Devotees Rejoice! King and I Thai to Re-Open in New Location [Update]

Categories: Coming Soon, News

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WIll the new King and I live up to the old?

Driving by the shuttered King and I space was like walking past the graveyard where an old friend had gone to rest. So, so sad.

The friend who gave you so many good memories, cooked fabulous towers of Pad Thai to nurse your hangover, while you simultaneously cultivated another on Tiki drinks, with house music throbbing in the background.

You've never met anyone quite like it since -- the ultimate friend with benefits -- the one who would receive you into the dark, mysterious comfort of her underground lair, play just the record you needed to hear and ply you with vodka, naam pla, and pure unadulterated lovin'.

Reliable to the end, always tasty, sending you back into the cold world satiated and happily spent.

See also:
King and I Thai to close December 17


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10 Minutes with Lucia Watson of Lucia's on the Eve of Her Retirement

Categories: News

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Lucia's Restaurant
Lucia Watson is celebrating her retirement after nearly 30 years at her beloved eponymous restaurant

We were going to call this 15 minutes with Lucia Watson, but she is a wee bit busy with the news that after 29 years at her eponymous Uptown restaurant, wine bar, and bakery cafe, she will be selling to a group of local investors.

She insists that the news really isn't all that interesting: "I've been at this for 30 years, which is a pretty long time. I turned 60. You start visualizing what you want it to look like, and this was the right thing at the right time."

See also:
Signature Dish: Lucia's chef Lucia Watson


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Heartland Farm Direct Market Closing for Concept Overhaul on New Year's Day

Categories: News

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Heartland Farm Direct Market will become Heartland Sausage Company

Ever the forward-thinking businessman, chef Lenny Russo is making a shrewd move into the sausage and deli business in anticipation of the Saints Ballpark opening in his 'hood this spring. Russo is poised to accommodate the throngs of hungry fans who will undoubtedly be storming the area for sausage and beer.

The working name for the deli is Heartland Sausage Company and the location is Russo's current culinary emporium, Heartland Farm Direct Market. Changes will include additional seating and the elimination of produce and fish for sale. Meat, cheese, bakery, and hot food items will still be available along with expanded deli offerings, beer, and wine. They are anticipating an April 2015 reopening.

See also:
Heartland Farm Direct Market Morphing into Ballpark Friendly Deli?

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Should Local Restaurants Add a Gratuity Line for Kitchen Staff?

Categories: News

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Should kitchen staff be tipped for their toil?

The custom of tipping has received lots of attention these days with talk of the minimum wage hike and what it means for restaurateurs, and more general conversations about how we got to this place of default 20 percent gratuity with every meal.

Still another less discussed issue is whether or not to tip kitchen staff. A dirty little secret of the restaurant industry -- or maybe as a society we know but we just don't care -- is that most kitchen staff don't make a living that can be described as gainful or sustainable. About $11-$13 hourly is the going rate for a good line cook in an independent Twin Cities restaurant, very often less, and sometimes a couple or a few dollars more for very high-end or corporate establishments.

See also:
Minnesota restaurants want tips included in minimum wage


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Ordering Girl Scout Cookies Online? Not So Fast.

Categories: News

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Girl Scouts of America
You are what you eat

However steeped in tradition, no matter how cute that tradition may be nor how many sashes and berets you bestow upon it, we all must admit: WE WANT GIRL SCOUT COOKIES ALL YEAR LONG.

It could be argued that nothing sells cookies faster than earnest, ruddy-cheeked little scouts with puppy-dog eyes -- except the internet.

See also:
Girl Scout cookie season begins with a new store at MOA


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Jimmy Fallon Heckles Minneapolis's Upcoming Vegan Butcher Shop

Categories: News

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Jimmy Fallon as he appears on the Herbivorous Butcher Facebook Page

Let's face it: The phrase "vegan butcher shop" is a bit of an oxymoron, and the brother and sister team behind the successful Kickstarter campaign for the Herbivorous Butcher are sitting ducks for the inevitable mockery -- some lighthearted, some not -- of their endeavor.

See also:
The Herbivorous Butcher Plans Fake Meat Emporium in South Minneapolis


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A Night at Nye's: Toasting the Past with the Regulars

Categories: News

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Enjoying a round at Nye's Piano Bar

At 4 p.m. when the bar opens, one day after news hit that stalwart bar Nye's Polonaise would be closing next year, many details appear to be business as usual. A beer truck's hazard lights flash in the hazy afternoon light as it idles next to the front door. The linen truck is pulling into the parking lot for a delivery of fresh kitchen towels, aprons, and napkins. Other things are less than usual: television cameras set up and trained on old-timers as they head inside. A stooped-over gentleman is telling an anchor how he feels about the news.

Inside, two ladies of a certain age sit at the end of the bar in faux fur coats and hats. They nurse lowballs and glasses of red wine. Dan Richardson, Nye's barman of 19 years, knows each of them by name, and they address him by his. He's setting up his bar as he would any other night, filling small glasses with matches and checking the pars on bottles.

As the steady stream of guests trickles in, there's only one subject on people's lips -- they're heartbroken over the news.

See also:
Closing of Nye's Polonaise Room Inspires Citywide Heartache, Mourning, Sniping


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Closing of Nye's Polonaise Room Inspires Citywide Heartache, Mourning, Sniping

Categories: News

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Judging from the social media outcry when Northeast drinking institution Nye's Poloniase Room announced it would be closing next fall, the public can't imagine a world without the singular mash-up that is polka, piano bar, classic cocktails, and Kielbasa.

Weirdly charming as that combo is -- all set in a pitch-perfect 1950s time-capsule dining room that's never been touched by a remodel -- a place for every occasion it isn't. Owners Rob and Tony Jacob say business just isn't what it needs to be to keep the doors open.

As patrons, we love to love our relics -- last year's shuttering of Peter's Grill, after 99 years in business, inspired similar cries of woe. And yet, when did we really eat one of their open-face turkey sandwiches with a side of canned peaches and cottage cheese? Rarely.

See also:
Nye's Polonaise Room Will Close


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Brasa Rotisserie Gets Its Own B.T. McElrath Chocolate Bar

Categories: Great Gifts, News

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It appears Brasa Rotisserie is not just content to offer up some of the best, smokiest meats and Caribbean-inspired side dishes around. Now they've teamed up with local chocolatier B.T. McElrath (best known for the otherworldly Salty Dog, as well as other chef-driven approaches to chocolate making, like balsamic-zinfandel truffles).

The move seems like a good fit for the restaurant, which has long touted the use of local, natural, and organic products. Chocolate has enjoyed a recent resurgence in health circles -- high-cocoa chocolate is known to contain powerful antioxidants and offer myriad other health benefits.

Plus, you know, chocolate.

See also:
Best Chocolate 2014 -- B.T. McElrath's buttered toast bar


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Local Chef Erik Anderson Cooks for Food & Wine's Chef's Club, NYC

Categories: News

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Erik Anderson
Erik Anderson, hometown chef with big-city cred

So you're one of the hottest up-and-coming young chefs in the country with an impending restaurant of your own, yet the plans and build-out have you resting on your hot little heels until the ink is dry on the lease and the hoods are installed in the kitchen.

What's an antsy chef to do?

See also:
Erik Anderson, from Minneapolis to Food & Wine Best New Chef


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