High-backed booths, outdoor seating (including one table with a fire in the middle), and enticements like Jenga games and funky drinks make it easy to kick back and linger at the Commons Hotel’s farm-to-table restaurant. You may be able to get a mixology lesson at the bar or just find inspiration among handcrafted cocktails such as the Rite of Spring, a lightly sweet combination of lemongrass, elderflower liqueur, orange vodka and Prosecco (most cocktails run $10 to $12). The Beacon also serves Minnesota and Midwestern beers and a range of wines.
Menus change with the seasons, but chefs tap local producers for honey, meats and cheeses year-round. We started with bacon-cheddar biscuits ($6) that struck the right balance of sweet and salty when slathered with thick honey mustard. Small plates often feature salads along the lines of mild golden beets, curly frisee lettuce, a light dressing and sweet goat cheese ($10), or tuna with watermelon and new potatoes tossed with romaine. Savory entrees might include salmon and a few slices of charred grapefruit matched with a nutty, colorful mix of Minnesota wild rice, carrots and couscous ($26), or tender brick-roasted chicken with fingerling potatoes, green olives and fennel ($19).
Servings are modest enough that you’ll likely have room for dessert. We loved the apple tart with salted caramel sauce and cinnamon ice cream ($9); the custardy bread pudding made with chocolate-filled croissant is good, too.
The Beacon also serves hearty breakfasts like a skillet-roasted Greek frittata ($12) and shrimp hash with remoulade ($16). Lunches offer the likes of a pulled pork taco salad ($10), a grilled turkey burger ($11) and mussels with frites ($11).