Meteor – City Pages' Best New Bar just off Broadway Avenue, staffed by casual pros pouring dandy drinks – is debuting a brand new, exciting trick up its sleeve.
On evenings from Wednesday through Sunday until the end of September, the tiny Minneapolis bar we know (and adore) for serving mellow, low-key perfection in a cup has announced it's switching up its game a smidgelet. This new offering – called Meteor, Interrupted – will offer guests a chance to settle in for a coursed, grand cocktail tasting experience.
As Meteor's co-founder Robb Jones explained to City Pages, this reservation-only pop-up jaunt was inspired by a desire to create an easily controlled and regulated environment for customers during the pandemic, while also providing an element of surprise to newcomers and established Meteor regulars alike. By swizzling together high-end spirits and techniques that don't ordinarily fit behind the snug little bar, our humble barkeeps could make the most of skills and ingredients they keep tucked away during “normal” service.
The estimated 90 minute-long experience consists of three cocktails, starting and ending with a daily made aperitif and digestif, plus the guest's choice of one “grand" cocktail. Think: doozies like Meteor’s Big Ass Pineapple Mai Tai, which they're promising will be “the best goddamn Mai Tai you’ve ever had.” One glance leaves little doubt about that bluster. The tiki wonder that’s too much of a pain in the ass for average bar service (our words, not theirs) comes stacked with rums, baijiu, gin, "pineapple three ways," macadamia, lime, more garnish than you can shake a stick at, and arrives in a bronze grenade – no, sorry, we meant a pineapple mug.
Other options are the refreshing but not too sweet Fruit Cup, which Jones describes as, "what would happen if we made a garden into a cocktail," and the Cleanest Dirty Martini, in which science combines with booze to create magic. As Jones explained, "Castelvetrano olives are blended in great vodka and then clarified using a centrifuge. What’s left is a spirit that tastes and smells like amazing olives. Then we use our bartending talents to make a delicious martini with dry vermouth, salt, and lemon oil."
Also included in the $55 per person price tag (pre tax and service) for Meteor, Interrupted are three snacks, which may change from time to time, but Jones says they'll always be things guests can eat with their fingers. A recent menu was anything but those Doritos and Zapp's from their Boiler menu (which is still available during limited hours, to be fair)… A roasted sweet corn blini with smoked salmon, dill creme fraiche, and roasted beets was followed by deviled eggs with truffle, chive, and pickled shitake mushrooms, and a shrimp cocktail made with pickled pepper, mezcal glazed pineapple, and a pineapple salsa for dunking closed things out.
Not into this fancified version of Meteor? Don't worry, Manthey and Jones haven't abandoned Meteor's low-key roots. Every Wednesday through Sunday from 5 to 10 p.m., an abbreviated version of its regular menu is available to customers via walk-in and online reservations. They're calling this incarnation "Meteor Lives!"
Look for a curated local tap list, a couple of the hot dogs from their to-go days (Meteor Style dressed with kimchi mayo, scallions, and crispy onions, or Frank's Style with kraut, relish, mayo, mustard, and ketchup all blended into a "sauce"), and some of those beloved boilers.
All you saucy sippers have to do now is reserve a socially distanced seat at Meteor, Interrupted before an actual meteor* slams into the bar – like almost happened last Sunday, and may happen on November 2, sparing us the election (if we're extremely lucky).
*Asteroid, whatever. Drink up!