I feel like I have found you a beginner's scotch. I was on my way to a friend's house for a very serious discussion about the state of her marriage. I felt that we might need a little greasing, but wine wasn't going to do the trick. Sometimes I feel like it just glops up the works. We needed something bracing, something that cuts through your muddled brain, something like whisky. But she has not been an ardent fan of the liquid gold as I have. Based on the advice of my handy local liquor store man, and maybe because of the fetching design, I bought a bottle of Pig's Nose. It's not single malt, it's not a Glenmofidyadayada, it's not going to impress hardcore fans. But it is "soft as a pig's nose" and it does have some pedigree. We drank it neat (mainly because her ice cubes tend to have whiskers and a funky smell) but that was the right choice. It was simple and sweet, a bit caramely with just a light bite and whiff of peat. It cut through the crap, it took off the edge, it brought forth the honesty and then snuggled it up in a soft, downy blanket. With a third of the bottle down, we solved all the problems that ever existed between man and woman and moved on to Top Chef banter. This Fresh Forkin' Friday I'm off to go get another bottle to keep in my cabinet, because marriage is long even when it's not.
For tonight, Steven Brown's Tilia in Linden Hills is open for a benefit and sneak peek. For $25 (and some gratuity for staff, if you please) that benefits Linden Hills Power & Light, you can attend an open house that lets you check out the space and the vittles that have been more than a year in the crafting. See you there.
Aji Japanese opened recently in Hopkins. What a multi-culti little place that 'burb is becoming, what with Curry n Noodles, Samba, and now Aji. The new Japanese shop is serving sushi, bento, hibachi grilled items, and a big lunch buffet.
New to Blaine is Wild Bill's Sports Saloon, following Maple Grove and Apple Valley locations. I don't know how much longer the cowboyification of sports bars can continue, but these guys are betting on it for a while. Yes, burgers, ribs, homemade chicken tenders, and loaded chips.
LifeTime on Ford Parkway has launched a new LifeCafe (open to the public) offering fast, healthy food, plus a shake and smoothie bar y'all!
Aperitif in Woodbury is closed.
Looking for a more civilized way to spend March 17? Lenny and Heartland are putting out a major St. Patty's Day deal that has nothing to do with green beer (shocker). Lenny's special menu featuring his take on Irish food will be paired with cocktails crafted by Heartland's mixologist Peder Schweigert, using North Shore Distillery products. The five-course dinner will run $80, reserve soon.
Mondays in March needn't be a sad and grey affair. Join chef Joan Ida at the Highland Grill for a little two-course dinner for $15.95 that includes a wine pairing! Deal. This Monday it's a wedge salad with blue cheese, pickled beets, and cukes followed by braised shortribs with horseradish potatoes and glazed carrots.
Schell's and the Arboretum are throwing a beer dinner on March 18. Each of the four courses are paired with a specific Schell's beer. The starter course is beer cheese soup paired with Schell's Stag #3 smoke beer, which was just released, and that should be enticing enough to pop for the $65.