My buddies at Parasole tell me that when Figlio re-opens in the late fall the new menu will have a memories section with stories and remembrances supplied by local notables. So prepare yourself for hearing all about some arcane menu item served in 1985 that Don Shelby, Sue Zellickson, Tom Kelly, and Sharon Sayles Belton wish could make a return to the new and improved Figlio. Anyone care to share their favorite off-color Figlio moment here with me now? Ever get lucky in the bathroom? See an out of town or home grown celeb do anything embarrassing? Lets’ hear it.
The Tour de France kicks off July 23rd at Meritage. No not that tour. Russ Klein is offering a culinary tour beginning with the coastal region of Brittney. Among the specialties offered that evening will be the famous Belon oysters of France. These are large, briny oysters famous world-wide for their clean, pure flavors. The rest of the tour schedule is: July 30th, Loire; August 6th, Burgundy; August 13th, Provence; August 20th, Bordeaux; August 27th, Languedoc-Roussillion; September 3rd, Rhone; and September 10th, Alsace. Even more fun are Meritage's Blind Wednesdays, which offer guests a unique way to taste great wines, test their knowledge, and have a little fun! Three 3 oz. pours of three anonymous wines will be offered for $15. Guests will be presented with four questions for each wine, and for every question answered correctly the guest receives 50¢ off the cost of the flight. For anyone who can answer all 12 questions correctly, the wine is free! Find more info here.
Jim Kyndberg has wound up working for Erik Harcey at The Kitchen in Stillwater, Harcey’s second restaurant (Victory 44 is the other). Glad Jim has a stove to stand in front of, he's a good guy and deserves a lot of applause for keeping his old place alive.
In other news of the absurd, Olympic figure skater Brian Boitano has a new daytime series, What Would Brian Boitano Make? , premiering Sunday, August 23rd at 1 p.m. ET/PT. Brian demonstrates his culinary skills and talent for one-of-a-kind entertaining:
“Brian's combination of off-the-wall humor and culinary inventiveness will be a revelation to viewers," said Bob Tuschman, senior vice president of programming and production for Food Network. “His clever recipes, infectious enthusiasm, and stylish ideas will inspire and entertain." I think the only way this show works is if the outrageously real life elements are allowed to play out. Think of the Will Ferrell ice skating movie meets Top Chef. Check out the Food Network's site if you want to get a sneak peak. FN needs some big fun shows and as dumb as this idea looks on paper, if the network avoids the talking-head-behind-a-cutting-board style show then it could have a cult classic on its hands. Take Boitano and have him make lunch for a Teamsters group. I would amp up the Bruno-ish elements on the show. There’s a concept!
The next installment of Bill Summerville’s Junior Gourmet Club is Wednesday July 29th at Heartland. Lenny is doing a killer menu and a kids' beverage flight to match. The August event will be a BBQ at La Belle Vie. These events are superbly done, the food is great, and kids love it. Reserve your place by calling La Belle Vie at 612-874-6440.
Speaking of LBV . . . according to a press release I got, Chef Tim McKee’s newest restaurant, Sea Change, opens at the Guthrie Theater on July 21. McKee has designed a core menu that focuses on sustainable seafood, highlighting fisheries that use environmentally responsible methods of gathering and farming seafood. The menu will also include a number of non-seafood items. In addition to the Sea Change lunch and dinner menus, McKee has created a three-course pre-theater menu as well as late night offerings of small plates and raw bar items. Design firm Shea, Inc., responsible for the interiors of McKee’s restaurants La Belle Vie, Solera, and Barrio, has re-designed the space and I am dying to see it for myself since the previous space was one of the coldest and most unwelcoming dining rooms in town. Online reservations and full menus will be available on the restaurant’s website.
This coming Sunday, July 19, American Express and Food & Wine are sponsoring a staged demo that will feature Stephanie Izard ( Top Chef Season Four winner) along with Tim McKee at the Aquatennial Beach Bash, while on Saturday, July 25, Radhika Desai ( Top Chef Season Five contestant) will join McKee at the Aquatennial RiverBlast. At both events, attendees can enjoy complimentary tastings, cooking demonstrations, and intimate Q & A sessions with the chefs. And exclusively available to existing Delta SkyMiles cardmembers and onsite applicants, Stephanie Izard and Radhika Desai will autograph and give away copies of the Top Chef Cookbook (while supplies last).