Suzy Beer Mitt from Amazon
This is it. This is our time to shine! Nobody is as winter as us! Nobody else would champion beer mittens as high style for a January beer fest. Nobody else would consider a wool blanket to be necessary for a fine-dining dinner. Nobody else puts art in the middle of a frozen lake. Now chopper up and turn the world on with your smile, take that nothing day and suddenly make it all seem worthwhile! Be a Mary.
>> Prairie Dogs, which closed their LynLake location on NYE, has found a new home ... at The Viking Bar. I love this combo, I'm a fan of both and I can totally get behind snarfing down a little Split Open and Melt with Hook's Cheddar along with my beer and a bump while listening to vinyl this weekend for HH.
>> A cute little spot known as Cafe Astoria has opened on Grand Avenue where it nearly smacks West 7th. Sure, at face value it's a little coffee cafe jumping into the smoothie bowl and crepes fray, but dig a little deeper to know that chef Johnny Occhiato (D'Amico, Cosmos, Citizen Supper Club), is the owner, and it means just a bit more.
>> Smith & Porter is a new restaurant and bar freshly opened on the ground level of a senior living apartment building in the Mill District. And if it weren't my birthday on Sunday, by which I inch ever closer to said housing, I might have made a joke here.
>> The Ox Cart Ale House in Lowertown, part of the Madison Group which also owns Public Kitchen and Handsome Hog in the neighborhood, will close after Saturday night, for a bit of cleaning and remodeling. They've said they'll reopen again when the weather gets warmer, but no date has been given.
>> If you've been trapped under the weight of a new Presidency, you might not have heard that The Lexington has announced its first official day of business as February 9th. NOT fake news, chums. Rezzies are already gone of course, but you can still walk in for the Williamsburg room and steal a moment of history.
>> Driving into Mpls. the other night I spied some construction action in the old old Sawatdee spot on 4th across from Pizza Luce. Turns out it's destined to become a Dulonos Pizza place (dueling 'za!). The divetacular Uptown charmer has quietly expanded to Woodbury and Mahtomedi already, so why not right downtown? Now, let's get some action on the old old New French space, hmmmmm?
>> The Great Northern kicks off this weekend with St. Paul Winter Carnival craziness, and US Pond Hockey fun. I hear the Big Dinner on Monday is sold out, but you can still get in on chill events all week. Check out B-Lectric on Sunday at Barbette, which is all art/light/ice. Don't forget on Wed. 2/1 there's Ice to Spice in Rice Park and Surly Kraftskiva at the brewery. And grab your tickets to the 8th Annual Beer Dabbler Winter Carnival beer fest on Sat. 2/4 before they're gone.
>> Saturday at Union: Star Wars vs. Star Trek drag brunch. Carry on.
>> Here's how you mend your broken faith in things: Go to the Winter Farmers Market at Bachmann's on Lyndale this Saturday. Mill about and talk to people, buy pasture raised beef, chat up a cheesemaker, sip a little Able Seedhouse beer, and buy maple syrup to remind you that, no matter what, the trees will run.
>> If you want to taste a little bit of the last MN beer that former Surly brewer Todd Haug brewed before he left town, head to the tapping of #HEXIT at Badger Hill on Saturday. HEXIT is a "Braggot IPA with loads of oats and honey flavor with dry hop aroma of mic drop proportions. Think of it as your Breakfast IPA." Profits from this beer go directly to the MN Honey Producers Association and UofM Bee Lab. Be aware of bottle limits and bring cash, but know that a few liquor stores will have bottles after the release.
>> Do you want a sneaky little peek into where the next generation of cooks might be heading? I'd say grab one of the last few tickets to the Houndstooth pop up on Sunday at Cook St. Paul, where the well-trained kids (from Piccolo, Tilia, 112 Eatery, etc.) are throwing down five courses for $80 with beer pairing. Find out what the future tastes like.
>> Here's a one-two: Fill a flask and report to Mager's & Quinn on Mon. 1/30 as author Fred Minnick presents his book, Bourbon: The Rise, Fall, and Rebirth of an American Whiskey, which is wicked interesting. And then ....
>> .... My lovely sipping sisters at Women Who Whiskey are hosting a screening of the Minnesota 13: From Grain to Glass movie on Tue. 1/31. It's a love story, between Minnesotans and moonshine, during a time when no one thought it could work (you know, Prohibition). It's our own boozy version of LaLa Land! Not really. But there is a welcome cocktail included, and social time at The Viking Bar with the film's producers afterward.
>> Whether or not that little rodent sees his shadow on Groundhog Day, you are assured chili. On Thu. 2/2 head over to Firelake downtown Mpls. for their annual Chili Cook Off in which you get to sample and be judgey of the cooks. Head over for happy hour (5-7p), sip on $3 taps with your free chili tastes, and then go home and hibernate for 4 more months.
>> I'm clearly down for GastroVINO: Bubbly and Fries edition happening on Thu. 2/2 at Black Dog in Lowertown. The kids from Solo Vino will be there schooling you on the best food and drink combination since water and air. All sort of bubbles will be flowing while baskets and baskets of fries just keep magically alighting on tables as DJ Steez spins it right round. This may be my perfect night.
>> Big Bowl Game Day Sportsballing Fun can be had all over town on Sunday 2/5, but I might have to pick Super Suzi Bowl at Psycho Suzi's as a top spot to hang. A tiny $14 ticket gets you inside for unlimited pizza bar and build-your-own tater tot bar! That's a lot of tots-n-za, so you'll be happy that the $3 Coors Lights won't weigh you down.
photo: Suzy Beer Mitt from Amazon