The Mother-in-Law Diaries: A Groom’s Dinner at a Place Called the Bachelor Farmer

Young man wearing a black shirt and red tie greets guests at Minneapolis' Bachelor Farmer restaurant.

Peter greeted guests at the groom’s dinner held in the Afghan Room at The Bachelor Farmer restaurant in Minneapolis. Photos by BF Newhall

By Barbara Falconer Newhall

The wedding ceremony was going to be a simple one, so there was no need for an actual rehearsal. But that didn’t mean we couldn’t have ourselves a rehearsal dinner.

We’d just call it a groom’s dinner. Jon and I would host. We’d find ourselves a fun restaurant and the bride and groom could invite all the people who’d made this moment possible (including the guy who cleverly arranged for Peter and Emily to meet up again after a long separation).

Both bride and groom are foodies, so it didn’t take them long to make a list of their favorite Minneapolis restaurants. The list in hand and reservations made, Jon and I flew to Minneapolis in January to audition the suggestions.

Each restaurant proved better than the last, and each offered at least one thoughtful vegetarian dish. If you are ever in Minneapolis, squeeze as many of these restaurants into your itinerary as you can manage. You won’t be sorry.

ImageSolera, 900 Hennepin Avenue, Minneapolis, MN  55403.  612-338.0062.  Small plates tapas, Spanish, with an emphasis on locally grown foods. We decided this space was way too big for our 20 or so guests, so we opted not to sample this restaurant. But the food is wonderful, according to all reports.

PhotoAmore Victoria Ristorante, 1601 West Lake St, Minneapolis, MN  55408‎. 612-823-0250.  The food was excellent at this atmospheric Italian restaurant. A real crowd pleaser. But for me the private room was little dark and the food was . . . Italian. We wanted something more off the beaten path.

Haute Dish, 119 Washington Avenue N., Minneapolis, MN  55401. 612-338-8484. You pronounce it Hot Dish — as in, “I’ll bring a hot dish.” Haute Dish celebrates and updates everything Midwestern, with delectable, imaginative results. Try the Tater Tots Hautedish. Too bad the private room was just a tiny space at the back of this fun, informal restaurant; we wanted a separate room for our party.

The Bachelor Farmer, 50 2nd Ave N, Minneapolis, MN 55401. 612-206-3920. Bingo. This was restaurant  for us. We loved the Afghan Room upstairs — so named for the colorful afghans that line the walls. And the food was perfection. The menu choices for our groom’s dinner guests included walleye, and rabbit sausages.

The Afghan Room at Minneapolis' Bachelor Farmer restaurant is covered with colorful afghans. A groom's dinner took place there in May, 2013. Photo by BF Newhall

The Afghan Room at The Bachelor Farmer, with lilac bouquets from Bastian+Skoog.

menu for a groom's dinner at bachelor farmer restaurant in minneapolis. photo by bf newhall

Smoerrebroed; poached duck egg with fiddlehead fern; roasted walleye with golden beets; pork shoulder with fermented cabbage dolma, and rabbit sausage with duck fat braised potatoes were on our groom’s dinner menu.

A young couple outside The Bachelor Farmer restaurant, Minneapolis, MN on a rainy night. Photo by BF Newhall

It rained as the bride and groom left Bachelor Farmer the night before their wedding.

Bastian+Skoog floral design with fat bunches of May lilacs. Photo by BF Newhall

A week before the wedding I realized I’d neglected to order flowers for Peter’s groom’s dinner. A local florist, Bastian+Skoog, came to the rescue with fat bunches of seasonal spring lilacs that contrasted beautifully with the two long, bare, blond wooden tables at The Bachelor Farmer. Lilacs don’t usually last long, but I took the bouquets to our hotel room anyway and put them out again for the brunch on Sunday morning. The leaves had wilted a bit, but the blossoms were still going strong two days later.

You can read more about getting dressed for the wedding and getting ready to be a mother in law elsewhere on my website.





  1. Emily Newhall says:

    That was such a fun night! So glad we picked The Bachelor Farmer. Great job on the lilacs… I didn’t know you arranged those; I thought the restaurant did since they fit in so well.

    • Barbara Falconer Newhall says:

      Yes, there was a lot of emailing back and forth with the florist, who had a number of ideas. But I liked the idea of lilacs; lilacs were everywhere when I was a kid growing up in Michigan, but we don’t see much of them here in California. I wonder why.

      The florist works with Bachelor Farmer often, so they knew what the tables would look like — and how purple those afghans were!

  2. Lovely! I would have chosen the afghan room, too. Love the lilacs – they smell heavenly. Congratulations to you, Barbara, Jon, Peter and the rest of the family!


  1. […] To read more about Peter’s groom’s dinner — and the restaurants of Minneapolis — go to “A Groom’s Dinner at a Place Called The Bachelor Farmer.”  […]

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