Heavy Table Hot Five: Feb. 16-22

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Each Friday, this list will track five of the best things Heavy Table’s writers, editors, and photographers have recently bitten or sipped. Have a suggestion for the Hot Five? Email editor@heavytable.com.

shepherd-song-banner-ad-horiz-3The Hot Five is a weekly feature created by the Heavy Table and supported by Shepherd Song Farm.

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Jane Rosemarin / Heavy Table

1-new - one - hot fiveWinter Rose Pastry at Rose Street Patisserie
I’ve seen this before … almost. In the spring of 2016, John Kraus offered a cheerful raspberry-and-white-chocolate version of this pastry to celebrate the opening of Rose Street Patisserie. The winter version is more subdued in color (a faded rose?) but has the compelling, deep flavor of gianduja (Piedmont, Italy’s ground-hazelnut milk chocolate in the form of tiny prisms wrapped in gold foil). The Winter Rose is a gianduja mousse with a caramel cremeux (a kind of pudding) center. The creamy elements sit on a crunchy hazelnut cookie slicked with marmalade. It was a joy to break a bit of the surrounding chocolate spiral and eat it with a forkful of mousse and cookie. Please don’t utter the word Nutella!
[Debuting on the Hot Five | Submitted by Jane Rosemarin]

Joshua Page / Heavy Table

2-new - two - hot fiveOat Milk Cappuccino at Peace Coffee
During our recent break from dairy, a barista at Peace Coffee recommended an oat milk cappuccino (Peace uses Oatly). Though skeptical, we took his suggestion. And it was damn good. Unlike watery dairy alternatives, oat milk is creamy, froths nicely, and blends really well with espresso. It has a pleasant, subtle oat flavor, but is otherwise neutral. While not as sweet as milk, it’s one hell of an alternative. Even though we’re back on dairy, we’re still ordering “oat caps.” (Tip: The Seward Co-op on 38th Street sells Oatly.)
[Debuting on the Hot Five | Submitted by Joshua Page]

Brenda Johnson / Heavy Table

3-new - three hot fiveRoast Duck at Hip Sing BBQ
Our half Red Duck at Hip Sing arrived glistening, and it proved to be wonderfully tender, tasting like well-cooked dark chicken meat with a rich, earthy sauce that had traces of hoisin and soy. It was fatty; there were little bones; but who cares? This is pick-it-up-with-your-fingers-and-gnaw-to-your-heart’s-content meat.
[Debuting on the Hot Five | Submitted from a story by Amy Rea]

Becca Dilley / Heavy Table

4-new four hot fiveSomali Soup at O-City
The soup that started our recent East Lake Checklist visit to O-City was complicated enough that we could have broken it into three Hot Five items all by itself. First of all, it was a creamy take on vegetable soup — deeply (but not overwhelmingly) spicy-hot, comforting-but-not-boring. Second, with the addition of a squeeze of lime, it picks up a beautiful, bright, acid note that changes its character. And third, you can stir in some of the hot, hot, hot spicy green sauce that’s on your table and give it a roaringly fierce kick.
[Debuting on the Hot Five | Submitted from an upcoming East Lake Checklist by James Norton]

Paige Latham Didora / Heavy Table

5-new -fiveHam and Gruyere Crepe at Penny’s Coffee
The Ham and Gruyere Crepe at Penny’s Coffee in downtown Minneapolis is a satisfying meal in an unlikely place. Located on the ground floor of a nondescript office building, Penny’s has a substantial menu in addition to premium coffee and pastries. The crepes are served with a frisée-and-herb salad, a crisp counterpoint to the creamy ham and cheese.
[Last Week on the Hot Five: #4 | Submitted by Paige Latham Didora]

Lac Coeur Coffee Liqueur by Loon Liquor

James Norton / Heavy Table

Kahlua has given coffee liqueur a bad name. You can’t really blame the brand for its massive and lucrative success. It’s a staple of college bars everywhere, and it does in fact make a fine White Russian — but it’s syrupy and lacks the depth and complexity that makes coffee a miraculous gift from heaven.

There’s no reason a coffee liqueur can’t capture some of coffee’s bewitching depth while still offering enough sweetness to play a crucial supporting role in dessertlike cocktails. And that balance between complexity and a honeylike sweetness makes Lac Coeur by Loon Liquor ($20 for 375 milliliters) pleasant enough to sip by itself as a digestif.

The fact that Lac Coeur is made with Peace Coffee’s Yeti Cold Press goes a long way toward explaining its quality. The depth of the coffee is fully expressed rather than being squashed by sugar.

If you’re planning to build a White Russian around Lac Coeur, prepare to experiment — you may miss Kahlua’s sugar in this context. That said, this is a marvelously tasteful product with a local provenance, and a lot of potential for mixing … or for drinking straight out of a glass after dinner.

