Moveable Feast: "Best Of" List -- Part II
In a new spin on the classic Best Of list, Minnesota Monthly looked not at what's hot now, but what's next: food trends that will be the "Next Best" things for 2017.
Today's first trend is local whiskey. In America, this spirit is rooted in the south, but we have all the right resources in the Midwest, too: water, grain, and forests to make wood barrels for aging. 45th Parallel poured the region's first smoky-sweet grain-to-glass bourbon a few years ago and now, since the spirits needs to be aged for several years, the Minnesota-made stuff is finally being tapped. Look for brown spirits at J. Carver's, Far North Spirits, Vikre Distillery, and, coming soon, at Tattersall Distilling.
This next trend is actually the return of a retro concept: the neighborhood butcher. The "modern" era's stacks of shrink-wrapped, Styrofoam-packed mystery meat are being replaced by butchers who are working directly with their farmer suppliers, buying whole animals and breaking them down on-site to give us access to new and interesting cuts of meat, as well as making their own sausages. New 'neighborhood-style' butchers include the St. Paul Meat Shop, Lowry Hill Meats, or the Seward Co-op.
The final trend is seeing longtime favorite restaurants reinvent themselves for a modern era, without losing their roots. An example we've talked about before is the long-awaited Restaurant Alma reboot: consistently serving some of the best seasonally driven New American cuisine, and now they're adding a cafe, bakery, and cocktail program — as well as a boutique hotel if you want to check in after dinner and wake up for breakfast.