Foshay Tower Honey Bees: The Latest in Hyper-Local Cuisine
By Joel Schettler
When it comes to food, there's local and then there's hyper-local. Let's happily place the W Minneapolis—The Foshay into the latter category.
The hotel has certainly become well known for its architecture, high-level service, and for the unique food, beverages, and atmosphere that can be found in its two lounges: The Living Room and Prohibition. But the hotel might soon become known for something absolutely unique, and absolutely local: honey from the hotel's resident honeybee colonies.
Atop the hotel's second floor rooftop at 9th and Marquette reside nearly 120,000 Carniolan honeybees. Native to Slovenia, these bees are part of two colonies, each with their own queen, says Josh Hill, executive chef of the Living Room, Prohibition, and Manny's Steakhouse. The bees venture out about two to three miles from the hives to gather nectar. The quality of the honey reflects the bee's environment; in this case, the areas frequented by the bees include urban parks, the riverbanks of the Mississippi, residential gardens, and balcony planters, among others. The result is a one-of-a-kind, hyper-local honey. "The diversity of the area yields a complex, nuanced honey that's mellow and floral, with a buttery Chardonnay-like quality," says Hill.
The bees spend the winter in the hives. Each spring they gather nectar and, by the end of the summer, the honey is ready for harvesting. Since honey is available only once a year, it is only available for a limited time, in limited quantities. Initially, the honey can be found in the following dishes at The Living Room and Prohibition:
The Minneapolis Grilled Cheese: Features Widmer four-year aged cheddar on a toasted brioche, drizzled with Foshay Tower Honey, and served with tomato fondue, $10.
Artisanal Cheese Plate: A selection of three regional cheeses, accompanied by fig compote, berries, house-made lavash bread, and Foshay Tower Honey, $15.
The BeeDeviled Cocktail: An autumn happy hour offering with Jim Beam Devil's Cut, Sobieski Vanilla Vodka, pineapple juice, and Foshay Tower Honey, $5 at happy hour.
So, if you want to try it, you had better do it soon. As they say, "Act now, while supplies last."
W Minneapolis - The Foshay
821 Marquette Avenue