Heavy Table Hot Five: Jan. 26-Feb. 3

hotfive-flames

Each Friday, this list will track five of the best things Heavy Table’s writers, editors, and photographers have recently bitten or sipped. Have a suggestion for the Hot Five? Email editor@heavytable.com.

shepherd-song-banner-ad-horiz-3The Hot Five is a weekly feature created by the Heavy Table and supported by Shepherd Song Farm.

shepherd-song-green-keyline

James Norton / Heavy Table
James Norton / Heavy Table

1-new - onePork Ramen at Meritage
It’s a shame ramen isn’t on the permanent menu at Meritage because this is the best we’ve had around here. This dish, part of the restaurant’s Japan installment in its World Tour series, featured house-made noodles with great al dente texture; a really rich, lovely broth with supreme depth of flavor; tender pork belly; and tenderloin. Japan has sadly concluded, but next week (Jan. 31-Feb. 2) is India, followed by China (Feb. 7-9), Italy (Feb. 21-23), Greece (Feb. 28-Mar. 2), and Morocco (Mar. 7-9).
[Debuting on the Hot Five | Submitted by James Norton]

Amy Rea / Heavy Table
Amy Rea / Heavy Table

2-new - twoWood-Grilled Oysters at Red Rabbit
The wood-grilled oysters at Red Rabbit are plump and tender and swimming in a scallion butter that’s both rich and tangy. Topped with herbs and Parmesan, and served on freshly toasted crostini so you don’t have to waste a single drop of the liquid, this is a luxurious plate that could appeal to even those who are squeamish about the raw version.
[Debuting on the Hot Five | Submitted from an upcoming review by Amy Rea]

James Norton / Heavy Table
James Norton / Heavy Table

3-new - threeCafe Frieda Coffee Liqueur by Du Nord
Locally made coffee liqueur that actually tastes like coffee: Cafe Frieda is 52 proof and made with Peace Coffee’s cold brew coffee and roasted chicory root. It is in possession of both depth and subtlety. Sweet, but not aggressively so.
[Last Week on the Hot Five: #3 | Submitted from an upcoming review by James Norton]

Paige Latham / Heavy Table
Paige Latham / Heavy Table

4-new four Sugarbush Whiskey Barrel-Aged Barleywine at Dangerous Man Brewing
A beautiful symbiotic relationship between spirits and beer can be found at Dangerous Man Brewing right now. The Sugarbush Whiskey Barrel-Aged Barleywine is an English-style beer that has been put into barrels from the North Shore’s first aged whiskey. Its tempered sweetness and viscosity make it an ideal winter warmer.
[Debuting on the Hot Five | Submitted by Paige Latham]

Josiah Norton / Heavy Table
Josiah Norton / Heavy Table

5-new -five Longevity Noodles at United Noodles
United Noodles had a press dinner this week to ring in the Lunar New Year, and the highlight was long, delicate, garlicky noodles bedecked with giant prawns and scallions, symbolizing long life. The evening was a reminder that there are a lot of ways to celebrate, a lot of dates that are sacred to somebody, and a lot of good things to eat under the sun.
[Debuting on the Hot Five | Submitted by James Norton]

Heavy Table Hot Five: Sep. 30-Oct. 6

hotfive-flames

Each Friday, this list will track five of the best things Heavy Table’s writers, editors, and photographers have recently bitten or sipped. Have a suggestion for the Hot Five? Email editor@heavytable.com.

shepherd-song-banner-ad-horiz-3The Hot Five is a weekly feature created by the Heavy Table and supported by Shepherd Song Farm.

shepherd-song-green-keyline

James Norton / Heavy Table
James Norton / Heavy Table

1-new - oneMaple Caramel from the St. Croix Chocolate Company
Despite its cheerfully exotic location in Marine on Saint Croix, the St. Croix Chocolate Company can throw down with the best of anything in the greater metro area. We appreciate their artful take on chocolate that mixes first-rate product with stunning visual effects (like sculptural bars modeled on clay tiles). Case in point: the skillfully painted, leaf-shaped chocolates containing a subtle but truly soulful maple caramel that arrived in a hand-painted dark chocolate pumpkin to promote Caramelpalooza on Oct. 15. The chocolate shop’s pear caramel was also an edible work of art — rarely have fruit and chocolate had such a civil conversation.
[Debuting on the Hot Five | Submitted from Twitter by James Norton]

Jane Rosemarin / Heavy Table
Jane Rosemarin / Heavy Table

2-new - twoFresh Ginger at Mill City Farmers Market
Fresh ginger is back at the Mill City Farmers Market. You can find the spicy, fragrant rhizome at the Stone’s Throw and Seven Songs booths. This ginger is both more tender and hotter than the grocery-store version and is perfect for crystallizing. This year, the farmers have also grown galangal and turmeric, similarly hard-to-cultivate (in Minnesota, at least) plants in the ginger family.
[Debuting on the Hot Five | Submitted by Jane Rosemarin]

