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First Bite: Le Town Talk Diner
By: Stephanie March | Posted: 03/14/2014
The big discussion on the New York-food-media-fueled Twitter yesterday concerned the Grub Street piece by Adam Platt in which he called our era the "Dark Age of Dessert." He bemoaned the lack of full-time pastry chefs and cooks who had skills to create something spectacular for the end of the meal. He was referring only to New York, and for the first time, I felt a little sense of superiority to that city. For all the dearth of fine restaurant sweets that he charges, we can match it in contrast with talent. We in Minneapolis are in a pastry chef renaissance, which we began documenting last year and which was on full display last night at the Share Our Strength Cakewalk. With the imminent new dessert program at Brasserie Zentral, brought by the sassy Niki Francioli, all I can say on this fantastic Pie Day* is: Sucks to be you, NYC.
ALSO . . . a little breaking news: Khan Tran, who was the pastry impresario at Cosmos for so long, has joined Paul Berglund's kitchen to lead desserts at The Bachelor Farmer. Glad to get her hands back in the game.
*ALSO . . . just found Sara's Tipsy Pies, in which 2Gingers, Liftbridge, and Finnegan's beer is employed. What a match for this weekend, yeah? Find her out in Marine on St. Croix at the General Store, or at Claddaugh Coffee in St. Paul.
Harborview opens for the season tonight in Pepin, a sure sign of vernal movement. They’re just open for the weekend to start, but will add days in April and May. Still no rezzies, but they do take credit cards now!
I’m calling it: Food Truck Season is OPEN! Head out and greet your favorite arbiters of foodtrucksmanship, they are beginning to show. New to Minneapolis today, to herald in the season, is Butcher Salt parked on Marquette. Looks like there could be sliders, stuffed hash browns, and some zippy hot dogs.
There’s been a little buzz about the opening of Socialista in the North Loop, next to Borough. The first reports have it as a two-level fine dining spot with Caribbean music. What’s important to know about the owner, Fernando Santa, is that he was one of the original partners in Babalu, the Latin-influenced restaurant that first occupied the Bar La Grassa space and was a notable SCENE. On first blush, it looks like he’s bringing the tropical fun back to the neighborhood. Stay tuned . . .
Digby's is coming to Roseville with burgers, pizza, and local craft beer.
And there's a new burger and beer joint coming to Nordeast. JL Beers, a small chain out of Fargo, is opening a location at 24 University Ave. E., across from Surdyk's. You remember that space that was going to be Blue Skies Wine Bar? There. The concept is fast casual, much like a Smashburger or Five Guys, but with an emphasis on tap beer. The Moorhead location is just infested with Surly.
If you're off to St. Paul and have any sort of green intentions, here is some SMART INFO.
And a little direction as to where to toast, green beer or whiskey.
Or choose a different kind of green and get out to the Arboretum. On Saturday, the Mill City Farmers Market will be there for an indoor market, end of season rental snowshoes go on sale, and you can check out the maple syrup situation at the Sugar Shack.
Listen in on the Weekly Dish this Saturday from 1-2 p.m., where podcasters Evan and Dave from the Well Fed Guide to Life will be my cohosts. It's the ides of March; what could happen?
If you want a taste of the future, Erik Anderson is cooking another pop-up dinner, this time at Borough. He tempted us last night with a little sliver of gorgeous chicken liver terrine decked with magical savory granola (hint: chicken skin in the mix) at last night's Cakewalk. The March 31 pop-up will be an epic 20-course menu with wine pairings curated by Bill Summerville of LBV. The dinner is limited to 16 people, eight at a 5 p.m. seating and eight at 9 p.m., and will run you $250 per person. This could be one of those very special nights . . . call Borough to reserve.
I love the idea of simultaneously adding to and subtracting from my beer gut, which is why I will certainly be at the kickoff for the Minnesota Brewing Running Series on March 29. The event is free and open to anyone who wants to learn more about lacing up and throwing back. Check out their Facebook page for the 2014 schedule of runs that end with beer. Win/Win.
If you’re not a runner, but still want to bust gut, check out the Bootcamp & Beer Series at Lucid Brewing in April and May. Mad Dog Fitness will push you for an hour (curling kegs, pulling pallets) before toasting your sweaty efforts with a full tasting of the brewery’s beers.
Stephanie March is Mpls.St.Paul Magazine’s food and dining editor. See bio
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