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Bill of Fare: Working late? You have options

Editor’s note: Bill of Fare is a feature on St. Paul dining that runs on the first and third Thursday of each month. Capitol Report is building an online dining guide, which is available here.

Moscow on the Hill prep cook Josue Lopez makes blinis with chicken, one of the restaurant’s late-night specials. (Staff photo: Bill Klotz)

Moscow on the Hill prep cook Josue Lopez makes blinis with chicken, one of the restaurant’s late-night specials. (Staff photo: Bill Klotz)

Those nights when work goes late and you just don’t feel like heading home to cook, St. Paul has got your back. Long past the traditional dinner hour, a multitude of restaurants and bars offer cuisine that exceeds your typical nachos and chicken wings fare.

Moscow on the Hill has been a St. Paul Cathedral Hill favorite for 22 years, known for its infused vodkas and traditional Russian food and music. It’s also a late-night hot spot, where legislators, business people, and regulars gather to sample from a menu of homemade Russian dishes.

The secluded, quiet terrace is one of guests’ favorite spots, where vines and a pergola present a peaceful atmosphere and a three-season porch protects diners from the weather. During late-night hours, Moscow on the Hill offers several specials, such as $4 appetizers or three appetizers for $10, including creamy mushrooms, blini (crepes) with chicken, and pelmeni (dumplings) with pork and beef.

There are also drink specials on cocktails, wine, beer, and 19 infused vodkas, from horseradish and ginger to honey and caraway.

Owner Marina Lieberman is proud of her restaurant’s legacy of introducing Russian cuisine, drink, art, and culture to the Twin Cities for more than two decades. It’s a place where people kick up their heels and dance to live Russian accordion music on Friday and Saturday nights, or enjoy dining out in a family-owned business where the Liebermans make everyone feel at home.

“We’ve been lucky that local people trust us for so many years and come here to learn about Russian food and culture,” Lieberman says.

Also consider the Dark Horse Bar & Eatery in Lowertown. Since it opened last fall, late-night diners have been tucking into Chinese steamed dumplings called baozi, shrimp tacos, and a Cubano sandwich with ancho-braised pork. Owner and operator Sarah Schrantz envisioned an elegant yet fun spot where people could come together over international comfort food and a robust bar.

“My business partner and I had a rule that we want our employees to be able to afford the place where they work,” she says. “There is something for everyone at all times.”

Schrantz had night owls in mind when she decided to keep the kitchen open until 2 a.m. It offers its regular dinner menu until 11 p.m., then switches to its Dark Hour menu until close. Along with drink specials on beer and wine, patrons take advantage of discounts on two-topping pizzas, pulled pork sliders, and the popular Dark Horse burger.

The Dark Horse features an expansive patio and outdoor bar. Its seating includes three tables with fires and three with gardens, providing an inviting place to sample its 101 whiskies after work or a Saints game.

 

MOSCOW ON THE HILL

371 Selby Avenue

St. Paul, MN 55102

651-291-1236

Cuisine: Russian

Two most popular dishes: Beef stroganoff, pelmeni (handmade beef and pork dumplings), infused vodkas

Cost range: $6-$27

Hours: 11 a.m.-11:30 p.m. Monday-Thursday, 11 a.m.-1 a.m. Friday, 10 a.m.-1 a.m. Saturday, 10 a.m.-11 p.m. Sunday

Delivery service: No

Closest Green Line Station: Western Avenue

 

 

DARK HORSE BAR & EATERY

250 East Seventh Street

St. Paul, MN 55101

651-313-7960

Cuisine: International comfort food

Two most popular dishes: Baozi dumplings, coconut lamb rice bowl

Cost range: $5-$22

Hours: 11 a.m.-2 a.m. Monday-Friday, 10 a.m.-2 a.m. Saturday-Sunday

Delivery service: No

Closest Green Line Station: Union Depot

 

THE BLUE DOOR PUB

1811 Selby Avenue

St. Paul, MN 55104

651-493-1865

Cuisine: Burgers

Two most popular dishes: Blucy burger, Jiffy burger, totchos (nachos with tater tots)

Cost range: $5-$10

Hours: 11 a.m.-1 a.m. daily

Delivery service: No

Closest Green Line Station: Fairview Avenue

 

LOS OCAMPO

1751 Suburban Avenue

St. Paul, MN 55106

651-256-2932

Cuisine: Mexican

Two most popular dishes: 20 varieties of tacos including smoked pork, and huarache, a masa cake and refried beans topped with choice of meat

Cost range: $4-$19

Hours: 10 a.m.-11 p.m. Monday-Thursday, 8 a.m.-1:30 a.m. Friday and Saturday, 8 a.m.-11p.m. Sunday

Delivery service: No

Closest Green Line Station: Three miles from Union Depot station

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