Sara, you're known around the Twin Cities for being a fashion maven. So clue us in: what are your favorite boutiques in the Cities?
Naturally, that depends on the mission. For affordable inspiration, it’s all about Picky Girl in St. Paul. For jeans and tees, we have spots that are just as awesome and informed as New York boutiques such as Bluebird, Covered and Parc. I am a bit of a shoe snob – Pumpz & Company carries my favorite line Belle by Sigerson Morrison and just wait until you see the Mukluks for winter. Ladyslipper has lower prices and awesome style, including Loeffler Randall boots. For MN designers, I like Cliché, because designers do size runs and you still get the charm of buying local.
Right now, shopping for clothes is all about sales. I think In Toto’s end-of-season deals are incredible. Their “leftover” merch is always really awesome. There’s also a kind of hidden pop-up outlet on Fridays and Saturdays right now at Excelsior & Grand. They have dresses and cashmere at ridiculous markdowns.
With being a woman-about-town, what are your favorite things about the Cities?
Here’s the random top ten: People watching around Lake Calhoun, salted caramel ice cream from Izzy’s, dry cleaning on wood hangers from Mulberry, vegan scones from the Wedge, being so close to the home of Aveda (and an organic beauty epicenter), perfume browsing at Cherie, Nelle handbags (www.nellehandbags.com), baliage hair color at Extrados, the heirloom grain salad from Zelo and Bacio, the Walker Art Center and the Mary Tyler Moore legacy, which continues to inspire everygirl.
What would be your last meal on earth (or at least in the Twin Cities)?
Heidi’s in Minneapolis. There are other spots with better atmosphere and service, but Heidi’s has the best food. In the winter, the vegetarian Bolognese is my favorite dish ever.
Do you have a favorite dive bar?
I’m not a big dive bar gal and not a beer drinker. But I love a lounge, in fact, I generally prefer them to eating at a proper restaurant. Right now, I’m into the speakeasy feel at Bradstreet and sitting outside at Barrio drinking a Trinity margarita (or several). I generally prefer the opposite of the dive bar: Drinking a Valentino and eating fries at La Belle Vie.
Everybody's love a happy hour -- what's your favorite?
The happy hours right now are rather excellent – you can go chi chi on the cheap! Porter & Frye has a great deal--50 percent off wines-by-the-glass and the bar menu (mini-cheesburgers included). I have been known to frequent Masa and Chambers too.
And finally, would you mind cluing us into your hidden gem of the Cities?
This isn’t in theory hidden, but lunch at Cosmos. It’s off the downtown trek a bit, but it’s quiet and you can get a delicious salad or burger plus an amuse bouche and truffle for the same price as dining at one of lesser power lunch spots.
For fashion, GH2 in Northeast has the cutest stuff at the best prices. Part-consignment and part new, I’ve found J Brand jeans for $30 and some high-end pieces way marked down.
Thanks for great insight into some fabulous places around the Cities. I'm sure people will be following your lead and yelping about them soon!