Somewhere during the course of all this bar-going, I got a dog. She's a beagle/bluetick coonhound mix, her name is Raider, and she is actually the cutest dog in the whole entire world. The problem is, after months of being moved from one dog shelter to another and being abandoned by her family on no less than two occasions, she developed very severe separation anxiety. For a few weeks after we adopted her in mid-June, living with this dog was almost unbearable. We couldn't go anywhere, ever, because we couldn't leave her alone or she'd start howling and screaming and tearing up everything in sight, not to mention hurting herself in her desperate attempts to escape.
I mention all this only because the first time we went to Tip Top Kitchen and Cocktails, it was only because we needed a place to go for dinner that would let us bring the dog.
I should clarify: they wouldn't let us bring her inside. But they have a very nice outdoor patio with a not-too-shabby view of downtown, so we were given a table outside right next to the fence so that I could tie Raider's leash to the fence...with her on the other side, since technically having a dog in the patio was some sort of health code violation. Or something. Whatever, there are dogs at Northstar all the time.
Obviously, they win major points from me for being dog-friendly. Even more so because every single member of the staff came over to pet Raider at some point during our meal. The customers, too. And random passersby. And even a wedding photographer, who took pictures of her. But enough about how awesome my dog is.
Tip Top is great. Not only was the food good, but it was interesting--it's not just your typical American fare. They have a ton of veggie options and even more dishes that can be easily converted upon request. The macaroni and cheese is delicious, if you can get over the fact that you sort of feel like you're ordering off the kids' menu (trust me, this is adult mac 'n cheese). And the drink menu was thoroughly satisfying. They even have a selection of ciders, which impressed this one-time London resident, at least.