I was very sad to learn of the news that Gnat Brownvold, a friendly fixture of Tilia has passed on. Gnat, chef/owner Steven Brown’s border collie, was a part of the restaurant and a part of the neighborhood, as familiar and welcoming as any member of the staff. Her presence at the front door, her quiet attention and ease, were as a part of the fabric of the restaurant as anything. She was the mascot, the icon, the muse.
She will be missed by many.
>> There's a new brewery out in Stillwater (wait ... not NE?) with a comfy taproom and a nice round of beers. Go check out the fall colors then pop into Maple Island Brewing for some Bearded Lady IPA, Burlesque Kolsch, or Cup of Joe Freak Show oatmeal stout.
>>The full kitchen make-over is almost done and Paddy Shack at The Rec will debut on October 20! Stay tuned for a menu reveal from Josh Thoma and Jack Riebel who overhauled the menu to bring kicked-up Irish food to the iconic St. Paul Half-Time Rec bar. Or tune into Weekly Dish on MyTalk 107.1 tomorrow from 1-2pm when Jack will be on to talk about all the cool stuff happening in St. Paul (yes, we'll get a Lex update).
>> Cute little Mosaic Cafe over on East Lake has closed. That was a great little post-Minnehaha Falls burger spot.
>> And out in Minnetonka, the Glen Lake Cafe has closed.
>> Yes, it's time to shuck 'em and suck 'em at 4th annual Meritage Oysterfest next Sunday Oct. 12. The event has really found it's groove and this year you'll be able to enjoy some four-star pretzels and Munchen Dogs from sister Brasserie Zentral. As for the Chef-Shuck-Off, hosted by yours truly, it looks like Corner Table's Thomas Boemer has entered the fray against old sports Jack Riebel, Steven Brown, Lenny Russo and others. VIP tickets are gone, but you can still get in and slog a ton of bivalves after 2pm.
>> Here's a genius idea. Taproom Cinema is a group that brings your favorite cool movies to your favorite cool taprooms. Cinebeeriphiles, please report to me. The next showing, at Bauhaus Brew Lab on Oct. 22, could be of your choosing: go vote for Army of Darkness, Shaun of the Dead (YES!), Tremors among others, then just go, hang out, buy beer, feel good. The movie is free.
>> Red Cow in Cathdral Hill is doing something fun on Wednesday nights. Chef Matt Paulson, the self titled #BurgerGuru, will be creating a dozen orders of a special burger, and releasing them at 7pm every Wednesday: when they sell out they're gone. These aren't your daddy's double-cheese, last week the burger was a mix of sirloin, shank, and marrow served over malted aioli and house pickles, topped with bacon confit and house Cheez Whiz. Might be worth a lookee, hmmmm?
>> Lovers of the brown, take note: St. Paul Grill is hosting a rare scotch and whisky tasting on Thursday, October 16—you might want to get tickets soon. Your $100 gets you access to five rare and exceptional whiskies, a chat up with the Master Distiller from Laphroig, and some appetizers to get you through your euphoria.
>> Drill down on Minnesota-made cheeses with a class out at the newly launched Redhead Creamery. They're hosting a bunch of events out at the Brooten, MN creamery, and on October 16 you can head out to sample some of the finest cheeses made in the state and get recipes and serving tips to boot.