>> Of course this is the perfect time for rooftops to open, yes? Well in the case of the one on top of 4 Bells, it's a year round structure with plenty of seating, a separate rooftop-exclusive menu, cocktails on tap which include a slushy Negroni, and a killer view. Expect the holiday party booking to be out of control.
>> Sovereign Kitchen is now open in Woodbury. Taking over the short-lived Thanh Do spot, this new version of strip mall dining has healthy-sized full bar with craft cocktails, late night happy hour every day starting at 9pm, and a menu sporting small plates such as chicken wings with a togarashi spice rub, mini-burgers on english muffins with brie, plus entrees like five spice duck, braised short rib, and gluten free pasta.
>> Vincent Francoual announced this week that he would be closing Vincent A Restaurant after 14 years in the game. He cited personal reasons and a desire to move on to the next phase of life, and wanted to give people time to say goodbye. The final day will be December 31, so you have time to load up on cassoulet.
>> Confounding nearly everyone, news broke this week that the award-winning Surdyk's Flights would be leaving the airport, not by their own choice. Even wih news earlier this year that there would be many more local dining concepts entering the fray, this is a serious blow to snacky flyers who value the quality Surdyk's brings.
>> Stand down, Caffrey's in Uptown: NOT CLOSED.
>> For now at least, the Working Families Agenda championed by Mayor Betsy Hodges and the Minneapolis City Council is off the table. The proposal aimed at helping hourly and part-time workers get ahead met with some pretty extreme push back from Minneapolis small business owners causing Mayor Hodges to rethink the strategy and timeline.
>> Southdale will be the next spot to get a new Italian eatery. Z Italiano will open up in the former California Pizza Kitchen space, as a full-service casual restaurant serving pizza, pasta, salads, and sandwiches. Zach Saueressig, formely of Edina's Salut, is the man with the plan.
>> The dining site at the new JW Marriott at the MOA, opening before the end of the year, will be called Cedar + Stone, Urban Table ... which has a real comma that will plague me for years to come. That comma and I will do battle. Anyhoo, from the press release: Cedar + Stone, Urban Table will focus on artistically presented cuisine highlighting seasonal produce and regional meats and cheeses. The menu is inspired around Minnesota’s natural roots and will include items that fuse cultures while utilizing ingredients sourced within 200 miles. The restaurant has partnered with many local farms including Forest Farm, Spareboe Farms and Anderson Farms and will be pouring Minneapolis-based Surly Brewing Co. and regional spirits.
>> There's a new opportunity for that sweet sweet deal known as 'beer for life'. Untapped Brewery will launch in the Tonka Bay area as soon as they can finish their funding drive, which includes "founding owner" memberships that provide you beers while you breathe (and equity ownership) for a $5k investment. If you missed out with Northbound, here's your next chance.
>> The Harvest Beer Festival and Fresh Hop Throwdown is officially upon us! Head to Bachman's flagship store on Lyndale in Southwest Minneapolis Saturday from 1-5p for bonfires, food trucks, pizza, and, oh yeah, all the beer samples you can drink from local breweries ranging from Surly to 612 to Bahuas. What are you waiting for? Buy your tix.
>> Good news, fellow addicted cheese-o-philes: Rush Creek Reserve is BACK! We missed it last year as Uplands Cheese halted production to deal with changing food safety regulations, but all is well in the land of cream and cows. Look for the spruce bark wrapped wheels to start showing up in limited quantities in winter, pre-order yours at France 44 for December delivery.
>> There's more that pretty trees out in Marine on St. Croix this Saturday. It's Caramelpalooza at the St. Croix Chocolate Co. and that that's worth a trip if the trees were bare. Live music, petting zoo, free samples, CaramElvis. Drop the mic.
>> The Minnesota Food Association is hosting a bash to celebrate the harvest. The Big River BBQ & Harvest Party happens on Sunday out at Big River Farms where farmers will tell stories, hay will be ridden, dishes will be passed, goats will be roasted and beer will flow, and thus the season will be put to rest.
>> Admit it, you've always wanted to be part of a Food Fight! Now you can at Kitchen in the Market where two chefs go head to head with their team of cooks (that's you!) to make a bunch of dishes. Someone walks away as the winner (and everyone walks away with full bellies). First up on Oct. 26 is Landon "Night Hawk" Schoenefled vs. Jack "The Knife" Reibel, then in February it's Thomas "Lefty Leporidae" Kim vs. JD "The Saint" Fratzke. Choose your chef, choose your side.
>> Wise witches will already have Pearson's Candy Party on the calendar. This year the local candy maker's Halloween party at the candy factory will be held on Oct. 27th where screaming mimis dressed as Princess Thor will be able to enjoy magicians, baloons, a bouncy house, pumpkin decorating, and oodles of candy. Oldsters can buy candy in bulk for $3 per pound, with proceeds benefitting the Ronald McDonald House Charities.