Food & Drink / Sunday, May 7th, 2017

Airy, warm, cozy Minnesota days like today deserve a beautiful place to spend them. Enter MERCY at the Le Meridien Chambers hotel in downtown Minneapolis. Nestling into the former home of Marin Restaurant & Bar, and D’Amico Kitchen before that, Mercy is named after youngest daughter of co-owners Abby Rakun and Chef Mike Rakun’s. The stunner opened just over a month ago with a focus on casual and comfortable. From the surf board high top near the bar, and the perfect-for-a-shoe-photo mural on the floor upstairs to the ever-popular downstairs Hemingway-meets-Fitzgerald Library Bar that is wrapped in warm wood tones and backlit books, Mercy is the place to go.

Whether you come for a special occasion in the Chef’s Table, a 5-course interactive experience in the kitchen, the Art Ballroom or the Gallery; or for the outdoor ambiance with spots like Mercy’s Rooftop, complete with downtown views or the coveted Courtyard… let me tell you about the Courtyard. Spacious, semi-private, with a huge full bar and fire pit. You wouldn’t guess you’re sitting on one of the busiest city streets.

While I could go on and on about the atmosphere, I’ll just go straight to the food. King crab grilled cheese on a brioche, old school cheeseburgers with special sauce and gouda, oyster po’ boy sliders, hot pastrami sandwiches or beer can chicken with dirty rice, I mean, wow. The plating alone deserves an award!  They also serve copious amounts of seafood, so it’s no surprise there is a full oyster bar in the main room, where you can watch them being shucked. Oh, and their garlic bread, don’t even think about passing it up.

When it comes to drinks, I have a few I’d recommend. For the adventurous herb lover, I would try the Dill Caipirinha, a blend of dill Aquavit, lime, and orange bitters. If you want to stay classic, try the refreshing land of the palm trees filled with lime and Earl Giles pomegranate passion fruit. For the trendy hipster, try the urban sombrero made with Minnesota’s own Bauhaus Wonderstuff, served upside down in a clear tiki glass. Finally, you really can’t go wrong with a strawberry cosmopolitan with hints of lime, orange and cranberry.

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