James Norton / Heavy Table
James Norton / Heavy Table

3-new - threeHarvest Moon Latte at Peace Coffee
The Harvest Moon Latte goes something like this: Seasonally fresh squash (rotated by the week depending on what’s best) is roasted and pureed with brown sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg, and then that base is drowned in steamed milk and finally topped with a shot of espresso. The squash is mellow, gently earthy, and present without being overpowering, and it’s a great upgrade to the lazy pumpkin-spiced everything that currently rules our world.
[Debuting on the Hot Five | Submitted by James Norton]

James Norton / Heavy Table
James Norton / Heavy Table

4-new fourBanh Chao Quay from Ha Tien
The Banh Chao Quay at Ha Tien, a Vietnamese-by-way-of-St. Paul spin on a classic Chinese doughnut, is a modern miracle. Graced with a lightly crisp exterior and a chewy, tender interior that directly recall a classic beignet, this pastry — plus a bit of powdered sugar and some coffee — would make a lovely breakfast for three to four people, for $1.59. And it’s kind of marvelous to look at, too.
[Last Week on the Hot Five: #1 | Submitted from Instagram by James Norton]

Amy Rea / Heavy Table
Amy Rea / Heavy Table

5-new -fiveBagels from Baker’s Field Flour
The bagels from Baker’s Field Flour (found at the Mill City and Northeast farmers markets) are a wonderful way to start the day. The plain bagel is far from flavorless. The natural leavening gives it a tang akin to sourdough, and it’s also got a pleasantly nutty whole-grain undertone. Cream cheese optional (but why not?).
[Debuting on the Hot Five | Submitted by Amy Rea]

Heavy Table Hot Five: July 8-14

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Each Friday, this list will track five of the best things Heavy Table’s writers, editors, and photographers have recently bitten or sipped. Have a suggestion for the Hot Five? Email editor@heavytable.com.

shepherd-song-banner-ad-horiz-3The Hot Five is a weekly feature created by the Heavy Table and supported by Shepherd Song Farm.

shepherd-song-green-keyline

Peter Sieve / Heavy Table
Peter Sieve / Heavy Table

1-new - onePirikara Yasai Donburi at Kyatchi
The Pirikara Yasai Donburi at Kyatchi is summer in a bowl. Alternately warm and cool, rich and spicy, and sweet and savory, it’s a pitch-perfect balancing act and supremely refreshing. Ripe avocado and fresh heirloom tomato mingle with cool celery and cucumber, all tossed in a spicy sesame sauce and draped over Kyatchi’s excellently seasoned sushi rice. Some bites evoke the childhood joy of crunching into peanut-buttery ants-on-a-log. The best part? It’s only $6 at happy hour — a crazy great deal for a well-rounded meal’s worth of food.
[Debuting on the Hot Five | Submitted by Peter Sieve]

Varsha Koneru / Heavy Table
Varsha Koneru / Heavy Table

2-new - twoSmoked Cheese Curds from Northbound Smokehouse
If you need your cheese curds fix before the state fair next month, head over to Northbound Smokehouse for the white-cheddar curds. These little morsels are lightly smoked and dipped in a sweet pancake batter, creating a great balance of sweet, smoky, and salty. No fancy-schmancy berry ketchup here, just some old school ranch, which pairs perfectly with the curds.
[Debuting on the Hot Five | Submitted by Varsha Koneru]

James Norton / Heavy Table
James Norton / Heavy Table

3-new - threeTinto de Verano
Hot, muggy weather calls for drastic measures. The Spanish resort to something called tinto de verano — red wine on ice cut with soda, generally orange Fanta. It sounds like an abomination; it’s actually lovely and refreshing, in a sort of downmarket sangria way. (If you want a great local incarnation of the stuff, head over to Mucci’s Italian and get the Mucci Juice.) We made ours with a rose Rio Madre rioja (in the cooler at Elevated Beer Wine and Spirits), a seriously big ice cube, and (yes) Fanta.
[Debuting on the Hot Five | Submitted by James Norton]

Amy Rea / Heavy Table
Amy Rea / Heavy Table

4-new fourThe Bloody Mary sandwich at Pat’s Tap
Properly equipped, a Bloody Mary can be a meal. Pat’s Tap goes a step further with a Bloody Mary sandwich: tomato bread slathered with a sharp Worcestershire aioli, sliced tomatoes, bacon, and two fried eggs. And garnishes, of course. The result is more like a cross between a Bloody Mary and a BLT, but who cares? Bonus: no buzz. Unless you get some vodka on the side.
[Debuting on the Hot Five | Submitted by Amy Rea]

