The old Hopkins Tavern has been fully shazammed into Pub 819. The formerly dark and divey Mainstreet bar has been morphed into a slick and modern pub, complete with a huge center bar, lots of white tile and barnwood, plus the requisite chalked-in cow outline. These are the same owners behind Stanley's NE. There is a large list of burgers (one with blueberries on it!) and great bar snacks like pub pretzels and tachos. Also of note, a pretty lengthy list of whiskies, which includes tasting flight options. This place is cute, go here after a cheap movie at the theater or a show at the Stages down the street.
Common Roots has new digs and a new mission! The Lyndale bagel fixture since 2007 has decided to really embrace this whole deli thing. They shut down last week for a bit of a remodel, and have reopened with bright new green- and white-tiled walls and a new menu that is more modern Midwestern noshy: there's knish, challah French toast, and some house-made pastrami hash along-side those great, chewy bagels.
McCormick's in Wayzata has expanded and opened a new dining room. The word Baronial hardly describes it, which is perfect for that town. The menu has also been expanded, and I tried a lovely chicken pot pie, some house-made corned beef, and great wings with my Guninness. That burger is still a big yummy thing, thank goodness.
Congrats to local Team USA member Gavin Kaysen as they took home the Silver Medal at the Bocuse d'Or event this week. Basically the Olympics of food, the event is held only every two years and this is the first time that USA has placed above sixth. It must be because Kaysen moved back to MN, we're lucky like that.
Proven, of course, by the fact that John Krause ALSO brought some hardware home this week. As part of Team USA, our Patisserie 46 owner took a Bronze Medal in the prestigious Coup de Monde de la Patisserie, which is like the Olympics of pastry held every other year in Lyon.
Ridgedale is busy getting a makeover and busting out with that new Nordstrom wing, but what's in it for the eater? Well, the mall people told me that we can expect a Kona Grill to open near the north entrance sometime this fall. The loosely Hawaiian/sushi chain has another local location in Eden Prairie currently. Also, Nordstrom itself will open a full-service restaurant called Ruscello, which is their Mediterranean concept featuring brick-oven pizzas, pastas, and the like.
According to 6Smith, today is Fat Pants Friday. That means you can indulge in a monstrosity known as "The Eggomaniac": Between two Eggo waffles they'll smash buttery mashed potatoes, fried chicken, sausage gravy, deep fried bacon, and cheese curds, then top the whole mess with bourbon maple syrup and a wee sausage. And one asparagus for color. The whole 3,000 calorie shebang will run you $6, Friday only in the bar.
Town Hall Brewery has its annual Super Bowl Sunday Chili Cook-Off this Sunday, and you should enter, because I'm a judge. Entry is free, just show up by 12 p.m. with your top crock of red and be ready for scrutiny, there are prizes, and prizes require scrutiny. Or just come for the public tasting, because there's beer there.
Don't delay, get on the stick for the next Brut pop-ups happening at Piccolo February 3, 17, and 24. Four courses are $50, with an additional $25 for wine pairings. Send a note to firstname.lastname@example.org to reserve your spot.
Looking forward, get $20 tickets for the February 19 North Coast Nosh before they sell out. This event is a little different than former noshes, as it's being curated by Sean Sherman, a.k.a. The Sioux Chef, in conjunction with the Minnesota Historical Society as they dig into the topics: what really IS local food? There will be lively presentations, Lenny Russo will charm you, samplings from a wide variety of food artisans, plus access to the Modern Spirit exhibit in the museum.