It's important to know that if you go to the Arboretum's Pumpkin Palooza exhibit, you'll never be the same. If you have even one artistic bone in your body, you will start to imagine the kind of pumpkin carving mayhem you can dream up with such oddly shaped and brightly colored curcurbits. You'll become obsessed with finding new ways to prop, paint, gore, slash, slice, grind, and shave your squash into something other-worldly, something phantasmagoric, something dripping with whimsy and pulchritude at the same time. Or maybe that's just me, elbows deep in pumpkin guts up to my armpits and a veritable truckload of seeds on the kitchen table, waiting to be roasted and salted. But you've been warned.
It looks like Stanley's Northeast Bar Room is opening up today in the old Stasiu's. The menu looks to be a kick above the average bar fare, with brisket sliders, Sentyrz pork sausage, homemade chips, and crispy sausage stuffed olives. Plus the beer list calls out 16 Minnesota beers on tap! Ahoy. And just so we're clear, Steven Brown is not associated with this place in any way. 'Kay?
Maple Tavern opened a while ago up Maple Grove way, but I didn't know about them until they signed up to sample at Taste! last weekend. Man, those sammies were tasty. They have a superhuge patio, a menu full of easy eating tavern food (burgers, ribs, mac n' cheese), plus one big ol' challenge: a 2lb. monster burger surrounded with a pound of fries and a pound of wings. Eat it in 45 minutes or less for eternal glory and honor on the wall of fame.
You saw that Kim Bartman is opening a gastropub on Nicollet, right?
And then there was all this kerfuffle about Tim McKee opening a sushi joint in Nordeast. It seems that he is indeed consulting on a project with the Sushi Avenue people, but it's consulting, not ownership. Masu Sushi & Robata will be debuting in the former Let's Cook space on E. Hennepin sometime next spring.
Cowboy Slim's is opening another location in the old Steak & Ale off the Blooming 494 strip. It will actually be called Cowboy Jack's, like the Plymouth location. Yee to the Haw.
Piccolo is having another wine dinner on November 16th. Italian wines from G.D. Vajra will be featured during the five course meal. Each course will be matched with two pairings, and Guiseppe Vajra will be on-hand to drill down with Flicker on what you're tasting, and why. Cost is $125, and the last one sold out, so get your name into the resto soon.
Next Wednesday is the 28th Annual Hennepin Lake Community Wine Tasting benefit at Calhoun Square. From 6-9 p.m., you can sip from over 400 wines and nosh on small plates from Il Gatto while helpling to raise funds for Uptown community organizations.
There still might be a few more seats left for the Jon Radle Memorial Celebration at Grand Cafe on Sunday. The dinner will benefit The Center for Grief, Loss, and Transition and will consist of four courses including cassoulet and tarte tatin. Call for reservations.
If you were looking for that one last reason to tip the scales for visiting Marine-on-the-St. Croix, the St. Croix Chocolate Co. is throwing a Caramelpalooza this Saturday! Caramel sauces, caramel apples, caramel corn, caramel live music, caramel horse-drawn caramel carriage rides, and caramel goats to pet. Yum.
AND it's the last dance for the Mill City Farmers Market this weekend. Put on your finery, Shefzilla's going to be there signing his book (right before he calls into my radio show), plus there'll be cloggers and blacksmiths galore!