James Norton / Heavy Table
James Norton / Heavy Table

5-new -fiveBlack Lemonade Brulee at Peace Coffee
As long as we’re banging the refreshment gong, let’s put a plug in for the Black Lemonade Brulee at Peace Coffee, a blend of lemon, burnt sugar, and carbonated water. Despite its seeming simplicity, this is a drink with real depth and a wonderful sparkly charge that makes a lovely thing to drink when the temperature soars above 80 (or 90). It’s less a lemonade than a sophisticated nonalcoholic cocktail.
[Debuting on the Hot Five | Submitted from an Instagram post by James Norton]

Out-of-Towners’ Guide to Minneapolis 2015

Becca Dilley / Heavy Table
Becca Dilley / Heavy Table

Welcome to the Twin Cities! Don’t know where to find interesting, high quality food and drink? Whether you’re looking to splurge or eat on the cheap, we’ve got you covered. Looking to drink killer cocktails and treat a hangover the next morning? No problem. Want to know where the locals get their doughnuts, sausage, tacos, and coffee? You’ve come to the right site.

The guide is a collection of places our contributors take out-of-towners (or suggest others take visitors). It’s not a “best-of” list. It’s also not comprehensive. To keep the guide from getting unwieldy, we limited the number of categories and suggestions within each category. Therefore, there are numerous places that we love that didn’t make it into the guide. If you asked us where to eat, drink, and hang out, this is what we’d tell you (and then we’d list a bunch of back-up spots). Together, the interactive map (posted at the end of this article), the list, and the corresponding Foursquare list will help you plan your gastronomic tour of the Twin Cities.

After considering feedback on last year’s inaugural guide, we decided to split the document into two parts, one for each of the Twin Cities. We published the St. Paul guide last month, and now bring you the Minneapolis version. To avoid duplication, we have not included restaurants on the St. Paul list that have Minneapolis locations: Black Sheep Pizza, Brasa, and Colossal Cafe.

Locals: Along with using the guide and sending it to folks visiting town, we hope you will add your recommendations in the comments section (and tell us why our suggestions are completely off base). We update the guide annually, so your feedback helps us improve the document as well as provide out-of-towners with additional suggestions.

Worth the Splurge

Brasserie Zentral logo
Becca Dilley / Heavy Table

Brasserie Zentral; 505 S Marquette Ave, Minneapolis | Our review

The Central European vibe at Brasserie Zentral is unlike that at just about any other place in town. The white-tablecloth atmosphere is welcoming without being fussy, and “fancy” in the best possible meaning of the word. Dishes are made with impeccable consistency using top-notch ingredients. At Zentral, the fine cuisine of Vienna meets the country charm of Hungarian folk dishes and Jewish heritage food, and the foie gras menu is long and lovely.

Kenwood Restaurant; 2115 W 21st St, Minneapolis | Our review

A sunlight-infused casual spot just off the north end of Lake of the Isles, The Kenwood features seasonal fare that’s approachable, elegant, and often playful. Along with lunch and dinner, The Kenwood serves a full brunch every day, with a range of beautifully executed classic egg dishes as well as more Midwestern-inflected options.

Crystal Liepa / Heavy Table
Crystal Liepa / Heavy Table

Corner Table; 4537 Nicollet Ave S, Minneapolis | Our discussion with owner Nick Rancone and chef Thomas Boemer

For a pork-forward, impeccably executed, disarmingly comfortable taste of the Upper Midwest by way of the mid-South, a meal at Corner Table is the way to go. The restaurant’s sourcing and technique are both killer, and the ever-changing menu has a host of twists and surprises that make every visit a rewarding adventure.

Spoon and Stable; 211 1st St N, Minneapolis | Our review

The brainchild of chef-owner Gavin Kaysen, Spoon and Stable is at the leading edge of what we might think of as “comfortable fine dining.” The food isn’t flashy — there aren’t bells and whistles, meat glue, or liquid nitrogen. But it is precise, beautiful, and delicious. Spoon and Stable’s desserts — the handiwork of pastry chef Diane Yang — are exquisite, and the beverage program is first rate. The restaurant also boasts one of the more popular and well-regarded brunches in the Twin Cities.

Becca Dilley / Heavy Table
Becca Dilley / Heavy Table

The Bachelor Farmer; 50 N 2nd Ave, Minneapolis | Our review

The restaurant that drew national attention for capitalizing on a “new Nordic” trend has created a nice niche for itself in the Twin Cities. Owned by Target heirs Eric and Andrew Dayton, the space feels like a slightly fancy, modern take on an old-fashioned, imagined Scandinavian heartland. And the food doesn’t disappoint — don’t miss the shareable toasts, which arrive on a tiered silver tray and feature flavors like lox and steak tartare. Make an evening of it: Head downstairs before or after your meal for cocktails in the living-room-esque Marvel Bar. If you’re in town in mid-August, don’t miss The Bachelor Farmer’s rendition of kräftskiva, a Swedish crayfish festival — it’s a fun event replete with local music, boozy snowcones (aquavit luge, anyone?), and of course crayfish.

