The Best Bartender in the Twin Cities

A couple of years ago, I took Patrick out for his birthday dinner during a time that was particularly stressful for us. We had a nice dinner, and then headed to Lawless for the first time. We were immediately hooked, not just for the fantastic drinks, but also for the bartending service, especially Adam, who was exactly the bartender we needed, at exactly the TIME we needed him.

We still head to Lawless every chance we get. But Adam moved on to Alma, and then to Martina. We've gone there twice to stalk him have dinner and drinks, but neither time worked out. So, with a free evening because Beatrix was at a sleepover, we headed over tonight.

And boy, was it the right choice!

So this is what you need to do, if you want to have the magical kind of evening we just had. Belly up to the bar (which is likely your best chance of getting there anyway because that place reserves weeks if not months in advance.) Ask which bartender is Adam — though Dustin or Marco will do in a pinch — and tell them that Patrick and Bethany sent you. Then, just tell them that you want to eat and drink whatever he suggests, and be prepared for the evening of your life.

Tonight, we started out with a house-blended hibiscus drink (picture a hibiscus-infused gin with rosé on steroids). We had incredible drinks the whole night — that, the Toro y Gallo (kind of what a Moscow Mule wants to grow up to be), the "Naked Ballerina #2" (maybe the best cocktail I've ever had in my life) a Boxcutter ("reverse Manhattan" and that thing could get me to love Manhattans), and some kind of insanely good house-infused coffee liqueur. The food was no less amazing, ranging from a lovely friend cheese to tuna tartare to an insanely good peppery ravioli to empanadas to many more dishes, with the piece de resistance being an incredible grilled octopus. I don't take eating octopus lightly — we've all seen that video of the octopus escaping from the boat. But in this case, that damn polypus lived a good life and gave it up graciously for an amazing meal for me, for which I am forever grateful.

The whole time, it was busy and we got to watch the bartenders ply their various techniques. After awhile, I realized what it was; watching them is like watching jazz played. Rooted in a method, yet improvisational, and always, always dependent on the player.

I seriously can't think of a better evening in a  restaurant in forever. Go, go now, and follow the instructions above. You won't be disappointed.

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