FOOD & WINE's new Cocktails 2009 guide names 100 top bars--here's what it had to say about two in Minneapolis:
Bradstreet Craftshouse Restaurant Graves 601 Hotel, 601 First Ave. North; 612-312-1821 This new restaurant has a drink menu by Toby Maloney and a private "parlour room" hidden behind a velvet curtain.
La Belle Vie 510 Groveland Ave. ; 612-874-6440 At this elegant French-Mediterranean restaurant's candlelit lounge, bartender Johnny Michaels honors la belle vie with cocktails like the Bronco Nagurski (rye whiskey and house-made root beer bitters).
Also, two in Madison, Wisconsin, made the list. I haven't been to Maduro, but I'm a big fan of the global-chic vibe at Natt Spil.
Maduro 117 E. Main St.; 608-294-9371 Smoking of cigars and pipes (but not cigarettes) is welcome here. Maduro has a rotating selection of stogies, an extensive spirits list and cocktails like the Ipanema (cachaça, Licor 43 and orange and lime juices).
Natt Spil 211 King St.; No phone In an unassuming building, this perpetually busy restaurant is known for DJ-spun music and original concoctions like the Créole Napoleon (rum, muddled ginger and the spicy orange liqueur Créole Shrubb).