Written by Kathryn Romeyn, published on January 31, 2018
At one time home to Prince, Josh Hartnett and Bob Dylan, Minneapolis — the metropolis that makes up the western half of the Twin Cities — wields more significance than one might think, between the National Public Radio headquarters, the iconic State Theatre (where the likes of Anderson Cooper and Andy Cohen have gossiped onstage) and this year’s Super Bowl location at the U.S. Bank Stadium.
It’s where Woody Harrelson and Laura Dern shot Wilson, an experience that led the actress to later gush about the “beautiful city” that is “lush and vibrant and has amazing restaurants and incredible theater and music.” She spent spare time watching Wilco perform at the Basilica of Saint Mary’s Basilica Block Party and paddle boarding on Lake Minnetonka — name-dropped in Prince’s Purple Rain — which she tempts summer visitors to visit “immediately.” (When Kim Kardashian was with Kris Humphries, they hung out on the lake’s Big Island.)
For his part, Harrelson was spotted around town in marijuana-leaf socks noshing on raw food “cooked” especially for him by acclaimed local chef Marshall Paulsen of the seasonal Birchwood Cafe (3311 E. 25th St.).
WHERE TO STAY
With 124 exposed-brick and -timber rooms boasting Fairbault Woolen Mill blankets and curated small-batch minibars, The Hewing Hotel is a go-to for pet lovers like Portia de Rossi, who got a birthday surprise on a recent visit in the shape of a rose petal heart that Ellen DeGeneres had staff create. There is also a tightly kept private social club with access to the rooftop pool and Nordic sauna (300 N. Washington Ave., from $149).
The priciest hotel room in Minneapolis is the Penthouse Suite at Luxury Collection’s Hotel Ivy, where Britney Spears, Katy Perry, Sade and Jerry Seinfeld have allegedly slept. At 2,250 square feet over two floors, it goes for $5,000 a night and includes a bottle of Dom Perignon per guest (201 S. 11th St., from $349). There, the concierge can arrange a private aerial tour on a Brainerd Helicopter over the U.S. Bank Stadium or the Turf Suite Package ($475,000 per group) for up to 20 guests to sit at field level with an outdoor patio, HD TVs, food and booze and exclusive access to the Delta Sky360 Club.
The Loews Minneapolis Hotel attracts VIPs by offering over-the-top experiences like an Embury Spa buyout, private champagne tasting or chef’s table dinner in one of a few presidential suites (the Poet Suite is named for Dylan, while the Performer Suite pays homage to Prince), which starts around $6,000 for four (601 N. 1st Ave., from $169).
New on the scene is Graduate Minneapolis, which opened in December, just in time for the Super Bowl (615 Washington Ave. SE, from $149). Fans of the boutiquey college campus-centric brand like Jon Hamm and the Manning family might appreciate the hotel’s cozy aesthetic — with custom plum paisley detailing à la Prince — near TCF Bank Stadium.
Le Méridien Chambers Minneapolis is a boutique hotel for art aficionados with an Unlock Art program in which key cards offer access to the acclaimed Walker Art Center (901 Hennepin Ave., from $239). For the highest chance of Tom Brady sightings, try the JW Marriott Minneapolis Mall of America, where the New England Patriots are booked for the big weekend (2141 Lindau Lane, from $259).
And a couple hours outside the city is the secretive Hollywood hot spot Grand View Lodge, where a now-divorced Hollywood power couple once built a vacation home, a pop star-turned-Broadway writing sensation spends a month at a time and Al Franken wrote his latest book (23521 Nokomis Ave., Nisswa, from $129). Accommodation options include a private lake cabin six inches above the water to a pristine new home renting for $3,000 per night.
WHERE TO EAT
The jewels atop Minneapolis’ culinary crown are Spoon and Stable (211 N. 1st St.) and Bellecour (739 Lake St. E), both by Today Show regular and James Beard Rising Star Chef of the Year award winner (2008) Gavin Kaysen. (The local culinary hero’s friends and mentors include chef Daniel Boulud and chef Thomas Keller.) Bellecour, his refined French bistro, took more than 1,125 reservations on its very first day of accepting bookings before opening last March.
When Al Roker was in town recently, the weatherman visited both in one weekend after loving Spoon and Stable so much. At that restaurant, Kaysen hosts the Synergy Series in collaboration with guest chefs from Michelin-starred restaurants for which tickets, starting at $350, sell out in seconds.
The invitation-only social club Brick x Mortar in the Warehouse District is Minneapolis’ version of Soho House, with a membership cap of just 150 and hyper-exclusive programming for the Super Bowl.
Recent James Beard semifinalists lead the kitchens at Tilia, Saint Genevieve and Brewer’s Table at Surly (520 Malcolm Ave. SE), with the latter offering an unprecedented tasting menu paired with housemade craft beer.
Local staple Manny’s Steakhouse — in the same building as the W Minneapolis — is where Mario Lopez, Magic Johnson and Carlos Santana are rumored to have dug into giant portions and strong drinks (825 S. Marquette Ave.).
Mick Jagger dined on Chilean sea bass and crispy ahi spring rolls before performing at the dependable New American favorite Cafe Lurcat (1624 Harmon Place), and for a quick organic juice or raw, gluten-free smoothie when she’s in town, Whitney Port hits Truce Juice(120 N. 1st Ave.). And while it’s not open until next year, the 40,000-square-foot food hall The Dayton’s Project is hotly anticipated, with adopted Minnesotan, four-time James Beard award winner and culinary personality Andrew Zimmern (Travel Channel’s Bizarre Foods), as co-developer.