Is it crazy to have your first day of official business be Valentine's Day? Or is it crazy like a fox? Either way you see it, Bottle Rocket will be ready.
When the St. Paul liquor license laws started loosening last year, Blue Plate realized they had an opportunity to refresh their Italian restaurant Scusi, on St. Clair and Fairview (right down the block from their Groveland Tap), and give it an updo with a full bar. What they've brought with Bottle Rocket is a bright and colorful neighborhood joint with a casual, jaunty vibe.
The restaurant is still split into two parts, the bar on the right in a cozy little long room. The bar has been given more space to function with the removal of the wine keeper system that once occupied much of the back bar. Now, there's plenty of modern and heritage spirits on the underlit back bar.
In the back of the bar, they've added more seating and a rail along the wall for standing. Plus beautiful drippy chandeliers, which are always nice. Also: love that wallpaper.
The other side holds the main dining room and kitchen, which is open to the room. There's a kitchen counter for seating right in front of the action. They were cooking for mock service while I was there and it was buzzy, but not too loud.
The rest of the dining room is a mix of tables, a few booth, a long banquet running against the wall opposite the kitchen. Even though the room is not huge, they've managed to get in a few larger group tables, that's a feat. There's a nice big barn wood 8-seater right by the front window.
I only saw bits and plates fly by, but there was this lovely dish of fried chicken and chili. Other things I saw included a crispy shrimp Caesar salad, a couple of fat burgers, and an omelet or two. Below you can get a glimpse of some of the cocktails that will be available. Erik Eastman of Easy & Oskey consulted on the drinks menu, which is a good way to get good drinks.
So if you feel like gambling on a new place for V-Day, by all means give them a visit, it could be your new lucky spot!