Over our time eating, enjoying, and reviewing for Hays Take, we’ve found that sometimes some of the best food comes from places you wouldn’t expect. Down in the basement of Hotel Ivy, Constantine provides an interesting bar atmosphere but also delivers exceptional cocktails and eats.
For as great as Constantine is, it still reminds a hidden gem of sorts and that could partially be due to its hidden location under Hotel Ivy and Monello. With minimal advertising or signage from the street, you’d only know it’s there through recommendation or noticing the stairs near the entrance of Monello. Once you’ve found the way, you’ll enter a space that’s exactly what you’d expect in a basement bar. A mostly dark room with antique decor the atmosphere is a type of mix between a speakeasy and a VIP section. The three sided bar dominates the space with scattered high tops nearby, and around the outsides are couches and chairs with small tables to set drinks or food. No surprise that a basement bar is dark, but with most of the light in the space created from candles, you’ll lose track of where the sun is in the sky with ease. While this may sound a bit depressing overall, the music and the mood keeps things lighter and enjoyable.
Constantine is well known for their cocktails, with a great menu that provides a detailed list of ingredients as well as 3 scales for flavor of the drink so you can find something that fits for your taste or mood. What they’re most known for is their Old Fashioned. Using Knob Creek Bourbon combined with sarsaparilla, chocolate, orange and Earl Giles piloncillo that gives it a light maple syrup smell and taste as it finishes. Their food menu isn’t large, but it’s full of some real winners. Don’t be fooled by the fancy name, the Tater Barrels are classic tater tots that come with an incredible cheese sauce. Also on the menu is a great lobster roll, a seared tuna sandwich, and even a hot dog! While there are plenty of great options, our standout and favorite is their dirty double burger. Two chuck and brisket patties are covered in American cheese, and have a layer of griddled onions on one side and a layer of pickles on the other, surrounded by a warm buttered sesame seed bun. It’s a delicious buttery burger that melts away in your mouth too soon. This one definitely will go down as one of our favorites.
Constantine is set up like a hidden gem and it really is one. With a cool low key atmosphere, incredible cocktails, and a burger that’s a complete home run, we’ll always find an excuse to make a trip back.
Check them out here: https://www.constantinempls.com/
Or give it a try at: 1115 2nd Ave. S Minneapolis, MN 55403