New Mediterranean Table Launch Dinner at Saffron

Becca Dilley / Heavy Table
Becca Dilley / Heavy Table

If you read about The New Mediterranean Table and thought “that sounds damned delicious!”, you’re in luck: Chef Sameh Wadi is hosting a book launch dinner this coming Monday, May 18. The menu includes whole roasted lamb shoulder with Arabic rice, jeweled rice, and shellfish paella croquettes. Tickets are $125 a person.

Chefs Depart Barbette and Red Stag, The Last Saint Dinette Pop Up and More

Becca Dilley Photography
Becca Dilley Photography

J.D. Fratzke of The Strip Club Meat and Fish (above) makes his PiPress debut with a column focused on food awards (also: read about our recent gastronomic trip to the Boundary Waters with him). And in other Fratzke-related news, Saint Dinette is hosting a final pop up (before opening) at Corner Table. The always noteworthy Sarah Master is leaving Barbette to start up her own Iron Range- and New Orleans-inspired restaurant and J.P. Samuelson is out after a brief stint at Red Stag. Brasserie Zentral is now offering brunch (here’s our review of dinner.) A look at the cheese (Lone Grazer) and meat (Red Table) of the Food Building. And the long awaited Corner Table spin-off restaurant Revival opens this Friday for lunch (here’s the menu in PDF format.)

Beard Nominees, How Find Great Chinese Restaurants, and More

Becca Dilley / Heavy Table
Becca Dilley / Heavy Table

Beard Award nominees for Best Chef: Midwest include Paul Berglund (above), Lenny Russo, and Michelle Gayer. A Wisconsin chef is crafting some ambitious jellies out of local beer. The fight over water quality in the Upper Midwest has ramifications for those who love local fish and wild rice. A post in praise of hand-drawn signage in stores. The Well Fed Guide to Life heads out to the Third Bird. A guide to seeking out Chinese restaurants via the local Chinese press, whether you read the language(s) or not. A taste of the first cress of spring from Trout Caviar and a sip of Borealis Fermentery’s Vinegoblin Belgian-style Pale Ale from The Bitter Nib. And some gorgeous Febgiving photo outtakes from Becca Dilley (see our story here).

Dogwood Co-Founder Greg Hoyt Buys Rustica

Katie Cannon / Heavy Table
Katie Cannon / Heavy Table

Dogwood Coffee co-founder Greg Hoyt is buying Rustica Bakery, recognized by many as one of the preeminent bakeries in the state. (We swear by their baguettes, among other things.) From Hoyt’s emailed press release: Minneapolis-based Rustica Bakery is being sold; new owners will maintain the quality  tradition of the nationally recognized bakery. Founders Stephen Horton and Barbara Shaterian are selling their award-winning bakery to Dogwood Coffee co-founder Greg Hoyt. Rustica started in 2004 in the Lynnhurst neighborhood of Minneapolis offering quality, hand-made breads and pastries. In 2009, Rustica moved to its current location at 3224 East Lake Street Minneapolis, MN 55416 in Calhoun Village Shopping Center. Greg Hoyt will step away from daily operations at Dogwood to manage Rustica full-time, while Dogwood Coffee remains a separate entity under the leadership of co-founder Dan Anderson.

Paddy Shack Reviewed, Sisyphus Brewing, and More

Kate N.G. Sommers / Heavy Table
Kate N.G. Sommers / Heavy Table

More love for the Jack Riebel-forged upscale dive bar fare of Paddy Shack. Stephanie March digs Victor’s on Water. I’m a sucker for shakshouka, so shakshouka pizza seems worth reporting. Beer sage Doug Hoverson stops by Sisyphus Brewing and the Well Fed Guide to Life hops over to the Monte Carlo (above). Restaurant Alma fights to add boutique hotel rooms upstairs and adds a Bittercube-driven bar program to the upcoming Cafe Alma. And 10 places to take your kid when it’s damned cold out, including Riverview Cafe, A Cupcake Social, and Sovereign Grounds.

