Nicci Sylvester cares about health, both in people and the environment and she has brought that concern and ethic to her new restaurant/Juice bar. Located on 2nd St. near downtown Rochester, MN, this small, but very attractive establishment opened last November, just prior to the beginning of one of Minnesota’s harshest winters in 30 years. All new restaurants struggle with becoming known in the community, but Tonic has had the additional challenge of subzero temperatures and repeated snowstorms. Now that spring is showing its face, and people are once again walking outside, we hope they will quickly discover this oasis of green.
The brightly lit café has a strong organic influence in both its décor and food. The long counter is made of compressed recycled paper, but you’d never know it unless I told you. Tables are scattered around with bright green filigreed chairs. The walls are painted different shades of green and on one wall an assortment of log slices creates a rustic mural. The silverware and dishes may not match, but they lend a funky fun atmosphere to the table settings and more importantly, since they were purchased at Thrift Stores or garage sales they reinforce Nicci’s belief in the 3 R’s. Reuse, Recycle, Repurpose. She really does ‘walk the talk’.
Nicci is a strong proponent of local food and makes every effort to include local growers and products in their menu. The juices are made fresh and include both veggies and fruit. This was a new experience for me, but one that is growing in popularity among those who understand the great health benefits that come from ‘juicing’.
Sandwiches, soups, and wraps are all made from scratch, as one would expect in an eating establishment of this quality. Nicci is proud of her Ukrainian heritage and I had to try the Easter European Dinner that included 5 handmade pyroki (perogis), filled with sauerkraut and seasoned mashed potatoes, served with Ukrainian style Borscht. Delicious. Mike had the bacon hash with a nive over easy egg served in a skillet.
If you are in Rochester, or have an urge for a road trip south – we encourage you to visit Tonic. You won’t be disappointed.
1217 2nd St. SW