>> If all goes according to plan, The St. Paul Meat Shop will open next week on Grand Avenue. The whole-animal butchery from the France44/Cheese Shop gang has been putting up some tasty sandwich pics on Instagram, and a peek at the menu reveals other yummy bits like the reuben on rye made with beef tongue and raclette cheese.
>> On Monday, The Hotel Ivy will throw the doors open to its new concepts. Monello is the upstairs coastal Italian concept cheffed by LBV alum Mike DeCamp. They get props for being the first of the new crudo-lovin' spots on the scene. Check out the newly gilt digs, they are divoon. Underneath, Constantine will be the sorta gothic, darkly cool cocktail bar with a Jesse Held penchant for revamped '80s drinks. Seriously, if you don't order a Sex on the Beach or a Sloe Screw in your first round, you're dead to me.
>> Well it seems that Hennepin Tech is shutting down its culinary arts program in Eden Praire. Currently enrolled students will finish their degrees, but no new students will be accepted. This makes the second program with public funding to flatline in the area, after MCTC's closed.
>> Opening chef Lucas Almendinger has left The Third Bird. He will be taking on the kitchen of Seward Co-op's new Creamery Cafe, slated to open this summer in the Friendship Store. That's a game changer for the co-op, Almendinger showed all kinds of talent at TTB, and it will be fun to see what's next.
>> Well, this is one time we're going to give you a pass to get all shroomy with the cool kids. You'd be a rube to miss out on Saturday's Morel Fest, which happens outside The Sample Room from 3-10 p.m. Top chefs and bartenders from Heyday, Spoon & Stable, Corner Table, Parella, Smack Shack, Eat Street Social, Il Foro, and Parlour will compete for the favor of judges such as Sameh Wadi of Saffron for the title of Shroom Guru. Get there early with a VIP ticket for $75 and you get a vote. Join up later for $55 and still get in on the sampling. Or show up around 7 p.m. FOR FREE and dig the scene with live music and plenty of snacks for purchase.
>> Looking for a different kind of lawn party on Saturday? Check out the Bittercube dinner being held at Forepaugh's: Flora, Fauna, and Fire. The cocktailians will pair a drink to match each of the five courses put up by Exec. Chef Donald Gonzales as he cooks over the grill on the lawn. Your $99 ticket starts with cured escolar and chilies paired with a Navy strength gin and lemon cocktail, then winds through such things as whole grilled foie gras with Copper & Kings brandy, Jamaican jerk squab, whiskey sour sorbet, and cured rack of boar before hitting the end with a Pudgie Elvis. How can you not?
>> If you need a savory reason to lace 'em up for a run, the Foodie 4 Mile was simply made for you. Get out there and support the Northeast Farmers Market by smacking the road with your feet, then filling your gut with all kinds of treats from vendors such as Chowgirls Killer Catering, Seven Sundays, Kind Bars, Great Harvest, and more. Plus, there are prizes for the not-fast: it's called a costume category and I think you should run as a carrot. I just do.
>> Sunday, Haute Dish turns 5. Get over and slap 'em on the booty for posting up a fiver. Live music, limited release Schell's, snacks, and neighborhood deals, all for $5.
>> Meat raffle at St. Paul Grill is exponentially better than meat raffle at questionable dive bar. Plus, it's for a good cause, y'all.
>> It's that thrilling time of year when you peruse the list of Music & Movies in the Park and start plotting your movie nights with corresponding take-out options. I've already blocked my calender for Back to the Future on June 10 at Jackson Square Park in Northeast, with a pin stuck in El Taco Riendo for nosh. Yes, I will be setting up a blanket and Jim-Ignatowski-laughing my way through a full-on burrote that is the size of a small donkey, but way tastier. And I'm not saying you should pick up a growler of nearby Fair State brew, but I'm not NOT saying it either.