I'm on my way, this Fresh Forkin' Friday morning, to buy my annual crate o' eggs from Costco. That's 96 eggs we'll be boiling and coloring this afternoon for Sunday's feast. It's true that we have approximately twenty people coming over for late lunch, and I'll hope that everyone takes a few home, but I'm sure we'll end up with a few dozen stuck in the fridge. Usually I try to make some hidden egg dishes throughout the week, but I've been assured that this year I won't have to. The fourteen-year-old has devised a plan that includes his buddies, the eggs, YouTube, and an homage to Cool Hand Luke. I'll post it if it's worth it.
If you're not in the mood to create some kitchen chaos this weekend, why not let the pros take care of you. La Belle Vie's brunch menu (pan-roasted langoustine with ramps and Meyer lemon, whoa) is almost seductive enough to make me call in sick to all the rellies; Oceanaire is open for the event and offering an amazing lineup of brunchy seafood (smoked salmon Benedict); and Grand Cafe is pulling out all the stops with a brunch that has been recently named one of the best in the country by Bon Apetit magazine.
More shuffling chefs. Filippo Caffari has departed the Frank Marchionda Italian empire (i Nonni, Buon Giorno Italia, Il Vesco Vino, and lately BIBO). He had his hands in many of the restaurants; seems like some pretty big shoes to fill.
Ryan Aberle has left NorthCoast. That place has a split personality anyway, but I wonder if it is banking on a big summer of boaters to fill the coffers.
Last week, I forgot to mention that David Vlach, former partner and opener of Town Talk, is now cooking at Heidi's.
And, of course, Nick and Eddie has added to its hot line with the hiring of Landon Schoenfeld, who was last seen at Turtle Bread/Tosca.
The birds are chirpin' and the lakes are thawing. People are clammoring for outdoor tables, even if it means a modicum of teeth chatter. You know what that means . . . it's almost time for the seasonals to open!!
- Peppermint Twist, that pink-lovin' burger park out Delano way will open April 17th.
- Sea Salt, everyone's favorite urban fish shop, will start frying clams on April 24th.
- Vino in the Valley, the outdoor wine and pizza plaza, opens on Mother's Day weekend.
- Tin Fish, for rollerbladers who need fast fish 'n' chips, service starts April 30th.
- The Dari-ette has to open any minute now.
- The Minnetonka Drive-In has been open since March.
- Further afield, the Harbor View in Pepin has opened for limited hours.
- No word from the A to Z Produce Farm folks on whether or not they'll resume their Tuesday farm pizza production. Cross your fingers, folks.
I continue to be a little wierded out by the identity of Crave's menu (Should I have sushi or pot roast?), and I fear this might add to it, but I can't deny the pull of a potentially good burger. Monday nights are now Burger Night at the popular Galleria hot spot. The Monday menu features designer burgers (truffled mushroom burger, bacon bleu burger, even peanut butter and bacon burger), fresh fries, and adult malts. Also, look for the opening of its MOA location on April 22nd.
Are you sick of me writing about all the closing restaurants? Do you pound your fist on the desk every time, chiding yourself for not visiting maybe one more time? Why not get ahead of the guilt and behind a small local. Let me offer you Jay's Cafe, which is throwing a big, fun outdoor BBQ and music event on April 18th. Why? Because the people are friendly, the restaurant sits midway between our cities, the world is blooming, the sauce is righteous, and it needs you.