Heyday; 2700 Lyndale Ave S, Minneapolis | Our review

With inventive food, funky style, and good cheer, this restaurant exemplifies the Lyndale-Lake neighborhood. Skillfully blending creativity and restraint, chef Jim Christiansen delivers interesting, high-quality, tasty creations. And the desserts are some of the most inventive and scrumptious the area has to offer.

Joshua Page / Heavy Table
Joshua Page / Heavy Table

Piccolo; 4300 Bryant Ave S, Minneapolis | Our review

Combining non-traditional ingredients, flavors, and techniques, Chef Doug Flicker puts out unique, addictive fare. Take Piccolo’s signature dish, “Scrambled brown eggs with pickled pig’s feet, truffle butter and Parmigiano.” It may sound strange, but the flavors and textures work brilliantly. The five-course tasting menu ($59) is a great way to sample Flicker’s creations. This is the spot for adventurous, super high quality food in a casual atmosphere.

Restaurant Alma; 528 University Ave SE, Minneapolis | Our interview with chef / owner Alex Roberts

Well-executed, seasonally-driven three-course tasting menus are the name of the game here. There is almost nothing about Alma that’s flashy — in fact, it’s so unassuming you’ll probably drive right by. Sometimes a low-key, unpretentious evening of fine dining — one where you can hear your companion(s) talk, and hear yourself think — is just what the doctor ordered, and Alma’s the place to go. If you’re looking for something a bit more everyday, check out chef / owner Alex Roberts’ other restaurant, Brasa Premium Rotisserie, for a killer pork sandwich and yuca fries.

Becca Dilley / Heavy Table
Becca Dilley / Heavy Table

Saffron; 123 N 3rd St, Minneapolis | Our interview with Sameh Wadi

The smart new-Mediterranean food of Saffron combines Middle Eastern flavor with an cosmopolitan attention to detail and technique, and the result is some of the area’s most stunning food — both in terms of appearance and flavor. This is a place where you can have a beautifully crafted cocktail and journey somewhere new via the magic of a creative menu.

Broders’ Pasta Bar; 5000 Penn Ave S, Minneapolis | Our reflections on Broders’ Pasta Bar and reviews of Terzo Vino Bar and Porchetteria

[Editors’ Note: Broders is less expensive than the other restaurants in this category, but meals at Terzo tend to fall into “splurge” territory.]
Broders’ consistently kicks out perfectly cooked, seasonally sauced housemade pasta. Whether you’re snuggled with your sweetie at the bar with a couple glasses of wine and a piece of Bestia Nera flourless chocolate cake or at a table passing plates of pasta and risotto to share among friends, Broders’ knows how many of us at the Heavy Table like to eat — good, unpretentious food at reasonable prices, and a great wine list to boot. We’re also huge fans of the Broder family’s wine bar, Terzo, located across the street from the pasta bar. Porchetta sandwiches (also served through a window facing the parking lot during the day), thoughtful small plates, top-notch entrees (especially the branzino), and a wine program (that slants toward Northern Italy) are all dynamite.

Casual Eats

Becca Dilley / Heavy Table
Becca Dilley / Heavy Table

Revival; 4257 Nicollet Ave S, Minneapolis | Our review

The little sibling of Corner Table (see above), Revival offers amazing Southern fare. It’s rightly known for fried chicken with exceptionally moist and tender meat and gorgeously crispy skin. But it’s not just a chicken joint. The cheeseburger is one of the best in the Twin Cities, and sides like fried green tomatoes, collard greens, and hush puppies are delicious. And if banana pie is on the menu, get it!

The Rabbit Hole; 920 E Lake St, Suite 101, Minneapolis | Our review

Looking for traditional Korean food? Head elsewhere. You won’t see the standard bulgogi / bibimbap / soondobu / japchae formula here. But if you’re craving a good, decidedly boozy drink and gastropub fare beyond the usual fried whatever, this place will be your jam. As a second-generation Korean-American hailing from LA, chef / owner Thomas Kim grew up with his mom’s cooking, but he draws from his experience working with Roy Choi and others to create his own spin on food. This results in things like kimchi-and-curry gravy-slathered poutine, truly addictive Brussels sprouts, and rice bowls loaded with things like soft-shell crab and habanero oyster sauce. Arrive early enough to explore the other shops in the Midtown Global Market, then lose track of time in one of the dark pojangmacha-styled booths and hang out late into the night.

