Today’s Fresh Forkin’ Friday kicks off a weekend tradition for us. It’s pumpkin weekend. It looks like Sunday is going to be the best day to celebrate the squash. We get a little geeky and nerdy when it comes to pumpkins … first we head to the Arb to check out the Pumpkin Palooza display. The range of sizes and colors, the tumbling mounds of curcurbits is simply astounding! We use this as inspiration before heading out to the patch. For years we’ve gone to the Peterson Produce pumpkin patch (they get bonus points for alliteration) which is a no-frills farm stand off the side of Hwy 12 just east of Delano. They are my fresh garlic and Brussels sprouts connection as well, but for pumpkins it’s almost a sport. We grab a wagon or sled and head out into the field. Our tactic is this: walk the entire field from west to east, scouting and surveying, and then turn around and head back picking the best pumpkins that match the personality of the carver. I always go with as fat and round as I can, Jake tends to get something oblong or oddly shaped, Matt is currently ambivalent to shape (all he’s going to do is carve a Groove Armada logo in it again anyway), although Joey’s at NYU we’ll carve something perfect with precision for his OCD head, and the Jayhawk is back in residence so will get to pick her own again after all these years. I will keep this going as long as they let me, I’m sure the bribes of burgers and wings at the Ox Yoke Inn afterward might extend it just a bit.
Nightingale opened on Lyndale in Uptown. The joint is unrecognizable as a former grocery store, with great vintage-mod touches and a navy and moss color scheme. The menu is small plates alongside some creative cocktails, I was digging on the Alabama Wurley and kinda inhaled the little meatballs.
Butter is open in the new spot at 3700 Nicollet. They are still working through their kinks but if you’re looking for your flaky pastry or biscuit sandwich fix, make the move.
Beacon Public House is coming to the new Commons Hotel in the UofM area. It promises to be a regionally-influenced gastropub using local ingredients on small plates with a bit of a Latin edge. There will also be a “dynamic multimedia system” of ten 50-inch LCD televisions hung above the bar.
Nokomis up Duluth way is closing for good on October 28. Stay tuned for info on where chef Sean Lewis lands….
The Twin Cities Film Festival kicks off today and runs through the 20th. Of note, there’s a film called A Place at the Table which is a brilliant look at hunger in America, and proceeds from tonight’s showing benefit local food shelves.
We’ve got two tasty events next week … first on Tuesday it’s the sudstacular Tastemakers Craft Beer forum/chatter for a measly $10! Then on Thursday we have the Friends of James Beard benefit dinner during which you can nosh and stalk 10 local amazing chefs! Plus you can actually buy tickets to sit at a chef’s table and have Jack or Michelle or Sameh cook dinner for you right there. Like Ichiban but less shrimp flipping and more sass.
Look ahead to October 21 to kibbitz with your favorite food writer at Slow Food’s Writer Night potluck. Bring a dish to share, sample author’s dishes, and listen to readings from Tricia Cornell, Attina Diffley, and our own Beth Dooley .