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BREAKING: Shane Oporto IN as Chef de Cuisine for La Belle Vie
By: | Posted: 02/16/2006
Tell me Valentine’s Day is over, please. If I see one more heart-shaped Lindsay Lohan candy bowl I swear I’ll end it all by my own hand. Our Valentine’s Day celebration was rather tame by some standards, but thrilling nonetheless.
Noah (our year-old son) and I gave Rishia (my wife) a few cards and a Limoges pacifier shaped pillbox in the morning, and then in the evening they reciprocated with cards and an avocado green Hermes tie—heaven. Dinner that night was at Culver’s, our four-year-old Valentine’s tradition that keeps getting sweeter with each passing year. Noah broke his ice cream cherry there, and the look on his face was a perfect mixture of joy and rage. The happiness of tasting vanilla custard for the first time was outdone only by the anger he brewed up as he realized we had clearly been holding out on him. Life’s a bitch.
I had a great breakfast at the Downtowner the other day (yes, I had the Cajun breakfast, replete with the world’s most ersatz Hollandaise sauce, but hey, it’s a guilty pleasure and proves once and for all that I’m no food snob!) and I have to say sitting in the room, perched in front of the fireplace, is as nice a vibe as you can find in the River City. Speaking of east metro dining, I am doing a Teppanyaki dinner at Saji-Ya on Thursday evening, one of the best family fun dinners you can imagine participating in. Kids love it, and adults can actually eat some tasty grub as long as they don’t injure themselves ducking the flying shrimp that whizzes past their heads. The real trick is pulling together eight to ten people so that no strangers are sitting at your table—it really makes for a fun night.
Have you noticed all the restaurants converting existing wasted space or breaking down walls that were their neighbors’ houses to create wine bars? From Zander to Lucia’s to Heartland, even Kafe 421 in Dinkytown has opened one. Last I checked, kids at the U were too busy binge drinking to care about malalactic fermentation, and many students (shockingly!) drink despite being under the legal age limit. Horrors! Who knew they were into vertical tastings of Oregon pinot noir? Pass the Grey Poupon!
It’s a sign of the times—move over barley pop, make way for the vineyard-designated chardonnay—and it’s one more piece of human truth that proves my theory that if wine didn’t get you buzzed, no one would drink it.
Andrew Zimmern is a columnist for Mpls.St.Paul Magazine and the host of Travel Channel's Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmern.See bio
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