Behind the green door

Updated: May 11, 2009 - 8:22 am

W Minneapolis–The Foshay  •  821 Marquette Ave. S.  •  215-3700

Need a little break from thinking about the recession?

A trip to the Living Room at the W Minneapolis –The Foshay for a couple of cocktails will do the trick.

The lobby-level lounge — decked out in retro art deco décor inspired by the Roaring Twenties — features an open fireplace and a two-story, 40-foot-long bar. You can play board games, listen to a live DJ mix music or look for the secret door leading to the Speakeasy, a private meeting space. A green door in the Living Room leads to Manny’s Steakhouse — a reference to the classic 1972 adult film, “Behind The Green Door.”

The star of the bar’s cocktail menu, naturally, goes by the same name. The “Behind the Green Door” drink looks more like a science project than an appetizing cocktail, but looks can be deceiving. The bright green drink comes with a few chunks of dry ice that keep the cocktail bubbling and smoking for several minutes.

If you can get over the fact that you’re ingesting something that you’d expect to see on an episode of “Mr. Wizard,” you’ll enjoy this super sweet blend of Grey Goose Vodka la Poire, Midori (the vibrant green liqueur that has a melon flavor), lemon and pineapple juices.

To take the decadence to another level, I sampled the Strawberry and Cucumber Caipirinha (pronounced KIE-PEE-REEN-YAH). A traditional caipirinha is made with sugar, lime and cachaça (pronounced KA-SHA-SA), an alcohol made from sugarcane juice that is fermented and then distilled. The Living Room’s version steps it up a notch with muddled strawberry and cucumber pieces, lemon and agave nectar.

I would recommend a few appetizers to pair with the $11 cocktails since they are pretty stiff. I had the King Crab Cakes featuring Yuzu (a Japanese citrus fruit), macadamia nuts, truffle and pickled onion for $14. I also tried the Cheese and Crackers — an appetizer that is by no means your run-of-the-mill Cheese Whiz and saltines. The bar’s version pairs baked roman crackers with caramelized onions, goat cheese and a spiced fig compote for $10.

Once you’ve had the ultimate Living Room experience, be sure to take time to check out the W’s Prohibition bar located on the 27th floor of the Foshay Tower. You can take in some pretty amazing views of the city and hang out in Wilbur Foshay’s old office and boardroom.