Farewell to Cedar Summit and Hello to St. Genevieve

Kate N.G. Sommers/Heavy Table
Kate N.G. Sommers/Heavy Table

A look at the upcoming Uptown debut of Al’s SSSuper Ass Friday by Doug Anderson. Spill the Wine has closed and will be replaced by the Latin-infused eatery Tino Cochina + Cantina. A sad farewell to Cedar Summit Farm’s dairy operation and a look at the new Steven Brown restaurant, St. Genevieve. Winterfest tickets are available and the brew lineup looks solid. The Well Fed Guide to Life heads out to Pho Tau Bay. And a look back at the now-closed Pracna on Main.

Former Himalayan Space to Become Mon Petit Cheri

Screenshot from Facebook.com
Screenshot from Facebook.com

As per a reader tip, the old Himalayan space at 2401 East Franklin Ave. in Minneapolis will soon be re-opening as Mon Petit Chéri, a French-style bakery known from its appearances at the Minneapolis Farmers Market for its sweet orange and caramel pecan rolls. A Facebook post by the shop’s owner on Dec. 26 reads, in part: “We will have a seasonal bread menu as well as a large variety of specialty pastries, cookies, cakes, pies, and more! We will also have a full espresso coffee bar, and a light breakfast and lunch menu with brunch on the weekends.”

Out With the Old (Solera) and In With the New (Another Trader Joe’s)

Katie Cannon / Heavy Table
Katie Cannon / Heavy Table

Trader Joe’s is coming to downtown Minneapolis and Solera closes its doors after 11 years (sunrise, sunset). Tickets for Winterfest go on sale later this month. The Well Fed Guide to Life visits Mancini’s and Betty Danger’s. Local food writers close out 2014 with reflections on their restaurant standbys and we recap the year in food on MPR. Bayfield-based Big Water Coffee Roasters starts shipping beans nationwide, joining other Lake Superior craft coffee outfits like Duluth Coffee Company and Fika (Grand Marais.) And Heavy Table contributing photographer Becca Dilley shows off her nine best time-sink photos of 2014 (including an animated .gif of Norseman Distillery.)

On the Discovery of Pork Shoulder Porchetta

Becca Dilley / Minnesota Lunch
Becca Dilley / Minnesota Lunch

Congratulations to Melissa Clark of the New York Times for personally discovering that you can make a simpler variant of Italian porchetta using a pork shoulder. It is exciting to hear that this dish is now enjoyed exclusively in a small section of Brownstone Brooklyn. She may be pleased and mortified in equal proportions to hear that time-traveling Italian immigrants from Minnesota’s Iron Range have stolen her recipe and turned it into a widely-known staple of North Country cuisine since the early part of the 20th Century.

Shepherd’s Way Kickstarter, Surly About to Open, and More

Becca Dilley / Heavy Table
Becca Dilley / Heavy Table

Shepherd’s Way Farms has kicked off its Kickstarter campaign to build new sheep barns. A look at Badger Hill’s new brewery in Shakopee, and a preview of this Friday’s opening of the new Surly megaplex. A recipe for pheasant and dumplings. And some changes (including a new chef) at Cook St. Paul.

Lucia’s is Sold, A New Peace Coffee and More

Natalie Champa Jennings / Heavy Table
Natalie Champa Jennings / Heavy Table

Lucia Watson has sold the restaurant that bears her name to the majority investor of Stella’s Fish Cafe. Peace Coffee is opening a shop in downtown Minneapolis in the Capella Tower. The Dallas-based Pie Five Pizza chain is opening a Twin Cities location in March. Here’s the Alcohol by Volume gift list (and here’s ours, too, if you missed it.) The Well Fed Guide to Life heads out to Paddy Shack.

Nye’s Closing, Farm Table, 11 Wells and More

Isabel Subtil / Heavy Table
Isabel Subtil / Heavy Table

Comments are running about 3:1 against the anti-sentimental “I spit on your grave” take on Nye’s over at City Pages. In other news, comments equal traffic. A detailed profile of the intriguing Farm Table in Amery, WI. A guide to dining at the Minneapolis Holiday Market. Dara previews the upcoming 11 Wells cocktail room. The Well Fed Guide to Life visits Libertine. And some (deep) insight into why you often can’t get a growler filled anywhere but the brewery labeled on the side.