This is the fastest month of the year. It seems to go by in a quick blur, this last week verily evaporated in front of me. I'm shocked to find myself here on Fresh Forkin' Friday, pleased, but shocked. Maybe it's the hunker-down nature of January's weather, like quasi-hibernation, by the time you come to your senses it's February and they're shutting the outdoor rinks down by President's Day. Or maybe it's just a braising-induced stupor from all the beef in Guinness I've been consuming.
Doug Flicker's Piccolo will open next Friday, January 15th. The small space with small plates seems, at first glance, to have no shortage of big flavors. On the initial menu I see ingredients like escargot, "smoked" celery, compressed figs, and house-made pine cone syrup. Giddyup. Piccolo will be closed on Tuesdays, but open for dinner only the rest of the week. And due to the cozy nature of the space, parties are limited to 6 or fewer.
Zeno Cafe in Uptown is in the process of retooling itself into a new restaurant called Fusion. They've already added the sushi bar, and will be expanding with global small plates from Latin America to the Far East. At least there'll be no more awkward "No, I said meet me at Zeno, not Zelo" moments.
I think in the holiday kerfuffle I forgot to mention that Geordies 454 opened in the old Blondies space on Snelling in St. Paul.
Chez Colette in the Sofitel is getting a facelift for the first time since 1975. The old girl will be closed for the entire month of January and emerge in February as Colette Bar & Bistro. Shea is holding the knife. During the renovation, the old Colette menu will be available during regular hours in the La Fougasse space.
A bit ago I mentioned that Manhattan's was closing for dinner to work on the menu, but it now seems that they've closed for good.
Corner Table is moving their Vino + Vinyl from Sunday to Thursday nights, and closing for service on Sundays. Scott needs a day off.
There's still time to bowl for your conscience. The Last Holiday Turkey: A Beer & Bowling Tourney to benefit the Joyce Uptown Food Shelf is happening this Sunday at Bryant-Lake Bowl. Throw in your name, your skills, your $10, and a non-perishable food item and you'll get bowling and shoe rental, a pint of Fulton's Sweet Child o' Vine, appetizers, and a shot at 10-pin immortality.
Looking for something more traditional? How about ringing in the Epiphany with the King's Feast? This Saturday, the Alliance Franciase is hosting a traditional French cocktail reception starring the galette des Rois: a marzipan filled puff pastry decorated with a golden crown and hidden charm (usually a fava bean). The person who gets the slice with the charm wins the crown and becomes King/Queen for the day, and is allowed to choose a royal companion by dropping said charm into a potential consort's glass. The Fete de Rois costs $8 for non-members and starts at 7 p.m.