Lyn 65 Burger with Knife - Photo by Kevin J. Miyazaki
. . . And maybe a really nice cheeseburger with crisp-edged patties, drippy cheese, and snappy pickles, because love language comes in many forms (and that's mine, obvs). You still have time to secure reservations, if that's what's required of you, but there’s also ways to think outside the heart-shaped box. Take your sweetie to a brand new brewery, surprise them with V-Day breakfast at a new diner—or best yet, gather the great goods from our local pros and make dinner in (even if it's semi-catered, it's still love).
>> The Lexington opened on Thursday. It happened. It did.
>> Utepils Brewing Co ... ute-pils or oooooh-ta-pilz or Ute's Crib ... is now open in Bryn Mawr! Grand opening is officially tomorrow, but beer is flowing folks. There is #Northiness all over this new taproom, and they've kicked it off with a kölsch, Belgian, and Bavarian Hefeweizen round up of beers. Mix your North with some South and go on Wed. 2/15 when the lovely ladies from WholeSoul food truck will be parked outside, hopefully with wings and fried catfish.
>> I somehow missed that The Tilted Tiki opened in Stillwater. Located in the old Grand Garage building, they've got fruity drinks, beach vacation digs, and pupu for you. There seems to be a lot of plum glaze, strawberry lava sauce, and passion fruit sweet chili sauce on the snacks menu, so I'd stick to the Spam and eggs on the brunch menu if you're on a sugar break.
>> What was once Marché will officially become Mercado this Saturday. The guys behind Earl Giles have taken over the lobby bar/eatery in the lower level of the LIME Apartment Building in LynLake, and have launched a combo cocktail bar/taco shop/coffee bar. Donate a healthy plant to their collection this weekend and get a free drink.
>> Good news, Afro Deli is opening their Stadium Village location on Monday. That means more Saturday chicken sambusas for me.
>> Pimento Jamaican Kitchen has closed their original location in Burnsville Mall, but they are planning to relocate it to another location, to be announced soon. The Eat Street shop is still cranking out hot sauce and jerk chicken, friends.
>> SW Craft Bar, which used to be known as Señor Wong's, will be closing up shop for good on Feb. 18, so go get one more drink on.
>> Lynne Rosetto Kasper has announced that she'll be retiring from Splendid Table radio at the end of 2017. Her replacement, celebrated food writer and cook Francis Lam, will take her place as host, with his first show on March 10. What a delicious 21 year run LRK has had, I wish her nothing but placid days in her kitchen.
>> It seems that buzzy Tullibee in the North Loop has lost its chef. Grae Nonas has put in his notice at the Hewing Hotel restaurant he helped launch.
>> There are still spots available at White Castle for your finer dining Valentine's dinner.
>> Look, I know it's going to be dicey out there all weekend, because VD is on a Tuesday which just stretches the couples dining thing from the weekend into the next week. If you're feeling like you need a break, head out to the Maple Tavern in Maple Grove for their Valentine's Comedy Night on Tuesday. My pal Dan Mogol is one of the comics, and he's a hoot. Plus dinner and a show with laughing instead of icky eye gazing for $55!
>> My kind of Galentine's Day is happening on Wed. with Bourbon & Bonbons: A whiskey and chocolate flight night down at the Bourbon Butcher with Women Who Whiskey. Pay up the $55 for chocolate and whiskey flight that includes the bus to Farmington! You'll get to hang with all the ladies, sipping mash and talking trash, including the incredible Ms. Ralena Young who is running the bar program down there.
>> Also, fellow nerds, I don't want you to despair that you haven't found the Samwise to your Frodo, there's still time. In fact, why not get geared up for An Unexpected Party at Bauhaus Brew Labs on Sun. 2/19. This Tol-Con event will have panels, trivia, games, crafting, music, and plenty of food and drink, though they can't promise Lembas bread.
>> Hey get this on your calendar, Cooks of Crocus Hill is having a Le Creuset Closet Clearance on 2/25-26. I bet they are just tripping over pots in that closet, time to clear it out!
>> Ben Rients of Lyn 65 has let us in on the name of his upcoming Mexican restaurant with pal chef Jose Alcaron. The spot will be called Popol Vuh & Central, and they're calling it two unique concepts under one roof, though they haven't yet revealed where that roof might be. You can get a taste of what they'll be cooking at their next preview pop up on Mon. 2/27, where your $50 gets you a glimpse of things to come later this summer.
Photo by Kevin J. Miyazaki