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Pilgrimage Cafe is now open in the former Citizen Cafe space. Chef/owner Craig Ball has traveled the world and aims to bring a little bit of global comfort to the South Minne side of the globe. It's just a brunch situation until the liquor license clears, but until then you'll find kolaches, chilaquiles, a fried bahn mi, even a Buffalo Caesar from the far reaches.
The Midtown Global Market is the proud site of the latest brewery. Eastlake Brewing opened in the corner of the market yesterday. The taproom space is small but warmly tricked out with middle school gym-flooring, stamped concrete, and a ton of swag. Besides a round of post-modern American and European beers, there'll be two kinds of kombucha and root beer on tap. Plus, a few of the market stalls have agreed to deliver right to the taproom after market hours: don't leave your stool for Manny's Tortas, Hot Indian fries, El Burrito guisado, and more!
Sorella Wine & Spirits, that cute little wine shop off of Washington avenue in the Mill District, will cease to be on December 31. The shop has been sold to a "local wine and spirits industry veteran"* who will change the name and re-concept. The whole inventory goes with the sale, but since they don't relish counting bottles on January 1, you can expect some killer deals in the coming weeks. Also noted, if you have gift cards or rewards cards, redeem them NOW as the new shop will have no affiliation.
* Just confirmed, the new owner is Jack Goldenberg who used to own Quality Wines & Spirits, which he sold to Southern in 2012. This may only be important to wine geek and industry peeps, but there you have it.
Peace Coffee is getting ready to open a coffee bar downtown in the redone Capella Tower lobby. Besides hot cups in slick stylings, there'll be Patisserie 46 treats for the snacking.
Lucia Watson has sold her iconic eponymous restaurant assemblage. You'd think after 30 years the grand dame of local food would deserve a little break and some time in the sun at her house in France. No one begrudges her that, it's just that she sold her operation to a collection of investors whose other restaurant is Stella's ... not exactly known for the same quality food. But they've promised not to change a thing, to let it continue on as is, except for the new Monday hours which start December 22. Those we welcome.
Tyler Shipton, one of the opening chefs of Borough and Coup d'Etat has decided to leave the fold and move on. While Shipton plans to relax and travel a bit (read: not tell us where he's headed), Nick O'Leary, the other half of the team, will stay on.
Heartland, who introduced a sassy bunch of ballpark burgers in the bar, has announced that the Market portion of the building will close on January 1 to get a makeover. Nothing too disco, the space will get added cafe seating, more deli options, plus beer and wine service to make it more friendly to ballparkers who want to pop by before a Saints game this spring. It might be redubbed Heartland Sausage Company (after the links they're making and producing in-house). Or not, we'll see. Get in there to stock up on stock and other things that will make your holiday table rock.
If you're looking for the ultra-gift for a foodist, or want to throw the best and coolest holiday gathering to put all other cocktial-weenie events to shame (or is that just always my personal goal? bygones.) consider booking out the Kitchen Dining Room at Piccolo, which you can now reserve online! Book the private room for 10 people ($800 weekday/$1,200 weekend) and you'll get a five-course dinner with wine pairings, a hug from Doug, plus unlimited high-fives from the cool waitstaff. Also online are gift packages. My current favorite, on my own wish list, is the The Menu for Two: you get the whole menu plus wine pairings for two, plus a T-shirt, and high five from a preselected member of the team ($280). It's all about experiences this year, yeah?
What can save you from another awkward company party? Gather the cubemates and head over to Brit's Holiday Party on December 17. There will be live music, engraving of Guinness pint glasses, sassy holiday trivia, plus prizes for horrid jumpers (ugly sweaters) a la Colin Firth in Bridget Jones. It's going to be bloody festive.
There's another Brut pop-up in the works from the Malone/Anderson team. They'll be cooking in Piccolo on December 16 and 23. The menu will be new and different from the last pop-up, and for $75 you'll get an amuse, first course, entree, cheese course, and dessert (plus maybe something special that'll be a surprise, 'tis the season). Send them an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org to reserve a spot.
Republic at Seven Corners is hosting a one-act play: Harold Pinter's The Dumb Waiter starting at midnight on December 22 (which actually makes it December 23, but ok). Your ticket for the show is a receipt from Republic for at least $10, so head in early, grab a seat, and have some beer and vittles before the performance. E-mail email@example.com to reserve some seats for the show.
Also in Seven Corners, Town Hall Brewery will be celebrating Festivus on December 16 on the patio with a bonfire, a traditional Festivus pole, feats of strength, and, of course, a new Festivus beer which, this year, is a double red ale brewed with Colorado Spruce tips aged on white cedar.