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Leave it to Patrick Atanalian to re-imagine beer-cheese soup. Staying true to form, the Sanctuary chef shuns orthodoxy, in this instance by enlisting ginger beer’s zesty bite to modernize a classic potato soup ($5). The cheery lemonade-like color is a tonic on a dark and dreary winter’s night. As for the dairy, it’s crème fraîche, jazzed with garlic and chile.
903 Washington Av. S., Mpls., 612-339-5058, www.sanctuaryrestaurant.com
Oceanaire Seafood Room
When the mood for clam chowder strikes, the only reasonable course of action is to make a beeline to the Oceanaire Seafood Room. No flights of culinary fancy here, just a welcome exercise in straight-up Americana ($5.95 and $7.95), carefully balancing that winning alchemy of potatoes, bacon, cream and a bevy of plump, shimmering clams. It’s a trip to New England, minus the airfare.
50 S. 6th St., Mpls., 612-333-2277, www.theoceanaire.com
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