So the saying goes . . .
Center for Science in the Public Interest has released a new study that continues to shed light on the toxic food environment we all live in, this time continuing the call for nutrition- and ingredient-labeling in restaurants. Apparently, amongst other findings, Ruby Tuesday’s chicken-and-broccoli-penne dish has over 2000 calories (a day’s worth) and contains more fat than a human being should eat in seventeen lifetimes. I’m exaggerating, but not by much. I know that local restaurants all insist the cost of labeling is prohibitive, but enough is enough. It’s time for the government to step in and provide assistance, helping restaurants that gross under a million dollars annually make ends meet and provide their customers with the information they need to make healthy choices. Once again, T-Paw, Amy K., Norm C., and Mayors Coleman and Rybak need to take the lead and make the tough, but smart choice—making our citizenry’s health Job Number One. Minnesota always boasts of its status as a healthy state. Let’s prove it by banning trans fats and making menu nutrition-labeling mandatory.
OK, so here is the Zander Café update. I spoke with Alexander Dixon last Friday, and he is closing for two to three weeks, revamping the restaurant’s interior for the first time since 1998. Look for new floors, walls, ceilings . . . and the copper lights are staying. You’ll see tablecloths for dinner when the restaurant reopens, and chef Michael Hart from Duplex will be returning to Zander’s kitchen. Expect same prices and same great neighborhood vibe.
Check out Dishola for a peek at this week’s celebrity disher’s top ten favorite foods and where to find them, both around the world and closer to home.
Supatra’s Thai Cuisine has lost their lease in Lowertown. The building changed hands about a year ago (John Rupp of W.A. Frost was the previous owner), and according to the folks at the restaurant, “. . . the new owners have a different vision for the space, which would have involved a huge build-out and a purchase of the space on top of it.” They hope to reopen a new Supatra’s around May 1, moving to West Seventh near Randolph Avenue in St. Paul. Last Saturday was their last night of service.
Speaking of W.A. Frost, Russ Klein is opening Mahon (yes, just like the cheese). Look for him to sign a lease in the coming month. Klein tells me Mahon will be on St. Paul’s premier street for dining and retail . . . . Hmmm, smells like Grand Avenue to me—in my mind, one of the smartest places these days for a chef looking to open a small, chic boîte in which to hang his hat.
A loyal reader of the blog writes, “ . . . would it be considered inappropriate to bring a very nice bottle of wine to a restaurant (Chambers) to consume with the meal if that wine is already on the wine list? The wine in question is the 2003 Joseph Phelps Insignia, which I got for around $100 and is on the wine list for $400. No lie. I have never even considered BYOB before and have no clue as to the rules . . . . ”
I say call ahead so you are not disappointed, but these days I am unaware of any restaurant that can afford not to have your business on some level, and that includes the most popular eatery in town. In fact, many restaurants are now posting a nominal charge for BYO bottles, regardless of size, type, or duplication on their own lists.