Sometimes those calendar guys seem to get it right on the money—as with today's National Hammock Day, which is closely followed by tomorrow's National Vanilla Ice Cream Day, and Sunday's National Tequila Day. If you plan accordingly, you may not have to leave one spot. But if you choose to more actively celebrate your cities in the summer, do check out the new-fangled Aquatennial's Mess Hall, take in a new tropical eatery, or grab one last viewing of your nostalgic onion volcano.
>> World of Beer has opened their first MN location in St. Paul. They are pimping some 50 craft beers on tap and about 500 bottle labels in the cooler, along with a loyalty program and a menu replete with tavern fare: big pretz, flatbreads, burgers, plus fish n tots, and pork schnitzel (trend check: having a moment?). Feels a little Yardhouse, tbh.
>> Hector Ruiz is a it yet again, that man can't stop, won't stop opening restaurants. The man behind the legendary but now closed El Meson, has opened his fifth overall, and yet his first eatery in Northeast Minnny. Costa Blanca Bistro is now open in the former Pico De Gallo spot next to Taco Riendo. It looks like the menu is all tapas (plus brunch), with plates hovering around $10-12. Ruiz has a way with seafood, so I'm excited to try the brown butter red snapper and the roasted sea bass. Personally hoping the balsamic glaze situation is more in check than at his Rincon 38. #bygones
>> I popped into the newly opened St. Paul version of Black Coffee & Waffle bar last Saturday, and it was jamming. No ham for the one savory waffle on the wall board, so I went with just cheese. Better to pick one of the sweet options, which are plentiful and springy and piled hight with whip cream and abandon.
>> Dinkytown has a new spot to nosh and carry. Himalayan Dinkytown has opened with a modern vibe and a quick serive model that should do well for coming YA hordes. Be aware that the samosa and pyazzi (fried onion and jalapeno bits) will become post-bar icons by October.
>> So, Tosca Trattoria, the pasta bar attached to Turtle Bread in Linden Hills has closed after 10 years. Gift cards will be honored at Turtle. And also, what's going on at Levain?
>> Sad to hear that Ichiban will close as of July 30. That spot is so iconic of downtown, so many family trekked it into the city for flipped shrimp and onion volcanoes around a hot steel hibachi table, that it was like a stay-cation in the city. Plus there was no better place to escape off the hip-grid when you just wanted to pound a few sake and eat a certain mass of hamachi, ahem. So go one more time before it closes, and send a note to your favorite shinto spirit that someone buys the space who loves it to it's deeply kitschy and odd core.
>> Seward Cafe has announced that, as of August 1, they will no longer be serving dinner, instead ending service at 6pm (so early birders/late lunchers are still in luck). They collectively owned eatery cites lack of traffic, and is taking this step to keep the business healthy. On the up-side they'll now have evening space available for book clubs, meetings, seminars, private dinners, and fundraisers that are looking for space with a beer/wine license. Good thoughts.
>> People's Organic has quietly closed in Wayzata after two years. They're sending guests to their refreshed Minnetonka Mills location while they are looking for another Wayzata location in which to re-open. Apparently, they got an offer for the space that they couldn't refuse.
>> That offer obviously came from Ryan Burnet & company, as they will be moving into the Wayzata People's Organic spot with a fast-casual healthy eatery that is yet-to-be-named. Though I can report that the windows have been blocked by green paper with a large [&] that ends with a fork. Construction begins August 1.
>> Red River Kitchen at City House will be the newest park seasonal on St. Paul's river front. The three year old food truck will park it at the historic building and hopefully start serving August 1. Also: chef JD Fratzke will be working on the menu.
>> Yesterday Parasole announced that they would be launching a fast-casual version of The Good Earth in Ridgedale, called Field Day. How has this not happened before? Good Earth set the tone for healthy eating in the TC some 20+ years ago, still love me a Jogger shake that I ate at the Bonaventure location as a kid. This version will have greens, salads, wraps, and grain bowls designed by Tim McKee, which ain't too shabby of an upgrade. Look for this one to open in October, and then more to roll out as they get their legs.
>> The Aquatennial has been getting a bit of a fluff over the last two years. This year, the original city summer festival has a bunch of new bits like a drag race and the return of AquaJam! And this Saturday, Jul 23, there's a Mess Hall happening on Boom Island. Lots of TC foodists, old and new, will be offering up vittles and beer for purchase. Like a giant outdoor food court, or a ... mess hall. Check out Tammy Wong's Rainbow Chinese, or Wyn65, the new Rebel Donut Bar and Pimento Jamaican Kitchen, or My Burger and Dumpling. Food prices will vary, craft beers will be $6, and you really can't lose except for potential lines. Starts at 3p, goes to 10p, fireworks to follow.
>> Open Streets East Lake is on Sunday and there are some serious Sunday Funday plans afoot. Celebrate Tequila Day at Sonora Grill, home of the TC largest Mexican margarita weighing in at 67oz or something ridiculous like that, then scoot up to Hi-Lo Diner for their Wonderland which includes classic cars, a pie eating contest, sock-hop, carnival games and more. Also along the route, Mercado Central, Midtown Farmers Market, El Nuevo Rodeo (practice your salsa game), the new Town Talk Diner, Longfellow Grill and so much more!
>> Saturday is Rib Fest down at Mystic Lake Casino, if you have the hankering for some competition level barbecue.
>> Bent Brewstillery's Saturday will be spent detoxing with a 5K run in the morning, then retoxing with a classic car-b-que hang in the afternoon.
>> Monday night you should head over to Indeed Brewing for Wooden Soul: Heliotropic bottle release of their first run of funky, sour, barrel-aged beers. Your $50 tix will get you a full pour of the Heliotropic, a fruited flight, snack from Chowgirls, and a bottle of the first run before it's available to the public.
>> Then when the week chills out, grab a seat at Monello's Cocktail Dinner on Wed, Jul 27. The master blender from Maison Ferrand cognac will be there to spin tales and guide you through five courses of DeCamp food paired with Jesse Held cocktails. This will be $95 well spent.
>> Look ahead to July 30th for another NEW PIZZA FARM! Celebrate Books, Banter & Little Bites at the Squash Blossom Farm in Oronoco, where you'll hear local authors Lucie Amundson, Spike Carlson, and Terresa Marrone spin stories, sign books, and munch on tomato pie.