Heavy Table Hot Five: June 26-July 2

hotfive-flames

Each Friday, this list will track five of the best things Heavy Table’s writers, editors, and photographers have recently bitten or sipped. Have a suggestion for the Hot Five? Email editor@heavytable.com.

James Norton / Heavy Table
James Norton / Heavy Table

1-new - oneKebab Dinner at Al Amir Bakery
We have tasted many dozens of dishes on our encyclopedic trip from 694 to Broadway Street via Central Avenue in Northeast Minneapolis, but few if any have touched us as deeply as the kebab at Al Amir Bakery. Skewered by swords and cooked over high yellow flames, the meat and tomatoes that make up the core of this dish are rich in flavor and thoroughly charred with soul. Everything about this simple Iraqi dish is beautiful.
[Debuting on the Hot Five | From an Instagram Post by James Norton]

Brenda Johnson / Heavy Table
Brenda Johnson / Heavy Table

2-new - twoThe Nashville Slammer created by Jackson O’Brien of Peace Coffee
Jackson O’Brien, head barista at Peace Coffee’s Wonderland location, created this refreshing, tasty drink during our Summer Cold Press Lab. Combining cold press concentrate, sparking water, simple syrup, basil, and lime, the Slammer is a coffee lovers’ answer to iced tea and the perfect drink for summer barbecues. Read our story on the Cold Press lab for the recipe.
[Debuting on the Hot Five | Submitted by Joshua Page, from our Cold Press Coffee Lab]

Brenda Johnson / Heavy Table
Brenda Johnson / Heavy Table

3-new - threeFish Provençal at Le Town Talk
The Fish Provençal at Le Town Talk was amazing. Fresh fish, smoky tomatoes, perfectly tender confit potatoes, olives … stewed to perfection, all topped with a bit of crème fraîche. Oh là là! C’était très bon.
[Debuting on the Hot Five | Submitted by Brenda Johnson]

Paige Latham / Heavy Table
Paige Latham / Heavy Table

4-new fourTaiwanese Style Stir Fried Rice Noodles  from Evergreen Chinese
This noodle dish is good enough to make you forget you’re eating in an fluorescent lit basement. Without too much umami or the essence of trying too hard, these noodles are addictive and authentic.
[Debuting on the Hot Five | Submitted by Paige Latham]

Joshua Page / Heavy Table
Joshua Page / Heavy Table

5-new -fiveTuna Crudo at Piccolo
Ultra fresh fish topped with mojama (cured tuna loin), summer truffle, slightly cured quail eggs, and herbs, the balanced and beautiful dish pops with flavor, flavor, and more flavor. Chef Flicker’s creation gets my vote for dish of the summer (though there’s still time for competitors to vie for top spot).
[Debuting on the Hot Five | Submitted by Joshua Page]

Heavy Table’s Summer Cold Press Lab

Brenda Johnson / Heavy Table
Brenda Johnson / Heavy Table

This story is underwritten by Peace Coffee.

In the last couple of years, baristas in these parts have been getting crazy with the Cheez Whiz. OK, maybe not Cheez Whiz, but in the Twin Cities’ best coffee shops, you can find drinks with additions like fresh herbs, horchata, root beer extract, sriracha, and gin bitters. These unconventional and (generally) tasty concoctions highlight coffee’s versatility — the brewed bean plays surprisingly well with ingredients that seemingly have no business in a cuppa Joe.

Brenda Johnson / Heavy Table
Brenda Johnson / Heavy Table

This spirit of experimentation inspired us to organize a cold press lab with the generous underwriting of Peace Coffee. We spent an evening at their roastery unscientifically testing recipes — with the grilling season upon us and the sweltering days of summer just ahead, we decided to focus our energies on the cold stuff.

peace coffee yeti banner

Along with several of our writers and a couple of photographers, our crew included two highly skilled coffee chemists: Jackson O’Brien, head barista at Peace Coffee’s Wonderland location, and Andy Johnson, Peace alum and current barista at Five Watt.

Brenda Johnson / Heavy Table
Brenda Johnson / Heavy Table

At the appointed hour, we gathered at Peace Coffee’s new tasting and cupping lab and training room, loaded down with enough ingredients to fill a modestly sized wheelbarrow. Our bounty included everything from marshmallow fluff, savory and sweet herbs, liquid smoke, and sodas from around the world to mango chutney, maple syrup, spicy peppers, an assortment of bitters, and fruit. Yes, it included a durian — a large, roundish, thorny fruit that’s so pungent that at least one country (Singapore) bans it on buses and in public buildings. We procured this wide range of mix-ins because we wanted to explore new (at least to us) flavor and texture combinations — and who doesn’t like slamming a durian on the concrete and stepping on it until the yellowy custard seeps from its thick skin? Great for caffeine-induced aggression!

