Where to grab a bite after Rock the Garden

    ​Headed to Rock the Garden this weekend? Couldn't get tickets but want to meet up with all the concertgoers afterword? Besides the obvious proximate choice, 20.21, there are a lot of good options within walking distance of the Walker. (We're still mourning the loss of Auriga--they had such a g ... More >>

  • Blogs

    April 16, 2010

    La Belle Vie's Parlez-Vous: Drink of the week

    ​ Parlez-Vous $12 La Belle Vie 510 Groveland Terrace, Mpls. 612.874.6440 website The vintage glory that is captured in the bar of La Belle Vie is always the perfect place to imbibe, and it is worth several visits to see what's new on the drink menu. Enjoy the decadence of having a perfectly prep ... More >>

  • Blogs

    December 18, 2009

    Drink of the week: La Belle Vie's 12 Drinks Before Christmas

    12 cocktails from La Belle Vie sure to warm even the most holiday-hatin' heart.

  • Blogs

    June 2, 2009

    Taste of the Nation June 12

    Help fight childhood eating at drinking at Hotel Minneapolis.

  • Blogs

    May 26, 2009
  • Blogs

    February 10, 2009

    Zimmern gets sexy with naked sushi at Hell's Kitchen

    "Sexy Foods" episode guest stars LBV cocktailer Johnny Michaels, Alexis "on the sexes" McKinnis, and a pair of smoked salmon panties.

  • Blogs

    December 23, 2008

    Johnny Michaels gets thinky about drinking

    He's behind many of the greatest cocktails in town, but how does he ... More >>

  • Blogs

    December 22, 2008

    La Belle Vie Lounge shares home liquor advice

    Genius drinkmaker, Johnny Michaels, gives us cava, rye whiskey, and ... More >>

  • Restaurants

    November 12, 2008

    Barrio treats tequila with wine-style reverence

    Terrific new bar adds brighter possibility to everyone's tequila story

  • Blogs

    June 6, 2008

    Drink of the Week: Prince Albert

    A new twist on the g&t at the La Belle Vie lounge.

  • More >>