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First Bite: District Fresh Kitchen + Bar
By: Stephanie March | Posted: 05/02/2014
Our own Jamie Malone penned a little thing on the Esquire blog yesterday, titled “Penis Or Vagina: Which Is The Better Kitchen Tool." In the piece she reacts to our favorite Time “Gods of Food” article with the sense and sensibility of someone who really lives and cooks in kitchens, not just thinks and proselytizes about them: “I work as hard as I can and rarely have time to contemplate how owning a vagina makes me a minority in the kitchen. In fact, I have found kitchens to be the most honest places I know.” It’s a good read, well written, and honest. What I really like is how she comes back to collaboration, and the idea that we don’t need to polarize. What we need is a “spectrum of skills” to make a restaurant great, regardless of which tool you possess.
Here's the buzz that's buzzing around town. Stewart Woodman has found a new home, with Kaskaid Hospitality Group, which owns/operates Crave, Figlio, Union, and Boneyard. His official title is Culinary Director (the job formerly held by Jim Kyndberg). Company guy Zack Sussman told me that Woodman would be diving right in on Union as his first focus, but that they plan to "spread his talents across the rest of the organization beyond that."
Bill Summerville is leaving LBV for greener pastures, though he’s not saying which pastures exactly. But you’d be a downright fool not to think those pastures were being planted by one Gavin Kaysen.
Louie's Wine Dive is now open in the LynLake 'hood. The national chain has a policy of opening any bottle if you buy at least two glasses, and the list looks pretty decent! The food looks comfy with pasta, sandwiches, flat bread and the like, plus a bunch of snacky starters.
Copper Hen Cakery & Kitchen is now open off of Eat Street, just down the block from Icehouse and the like. The cute little Kickstartered spot is all about local ingredients and farmhouse scratch cooking. But beside cakes, treats, and bread, they have breakfast, lunch, and dinner with beer and wine. I’m a little jazzed to see chicken pot pie on the menu! Along with lamb goulash, a couple of rustic pizzas, and a cheddar-ale burger with house-made Indeed cheese whiz. Giddyup.
The former Muddsuckers Coffee in the Como neighborhood has morphed into Black: Coffee & Waffle Bar. The owners decided to give the formerly shabby spot, just down the block from Obento-ya, a bit of a tuck ‘n’ pull, and it’s now a modern and sleek coffee spot brewing Dogwood coffee and serving an updated menu of waffles both savory and sweet: The Fat Andrew has peanut butter, cinnamon, and bananas.
FireLake Grill House has reopened after a major makeover that gave it the same updated look and feel as the newer MOA site. Lotsa barnwood, a sleeker vibe, s’all good. The menu has been updated as well to bring in some of the newer plates and SURPRISE they’ve launched a food truck too!! Blue cheese-stuffed Peterson Limo beef burgers, Wild Acres turkey burgers, dry rub chicken wings, you know, a lite lunch.
Also, what was once Ziach Polish Foods is now Sikora’s, still with the paczki, still with the Moscow ham. Yay!
The Lynn on Bryant is closing their sweet doors after service on May 11. I liked that place. Boooo.
Gather at the Walker Art Center is closing for lunch, leaving Thursday night dinner the only option to enjoy the restaurant.
It’s getting crazy in the grocery world right? There’s a fresh Longfellow Market open on East Lake . . . Lund’s is about to open its first downtown St. Paul location . . . The Wedge announced that the name of its new Eat Street spot will be Wedge Community Table . . . Lakewinds Co-op is getting close to opening its Richfield location . . . and then both Fresh Seasons are in the process of closing.
Also tons going on this weekend for Derby de Mayo . . . it’s a taco bourbon mashup.
Launch the weekend tonight with a perfect Cinco Crawl. Margaritas, buses, mariachi bands, all sorts of wicked fun. Then head to the more family-friendly Cinco de Mayo on Saturday, bring Advil.
Pull out your best posh frock and hat for the Kentucky Derby. Best bets: Brit’s Pub has a great party, Canterbury Park makes it seem real and you can even lose money, the party at the Minneapolis Club will be well-decked you can bet your bippy, and the one at Marin promises style AND do-gooding as it benefits Healing Through Horses.
Stephanie March is Mpls.St.Paul Magazine’s food and dining editor. See bio
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