Brenda Johnson / Heavy Table
Brenda Johnson / Heavy Table

We had but one rule: the drinks had to taste like coffee. This rule was rather easy to follow because we used Peace’s bottled cold press made from a rich, bold blend aptly named yeti. Given our funky ingredients and free-flowing process, it shouldn’t be a surprise that we produced many, many duds … and a very full dump bucket. On the other hand, we really did think pennywort soda (which tastes of freshly mowed lawn and dirt) would blend well with cold press concentrate. We were wrong.

Through trial, a great deal of error, and even more laughter, we developed a solid lineup of drinks. Without further delay, here are the recipes (aka estimations scribbled with shaky hands after consuming way too much caffeine). We very much encourage readers to add in the comments section recipes for their own refreshing summer coffee creations. Each recipe makes one drink.

Brenda Johnson / Heavy Table
Brenda Johnson / Heavy Table

Huma Cereza
Andy Johnson

This dairy-free concoction tastes of vanilla ice cream, smoked hickory, and chocolate cherries. It brings out the wow!

4 ounces cold press concentrate
2 ounces water
½ ounce vanilla simple syrup
2 drops liquid smoke
2 full droppers cherry-bark bitters
5 drops xocolatl mole bitters
Halved cherries
Ice

Brenda Johnson / Heavy Table
Brenda Johnson / Heavy Table

1. Combine ingredients (except mole bitters and cherries) in shaker. Shake and pour into glass.

2. Place 5 drops of mole bitters on top.

3. Garnish drink with halved cherries, and swirl in froth for added color and flavor.

Brenda Johnson / Heavy Table
Brenda Johnson / Heavy Table

The Firewalker
Joshua Page

A refreshing, subtly sweet drink with creeping heat. Molasses brings out the tamarind flavor without overpowering the cold press. Orange juice and peel add brightness.

3 ounces cold press concentrate
⅓ fresh habanero pepper
½ bottle Jarritos tamarind soda
1 teaspoon molasses
1 tablespoon orange juice
Orange peel
Ice

Brenda Johnson / Heavy Table
Brenda Johnson / Heavy Table

1. Chop habanero and mix with 3 ounces Jarritos. Let sit for 7 to 10 minutes. Strain out peppers.

2. Mix molasses with 1 ounce Jarritos. Set aside.

3. Combine pepper and molasses mixtures with cold press and orange juice. Pour over ice.

4. Rub orange peel on rim of glass, and add peel to the drink.

Brenda Johnson / Heavy Table
Brenda Johnson / Heavy Table

The Java Nut
James Norton

The mellow, earthy flavors of roasted coconut and cold press coffee join forces to create a mellow, nutty base. Cardamom-coriander bitters provide pizzazz.

3 ounces roasted coconut juice (available at United Noodles)
3 ounces cold press concentrate
2 ounces half-and-half
3 drops cardamom-coriander bitters
Ice

1. Combine ingredients in a shaker. Shake and pour.

Brenda Johnson / Heavy Table
Brenda Johnson / Heavy Table

Nashville Slammer
Jackson O’Brien

Basil gives a light and fresh tone to the cold press (they play off each other in much the same way chocolate and mint do). Lime and sparkling water add brightness.

4 ounces cold press concentrate
4 ounces sparkling water
1 tablespoon simple syrup
4 large basil leaves
1 lime wedge
Ice

Brenda Johnson / Heavy Table
Brenda Johnson / Heavy Table

1. Tear basil leaves and muddle with simple syrup until leaves are wilted.

2. Add cold press and sparkling water.

3. Pour mixture over ice; squeeze in lime wedge and stir.

Brenda Johnson / Heavy Table
Brenda Johnson / Heavy Table

The Holy Hand Grenade
Ted Held

Sweet basil gives the cold press a light, herbal aroma, and the pineapple adds fruitiness and tartness.

3 ounces cold press concentrate
1 tablespoon simple syrup
2 cubes pineapple
2 basil leaves plus 1 sprig
Ice

1. Tear basil leaves, and muddle pineapple with simple syrup.

2. Add cold press and ice.

3. Garnish with a sprig of basil.

Brenda Johnson / Heavy Table
Brenda Johnson / Heavy Table

Durian Shake
Becca Dilley

The durian and coffee support each other with their earthy notes. Horchata’s dusty-but-sweet flavor melds with and moderates the funky kick of the durian, giving the drink a pleasantly sweet edge. The mint garnish masks the smell of the durian.

