2940 Lyndale Ave. South
Minneapolis, MN
Tel: 612.821.6262

Minneapolis, MN: The first sake brewery/restaurant outside of Japan


In keeping with Twin Cities' sense of well-matched pairs, moto-i gives you two great reasons to pay a visit.

The first is the Izakaya-style offerings from star-on-the-rise chef Jason Engelhart. Fried shishito peppers, Thai beef jerky Sriracha, buns, dumplings, bulgogi, and yakitori—Englehart is less focused on national borders than on making sure every small plate is packed with flavor. Eat lightly or full-out, you will eat very well.

You'll also drink well, the second part of this felicitous duo. Moto-i is the first sake brewery/restaurant outside of Japan and Minnesota winters are the better for it. Owner and head brewer Blake Richardson produces a number of varieties, available as namazake, which means it's on draft and unpasteurized. However you like your sake—hot, cold, dry, sweet, or the basis for an excellent cocktail—you'll get a new appreciation for what rice can achieve, along with a nice buzz. Another fine pair.

Photo: Craig Bares for moto-i

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