I heard through the grapevine that Chef Matthew Hinman at the Happy Gnome was a sustainable foods man, so on a Friday night in November, gerg and I headed there to sample the eats.
After we were seated, I noticed a steady drip of water(?) falling from the ceiling about 3 feet from our table. It was distracting to say the least, so I notified the hostess.
With one eye on the ceiling, and one eye on the menu, I selected a pasta dish with crab. It is not worth mentioning. It was....boring.
However, Gerg selected the "chicken two ways", which was delicious. A piece of breast and a thigh served with wild rice, parsnips, and other seasonal root vegetables on the side. The parsnips were cooked to a firm bite. Gerg loved his meal.
Even though my meal was unremarkable, my beer was TOP NOTCH. Lake Superior Kayak Kölsch from Duluth, MN. Now, I'm a fan of kolsch beers, and this one is piratically perfect. If you're a pilsner fan, you'll love the Kayak Kölsch.
See, the Happy Gnome knows a thing or two about beer. They have cask beer on Thursdays, scads of regional beers, and even serve a six course meal with BEER pairings.
My recommendation: go to the Happy Gnome. Eat the chicken, or enjoy any of their amazing local artisan cheeses, and drink BEER.
PS - Even though the cask beer is opened on Thursdays, they sometimes have some leftover on Fridays. And if you ask, and if your server is the cute gal with the merlot hair, you might be able to score some even though it's a Friday.
The Happy Gnome
498 Selby Ave
St Paul, MN 55102
Phone: (651) 287-2018