In my bitter days, those 20's when superiority walled in my vulnerability, I would have an Anti-C.U.P.I.D. (Clueless Useless People In Denial) gathering on Valentine's Day. But I've evolved, I no longer need to lash out and make myself important on a day that's really about cupcakes and maybe unzipping our emotional parkas. I've decided that expectation is probably the hardest dragon to battle on this holiday, but it is also the easiest thing slay altruistically. These days I am the stealth Valentine, sending anonymous cards simply signed "From someone who loves you." That way, the person who gets it spends a few hours thinking of all the people who love them that might have sent it. Or maybe if their sweet someone doesn't quite hit the expectation of the holiday, at least they've had one surprise. I'm also a fan of random cupcaking (grocery cashiers are great), putting quarters in others' meters, paying for someone's drink tab, and tipping people who don't expect it . . . such as the dry cleaner kid. This Fresh Forkin' Friday, which kicks off a weekend simply bursting with expectation, I say why not take the lead?
Urban Eatery is now open in the former View spot beneath the Calhoun Beach Club. It's a reimagining by the CRAVE fellows, with a Jim Kyndberg and Eli Wollenzien menu full of tavern-friendly food that's amped with creative touches: smoked duck nachos, bison pot roast, pork belly reuben, spicy lamb burger. There's also a nod to local producers.
While Pearson's Edina should be listed under the CLOSES, let's play our glass-half-full card and rally for the 50th Street Cafe, which has taken it's place. It's the newest in the McCarty collection, which includes The New Uptown Diner and puts out big ol' breakfast dishes, some of which have a creole slant. The Pearson's MN-kitsch decor will remain.
The Blue Plate kids are tackling the Uptown market, with a resto in the Hollywood Video space across from Liquor Lyle's. That parking lot is HUGE, but I think most of it is owned by the neighboring Masonic Temple. And you don't really want to mess with the Masons, yeah? Maybe they can name a waffle after them.
If you're looking for somewhere to grab treats for your random cupcaking, pop into Sweet Retreat in Edina where it shares in the stealth: It's offering a special Valentine's cake/cupcake with the option of a secret message hidden within the cake. Order cakes by today, cupcakes by tomorrow.
On Monday from 3-7 p.m., Patisserie 46 will be dedicating its whole existence to all things chocolate. We're talking chocolate sculpting, sleeves of chocolate bon bons, choco lollipops, bars, macarons, and more. I bet the cocoa aromas alone will drive in a throng.
Barbette is celebrating 20 years of love on Tuesday, February 15. A big loyal customer love fest will commence at 4 p.m., with live music and treats throughout the night. Everyone in the room will receive a free bag of Cafe Wyrd coffee beans, and there should be much remembering. Come one, who hasn't had a date (good or bad) under those magical patio lights? That was the first place I ever saw two boys kissing.
For a little outdoor fun this weekend (the high is going to be like 85 degrees!) why not take in Wayzata's Chilly Open? It's a nutty frozen mini-golf tournament on the lake with tennis balls and rock-themed holes. People will be dressed as Elvis. If you can't score a tee-time, at least you can snack on some chili, have a beer, and point and laugh.
If you need to cleanse the demons, get to the Midtown Global Market for the annual Shred the Love event. Shred love letters, use giant scissors to cut up teddy bears, and move on. In fact, move on to tasty treat specials by Salty Tart, Holy Land, and West Indies Soul.