Twin Cities date night at Loews Minneapolis Hotel with vegan surf & turf, and an overflowing charcuterie board with Herbivorous Butcher meats & cheeses. Perfect for when you want to get pampered or treat your loved one to a night on the town.
Thank you to Loews Minneapolis Hotel for hosting me & providing complimentary meals.
Update: Loews Minneapolis Hotel is currently offering a limited menu, because of the pandemic. They are not offering Herbivorous Butcher products at this time, but hope that they will again soon. I’ll update this post when that happens!
Something I really crave on big birthdays, anniversaries, and special occasions are swanky vegan dinner options. They exist, but they tend to be few and far between and often along the coasts. (Not a big help when you’re landlocked!)
I crave having a reason to dress up, go out, and really get pampered by vegan fine dining.
So I was delighted when Loews Minneapolis Hotel reached out to me about visiting while I was in town earlier this month. They have multiple restaurants & bars at their upscale downtown location.
Best of all, they have partnered with local flavor-makers in Minneapolis for their Flavor by Loews Hotels program. That’s when they highlight some of the unique tastes of the area within the four walls of their hotel.
One of their partners is the Herbivorous Butcher. They use HB products both on a vegan charcuterie board, and a plant-based take on surf and turf.
So after getting gussied up and using a ride sharing app to take a car to the hotel, we started our Minneapolis date night by checking in for our 6 o’clock reservation at Cosmos. It is located on the fourth floor of the hotel.
There we met the manager, chef, and our server for the night, who explained all of the hotel’s unique vegan offerings.
Vegan cocktail menu
We started with a couple of cocktails off their new vegan cocktail menu. All of the alcoholic ingredients on the menu have been verified on Barnivore as being 100% vegan-friendly.
I had a seasonal gin fizz, which includes lime juice, lemon simple syrup, gin, and a splash of beer. The flavors reminded me of a fresh take on a shandy.
I’m more of a gin fan than a beer fan, so it probably wasn’t the best order for me. But for beer lovers, I think they’d really enjoy it as a refreshing beer option that is especially nice for warm weather months.
David had the cucumber herb martini with vodka, cucumber, and lime. It’s the cocktail you want after a day at the spa.
Filling out the rest of their vegan cocktail menu is a White Russian, margarita cocktail, coconut iced coffee, Sazerac, Manhattan, beer, and champagne.
Vegan charcuterie board
Longtime readers know I’m happy to make a meal out of a charcuterie board any day of the week. Even if that means I’m simply opening up jars of whatever pickled things are in my refrigerator, slicing some raw vegetables, and putting a block of non-dairy cheese and seitan pepperoni on a cutting board.
So I’m even happier when a vegan charcuterie is a real interactive affair.
And that was the case with the vegan charcuterie board at Cosmos. The beautiful spread included Herbivorous Butcher vegan turkey and capicola ham slices, seitan sausage, two kinds of non-dairy cheese – pepper jack and smoked gouda.
The board was filled out with a spoonful of fruit preserves, orange simple syrup, and many pickled items made in house – including pickled cucumbers, green beans, and even green strawberries, which had notes of cardamom.
Bringing new meaning to hyper local, the edible blossoms adorning the charcuterie board were grown on the Loews rooftop garden, along with some of the other produce served at Cosmos.
Plant-based surf & turf
For our main course, I ordered the Herbivorous Butcher surf & turf with umami-rich vegan tenderloin on a bed of pureed sweet potato with a side of broccolini.
And for the surf aspect – scallops made with sliced trumpet mushrooms. I’ve been seeing pictures of scallops made from mushrooms for years. I was excited to finally get a taste for myself.
Herbivorous Butcher steak can really take a good sear. So the only thing that could have taken this entrée up a notch is if both the steak and scallops had been finished with a nice hard sear in the pan for extra crust & sink-your-teeth-into-it texture.
Off menu plant-based options
To really taste a full range of their menu & what they offer, the chef suggested for David’s entrée that he could make something off menu, using local produce.
First, he suggested a puffball mushroom pizza, using a horizontal slice of a puffball mushroom as a naturally gluten free crust, and then adding toppings. But David was leaning towards something lighter. The chef suggested a caprese-style salad.
The typical mozzarella in a caprese salad was replaced with chilled mushrooms – including hen of the woods, trumpet mushrooms, and morels that had been lightly pickled. (The mushrooms were foraged by the head chef himself!)
Thickly cut tomatoes were topped with a generous drizzle of balsamic reduction and fresh basil.
And for dessert…
We finished the meal with a dense chocolate cake adorned with chocolate shards, and served with fruit sorbet & fresh berries.
The real showstopper in this dessert was the caramel sauce on top. It had gooey pull & give for days. I could have made a meal of that alone.
The vegan cocktail & food menu is available not only at Cosmos, but also at every restaurant/bar at the Loews Minneapolis Hotel. Yes, even for room service! If vacation for you means sliding into your cozy hotel bed in your jammies with a vegan charcuterie board & cocktails, well, you know what you need to do.
In addition to their vegan food & drink menu, they also offer a chef’s signature tasting menu & kitchen table. That’s when you actually dine in the kitchen for a multi-course meal, personalized to your tastes, while the chef describes & explains each course to you.
There was a group taking part in a Chef’s Table the night we were there. They were just getting started with drinks before the dining part began in earnest. They said they wouldn’t mind if I grabbed a picture for this post.
If you’d like to set up a vegan Chef’s Table, just let them know when you set up a reservation at (612) 677-1100. They will ask about dietary restrictions, and you can discuss getting a 100% vegan Chef’s Table then.
Thank you again to Loews Minneapolis Hotel for hosting me & providing complimentary meals for our Minneapolis date night, and to Meet Minneapolis for information on what to see & do while in the area. All opinions expressed are fully my own.