Bachelor Farmer and Marvel Bar are operated independently but both founded by the Daytons and located in the same place (Marvel Bar is underneath Bachelor Farmer). Similar in concept to Borough and Parlour (the subject of a future post). Bachelor Farmer is truly committed to local, so much so that they even grow their own produce on the rooftop.
We started out with some steak toast and nettle soup. Followed by duck breast and rabbit sausage with a side of bacon kale. It’s been awhile since I visited this place, so I don’t recall all the details of what we had. Toast seemed to be a thing there. It may have been what we ordered or maybe toast just isn’t my thing but I enjoyed the nettle soup more than the toast. First time I had tried nettle before, but I enjoyed it quite a bit. Since then, I’ve had nettle soup as an amuse bouche at a number of places. Seasonal, but apparently that’s become quite popular, too. For wine, they have an option where you can get a glass from wine normally served by the bottle if someone else has ordered it. They keep a chalkboard tally of glasses remaining. I got the last glass of a delicious 09 Austrian blaufrankish.
Marvel Bar offers a great place to grab some seriously crafted cocktails before or after. My favorites are the Gatsby and the signature Oliveto. I think my favorite thing was sitting at the bar and watching the bartenders make the drinks. The one who made my Oliveto really got some speed on his shaking. I think my fascination with the art in crafting food and drink started with sitting at the kitchen counter in a small Vancouver tapas place called Bin 941. About the span of 2 arm widths, and the counter barely had space for the 3 of us, but it was the first time I had seen such passion for the art of food, and this place was the first I had seen such a passion for the art of drink.
- Oliveto: olive oil, raw egg white, lemon, Licor 43, Gordon’s
- Gatsby: salt, apricot, Benedictine, Oban 14yr, distilled water
The food wasn’t exceptionally cheap, and with small portions, it’s best to get a couple entrees and a couple appetizers and share for 2 people. Maybe less if you don’t eat as much as I do. That puts you at around $30-40/person or more before tax for food alone. Far from the most money a meal has cost me, but not for the most frugal of folks.
The restaurant was cute. Gave the impression of a farm house but definitely with class. The servers were very hipster. However, I can’t say enough about the venue for Marvel Bar. It’s just an entire experience. Speak-easies and Prohibition era cocktails are en vogue today. Perhaps I was ahead of my time, or perhaps it’s just the natural progression as you pass the college bar scene, but I enjoyed Prohibition Bar at The Foshay a long time ago. It was a birthday destination of mine in early 2011. However, Marvel Bar takes this to a whole new level. The journey begins by walking down a dead end street to pass your ID to a guy at the corner of a building outside an unmarked door. Through that door lies an unfinished passageway complete with industrial conduit with a purple door at the far end. Through that door is the wine cellar basement, Pip Hanson’s Marvel Bar. I enjoy food that includes a full experience, from dive to decadence. This was definitely on the upper end of that scale, but still one of my favorites for the Twin Cities.