Doesn't everyone want a signature cocktail to call their own? Isn't it like proudly wearing a cool badge when you can belly up and order your cocktail with as much confidence as you do your coffee order: I'll have a Maker's Mark Manhattan on the rocks a little heavy on the bitters, no cherry. I have a few friends who are still searching for their drinks, but I am so buoyed by the level of interaction and cocktailsmanship by local barmen that I truly believe that this is their summer to find it. Recently at a gathering at Heidi's, the eager and talented bar staff managed to create more than a few new drinks based on the drinkers' preferences. To my suggestion that I wanted "something bourbon, something new," Johnny came up with mixture of Maker's Mark, bitters, muddled fruit, and Chartreuse. It was a socks-knocker, and one I never would have put together on my own. As I shared the cocktail with the lanky co-Steph, it was dubbed The Stephanie. This Fresh Forkin' Friday, I throw down the gauntlet. Go, find a trusty barman, and create your drink of summer.
I hate whiners, which is why I like Cupcake's response to the construction on University Avenue, which is: Yeah it sucks for now, but will be better in the long run . . . hey, let's launch a Cupcake-on-the-Go food truck! Look for it tooling around Minneapolis and proffering its cuppy treats.
And yeah, Gather by Damico opened yesterday to much yapping. I did try a beautiful summer salmon dish and some soft gnocchi with shrimp that hit the spot. Will this be a hot lunch destination? I can see the patio getting slammed on Thursday nights. Alex Roberts will put two plates on the evening menu in July, followed by Isaac Becker in August.
City Cycle is now pedaling like a pub.
Sunny Side Up Cafe off Lyndale is kaput. I walked by yesterday on my way to Planet Soccer, and the place is empty and semi-boarded up, so it must have been closed for a couple of weeks.
There's a big ol' bones fest next weekend. The Blazin' Belmont BBQ fest takes place on June 10-11 at Canterbury. Friday night features a wings and chili bash, but Saturday is when more than 60 teams will compete for more than $25,000 in prize money. This is a Kansas City BBQ Society sanctioned event, peeps, so it's not like they're messing around: Propane is verboten. This might be a good opportunity for your smoke-ring freaks to chat up and swap mop stories with their brethren. Admission on Saturday is $5, but you'll have to buy samples from your new pals.
Have you checked out the allnighter Northern Spark Festival happening this weekend? It looks pretty cool, and you'll be able to fuel up at food trucks throughout the night. Also you might want to check out this Take Out For The Subconscious at Black Dog Cafe + Winebar. For sure you don't want to miss Karimi's Power of the People Community Breakfast, that show is hot.
And then, why not just pour yourself on the grand Grand Avenue for Grand Old Day. Holy moly there's a lot to do on one street between the hours of 7:45 a.m. and 5 p.m., even if you're not drinking a lot of beer. It looks like a sunny day for this one, so great ready for thronging.
Haute Dish is throwing a pig bash on Monday, June 27, along with Madison-based Death's Door Spirits. The event will be limited to 50 peeps and will cost $50, which will include all liquor, all pig, and a bevy of snacks and sides to boot. Call the resto and reserve your spot quickly.
Also, Famous Dave Anderson did not take it all home on Food Network's Best in Smoke, but he lost over tofu so he can still wear that pig hat with pride.