It’s Fresh Forkin’ Friday and according to Minnesota law, you should be heading out of town to points “up north”. Personally, I couldn’t think of anything scarier … but that’s because I have kids. Instead of taking one last running leap off the dock, I’ll be furiously searching for graphing calculators and wide-ruled paper (Steph March law states you can’t buy school supplies until after August 15, which sometimes yields nothing but picked over bins). I’ll be rifling through last year’s jeans to see if there’s any chance they might fit for a month. And I’ll be planning the snacks rotation and making the annual pledge to bake all my own granola bars, plan each week’s dinner ahead of time, and somehow eradicate chicken fingers from the planet. I love the smell of fresh No. 2 Ticonderogas in the morning.
Cafe Maude at Loring opened in the former Nick & Eddie space this week. Chef Matt Kempf, who I think is a bit undersung, has pulled out some new tricks on the menu. Shrimp and lobster terrine with arugula and pickled cauliflower is on my list, so is a drink called The Fruited Pig: Pig’s Nose scotch with Pierre Fernand cognac, grapefruit juice, spiced syrup, and hopped grapefruit bitters. The space has gone from minimalist-artsy to Mpls.-meets-Marrakesh.
The Kenwood opens next Thursday in the Isles neighborhood. Don Saunders and his team are finishing up training this weekend and plan to throw open the doors next week for all day eating. Coffee and pastries in the morning will give way to daily brunch (I like this trend!) which will peter out into a noshy small plates afternoon’s snacking before finally giving way to dinner. And we all know how that goes under Saunders’ rule (read: yay!).
** Side note: Both these spaces were designed with Jim Smart, and they are completely unique to themselves.
Devil’s Advocate is opening the back room. Starting next week, on Wednesday through Saturdays you can skip the balls and order the classic steak frites from 7-10pm.
Did you see the giant Lionel Ritchie head in Edina’s former Franklin Street Bakery? What could it mean? DMG says it’s all about a good slice.
Holy Moly, what with all the State Fair chatter you almost forgot that next weekend is Kramarczuk’s Kielbasa Fest, didn’t you?!?!?! It’s a little silly how much sausage fun a $10 ticket can get you. It runs Fri./Sat. and your ticket gets you a commemorative beer stein and your first beer free, plus there’s live music, sizzling sausages, and a potato pyrohy eating contest for the steel of stomach.
And if that isn’t enough to get your Autumn eating engines revved, consider that Oyster Fest is happening at the end of the month. Advance tickets have been selling well, and general public tickets go on sale this Tuesday, so hop to it. I can say it was one of my most fun afternoons last year, what with all the slurping of bivalves, drinking of oyster stout (this year’s version from Summit), chatting with actual oyster farmers, not to mention the epic, legendary, immortal performances by local chefs during the oyster shucking contest (I’m looking at you, Vincent). VIP tickets are $100 and come with unlimited oysters, three beverages, a pint glass and swag; general admission is $25 for a dozen oysters, one beverage, and pint glass.
Mark your Thursdays off on the calendar for a stop at the little pop-up farmers market in the parking lot of Red Stag in Nordeast, “It’s not a swap meet. It’s a crop meet”. Throughout September from 3-8pm the little gathering (which is FREE to farmers/vendors) hopes to offer some interesting tidbits not found in other markets (dried beans, kim chi, amaranth, a tea lounge, perhaps some hula hooping) plus live music and nosh from Red Stag and Chef Shack.
Mill City Farmers Market is getting all poshed up for the annual Sustainable Soiree benefit on September 9. Walk the green carpet and sip on herb-infused cocktails before sitting down to a full fledged farm meal cooked by the market chefs. This fundraiser benefits the market’s outreach and education programming, tickets start at $125.