Crack your bubbles for breakfast, there are so many tasty things popping on the dining scene! Besides the launching of a new craft line of cocktail mixers, there's a new cheffy restaurant taking the Juicy Lucy model to vegetables (all hail Stuffers!), Revival's Thomas Boemer signs on to consult with KFC, the rosé tent tasting has been moved to the Wabasha caves for maximum chilling, and a certain local NY chef is launching a food truck selling only crimson fish cakes served on stolen spoons.
>> That cute Hi-Lo Diner in Longfellow opened on Monday, to a nice little crowd in the 6am hour. The joint is hopping, so maybe your early bird 3pm dinner hours can actually be cool again. I snipped over yesterday and had one of those Hi-Tops which is a donut for dinner, and a boozy adult shake (I chose the Alexander Hamilton 'cuz I'm not throwin' away my shot).
>> Gang, I am a bit smitten with the new coat of zshoosh on what was Eden Avenue Grill and is now The Hilltop. The family restaurant (that you might have glimpsed from Hwy100 as you zoomed by 50th) got Shea in to do a two month flip-over and it feels good in there, way more contemporary, comfortable, cozy but more open. The menu has a bunch of new tavern dishes, open-faced sandwiches, lemon rosemary chicken, build your own burgers and a bigger bar. It's still a clubhouse, but a clubhouse with pip.
>> Here you go lunch bunch: Starting Monday, Nighthawks is open for lunch! Get ON that burger. The menu will have a few more things, but it's pretty steady eddie on the lunch front.
>> Finally, after much confusion and anticipation: Pimento Jamaican Kitchen on Eat Street is now open for the eats. Get your Kingston style jerk chicken, get your curried goat, don't skimp on the stew peas, and crank up the One Love.
>> No joking, this is the final countdown for Nye's which will close at the end of the weekend. Again, I'm still mad enough to harumph in the corner and not go.
>> Mason Darras has closed in the Minneapolis skyway, but remains open in St. Paul.
>> Last Friday, post-Feed, we found out that Revival would be taking over the Cheeky Monkey spot in St. Paul. THAT was a good day.
>> We also found out that Lenny Russo has taken on a few more kitchens. He's become the Director of Culinary Operations for Madison Hospitality, which means Public Kitchen is getting the Lenny treatment. He's not leaving Heartland, which is still kicking in the capable hands of his team. Go St. Paul!
>> Earl Giles, please report to the limelight. Badass barmen Jesse Held and Jeff Erkkila have launched a Kickstarter for their company which will be making craft sodas, tonics, bitters, tinctures, cordials, and all that jazz that makes a drink into a cocktail.
>> For today's holiday, there will be a protest of the absurd, please bring a sign and report to Rice Park where the Leprechaun's Dreamcycle will reward you with FREE ice cream. If you don't have a sign (you can use mine "The words fast, fast, and fast all mean different things. STOP the MADNESS") one will be provided. This is a real event, chums.
>> Firkin Fest at Happy Gnome happens on Saturday. Always a great time, this year the Cathedral Hill bar will tap 70 one-of-a-kind firkins, from here and afar, for the draining.
>> There's no gin like a German gin, I always say. Unless it's one that no longer exports. Head over to The Black Forest Inn on Wed, Apr 9 for a sip of Steinhäger-style gin which was cooked up by local J. Carver Distillery for the Black Forest family when their favorite 17th century origin gin was no longer allowed to cross the sea. That's fine, we'll just make our own!
>> Need a reason to revisit an old friend? Try the monthly Tuesday Night Dinner Series with chef Andrew Kraft at Grand Cafe. Every third Thursday (so this one on the 19th), the kitchen crew explores rustic family style food with a four course communal meal for $38. Come alone, come with a group, but tell them you're coming.
>> This has nothing to do with food really, unless it's John Robie's Quiche Lorraine, we are on the cusp of a Hitchcock Fest in town and I feel like you should know.