MN Monthly Drink of the Month: Aviation

Ever since Nightingale first opened their doors in an elegantly converted bodega in Minneapolis’ Whittier neighborhood, we knew we could count on them for small plates, late night eats, and gorgeously crafted cocktails. Since those early days in the fall of 2012, the restaurant has evolved into a part of the fabric of the neighborhood. It’s a go-to spot for a stylish and wildly affordable happy hour, and the weekend brunch is a doozy.

While the food menu has never been better, my favorite yardstick to hold is how they do a classic cocktail—very well, in this case. The Manhattan is beautifully balanced with a smoky thread of booze. The Sazerac boasts just the right amount of Absinthe bitterness, and the Aviation is a stone cold stunner.

The Aviation was first mixed early in the 20th century by Hugo Ensslin, who was the head bartender at the Hotel Wallick in New York. The recipe was published in Ensslin’s 1916 Recipes for Mixed Drinks and called for gin, lemon juice, maraschino liqueur, and crème di violette. It’s that final ingredient that gives the drink its gorgeous color. At Nightingale, the ingredients are all top shelf, including just a touch of Luxardo for the whisp of cherry tartness that plays upon the bright lemon and herbaceous, crisp Hendrick’s gin. -Joy Summers

City Pages: Nightingale’s Carrie McCabe Johnston: Chef, Family Woman, Sausage Maker


My kitchen chat with Carrie McCabe Johnston, chef and co-owner of Nightingale, begins and ends with a kiss. She owns the place with her partner of 19 years, Jasha Johnston, and they’ve been married “for seven or eight of those, I think.” Though they’ve been joined at the hip for the almost three years that Nightingale has been in business — she runs the kitchen and he’s the front-of-house man — he greets her with a smooch and says goodbye with one too, and they both seem genuinely happy about all of it.

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Mothers Day 2015

Forget to make your Mothers Day Brunch reservations? Bring your Mama to Nightingale for dinner this Sunday between 4pm-1am. We will show her such a good time with our new Spring menu, she’ll never know you forgot.

Tuesday Date Night

Tuesday Date Night begins today!
For $20/person, we are offering a three course menu.

Tonights options are:

Sweet Pea Hush Puppies with Pea & Ramp Remoulade OR
Bibb Lettuce Salad with Radishes, Grilled Red Onions & Buttermilk Dressing

Red Wine Pappardelle with Bay Scallops, Ramps & Asparagus OR
Grilled Sausages with accompaniments OR
Masa Gnochi with Avocado, Chiles and Parmigiano

Chocolate Pot de Creme

Add a bottle of featured wine for $20
Gruner Veltliner, Leth 2013 Austria
Mencia, El Castro de Valtuille, 2012 Spain

1 of the 27 Women Shaping the MN Food Scene

Carrie McCabe Johnston studied art history in college but unexpectedly found herself a mother at age 19.

“I had to cook for a family,” she said. “I started reading cookbooks and getting more and more interested in food and ingredients and less and less interested in my studies in college.”

McCabe Johnston had been working in restaurants since she was 16, but it wasn’t until age 25 that she made the permanent leap to the back of the house.


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Mardi Gras in MPLS

Please join us tomorrow, Fat Tuesday, while we bring a little New Orleans to Minneapolis. Mitch Kersten will be DJing New Orleans tunes. The kitchen will feature Big Easy fare, we’ll be featuring $5 Saxeracs all week long as well as rotating NOLA cocktails through out the week. Come on by!