2 tablespoons durian (available frozen at United Noodles)
1 ounce cold press concentrate
1 ounce milk
1 tablespoon Klass horchata drink mix
Sprig of mint
Ice

1. Combine ingredients (except mint) in shaker. Shake, and pour into glass.

2. Garnish with mint.

Let’s Make Good Cheer: A New Exhibit at the American Craft Council Show

Courtesy of American Craft Council
Courtesy of American Craft Council

This post is sponsored by the American Craft Council.

Visit this year’s American Craft Council Show at the St. Paul River Centre and you’ll find no scarcity of beverages to try. The difference between those featured at the show and your average spirits, beer, or sip of caffeine is the skill and process that goes into making them.

The ACC welcomes The Balvenie, The Beer Dabbler, TeaSource, and Peace Coffee to its new Let’s Make Exhibit at which a variety of artisans and industry experts will host experiential workshops where showgoers can get up close and personal with the creative process. Those who have experienced it call Let’s Make a “beehive of activity.” Upon entering, guests encounter a variety of artisanal sips as well as hands-on activities that encourage complete immersion in a craft adventure.

Courtesy of American Craft Council
Courtesy of American Craft Council

Let’s Make’s anchor tenant, The Balvenie, will host a handcrafted Scotch Whisky experience. A master of its craft, The Balvenie practices a unique combination of natural alchemy and centuries-old artisanal traditions. Brand ambassador Jonathan Wingo welcomes showgoers to private tastings where guests learn about the process that goes into making The Balvenie’s award-winning single malts.

Courtesy of American Craft Council
Courtesy of American Craft Council

The ever-popular Beer Dabbler has rallied a band of nine microbrewers to dispense their finest suds out of a restored Hamm’s Beer truck from the 50s. Microbreweries include: HammerHeart Brewing Co., Four Daughters Vineyard & Winery, Bent Brewstillery, Fair State Brewing Cooperative, Badger Hill Brewery, Bad Weather Brewing, Lupine Brewing Co., Urban Growler Brewing Co., and Castle Danger Brewery. Belly up to the bar, and taste a sampling of Minnesota’s finest beers.

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.

Announcing North Coast Nosh XII at Open Arms

Becca Dilley / Heavy Table
Becca Dilley / Heavy Table

The Heavy Table and Open Arms of Minnesota are pleased to announce the twelfth edition of the North Coast Nosh locavore sip-and-sample series for Friday, Aug. 15, 2014. Join your hosts Heavy Table, Open Arms, Peace Coffee, and Chowgirls, plus more than 20 local purveyors including cheesemakers, brewers, popsicle makers, artisan pizza bakers, and more for an evening of sipping, sampling, and great conversation.

The Nosh takes place Aug. 15 from 7-9:30pm at Open Arms of Minnesota (2500 Bloomington Ave. S.). Tickets are $27 via Eventbrite; Pre-Nosh tickets are $54 and include three special small presentations and sample sessions from 5:30-7pm before the main event.

Nosh tickets are available at the door for $30 in cash (exact change, please) or credit card. Pre-Nosh tickets are not sold at the door.

Proceeds go to Open Arms of Minnesota, with The Heavy Table taking a share for planning and publicity. Ticket price includes samples from all of our purveyors, plus a collectible piece of glassware. Guests must be 21 years of age or older. Our Noshes generally sell out, so please get your tickets sooner rather than later if you’re excited about the event!

Our Pre-Nosh features Tru Pizza Neapolitan, Tin Whiskers Brewing Company with support from Sweet Science ice cream, and Verdant Tea.

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

Here’s the lineup*:

Alemar Cheese
Ames Farm
Badger Hill Brewing
Barnstormer Granola
Chowgirls
Family Lao-Thai
Faribault Dairy
Gray Duck Chai
Homegrown Foods
Lift Bridge Brewing Company
Meadowlands Chocolate Company
Open Arms

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

Peace Coffee
Poorboy Candy
Schell’s
St. Pops
Sunrise Market
Sweet Science
Tap Minneapolis
Tin Whiskers Brewing Company
Tree Fort Soda
Triple Crown BBQ
Verdant Tea
Whistler Classic Soda

And offering tastes of wood-fired pizza from their food truck will be:

Tru Pizza Neapolitan

*Provisional; the list always shifts a bit between the announcement and the event.

We hope to see you there!

Town Talk Diner Lives! and More

Becca Dilley / Heavy Table
Becca Dilley / Heavy Table

Town Talk Diner (pictured: former Town Talk bartender Nick Kosevich making an old fashioned) is coming back to life as the improbably named “Le Town Talk French Diner & Drinkery.” Bar Louie’s dress code is denounced as racist. You gotta love a recipe for homemade rhubarb liqueur. The Well Fed Guide to Life ventures out to Mattie’s on Main. A first glance at the Summit / Bang Brewing collaboration beer for the Aug. 3 In Cahoots beer project for the Red Stag block party. And a taste of Peace Coffee Yeti Cold Press.