Introducing the Heavy Table

Becca Dilley / Heavy Table
Becca Dilley / Heavy Table

Food is love. And if it’s not love, something has gone wrong.

The Heavy Table will be a celebration of edible love, a shelf full of bottled lightning, recollections of those moments when everything goes right — when the trout is delicately smoked and tender, when the beer is balanced and spiced and kissed by caramel, when the oyster tastes like the crest of an ocean wave, when the flourless chocolate cake is absolutely sick, is off the hook, is melting your brain with its intensity. When the hot dog tastes awesome. When the Jucy Lucy sprays molten cheese onto your arm and causes a splatter-shaped second-degree burn and you’re okay with that.

It will, more rarely and with a heavy and sorrowful hand, also wield the shovel that buries bad food, clubbing it several times across the head before digging the ditch. But only when absolutely necessary.

This is a site about the Upper Midwest. We make some of the best beer and cheese in the world. Period. Full stop. There is wild game. Fresh fish. Some hardy fruits (notably: apples), and all manner of farm-raised four-legged delicacies.

There is also the first sake gastropub outside of Japan, at least one of the country’s finest steakhouses, a specialty beer store that recruits converts like a manic evangelist, farm-to-table innovators and some insanely good Vietnamese and African food, for starters. Also pie.

We will not run out of topics. We will die before that happens. If you are not currently excited about eating food in Minnesota and northwestern Wisconsin, you will be after you’ve read this site. You will salivate.

We will be brief, be funny, and be hungry. We will do our best to keep current with the talented local press, with Saveur and Imbibe and Anthony Bourdain, with Brillat-Savarin and Harold McGee and Elizabeth David and MFK Fisher. We’ll keep our ear to Twitter.

The Heavy Table is a pirate ship. We fly our own colors. We will not get rich. The compensation is this: How often does any writer, ever, just get to run wild in a target-rich environment?

If you like this site and you are a journalist, consider writing for us. If you like this site and run or work at a restaurant, pitch us a story, tell us what you’re selling and why, and let us know what you’re up to. If you like this site and you’re a reader, tell your friends and keep coming back.

We set the table daily.

James Norton
The Heavy Table
February 17, 2009


  1. Burtldy

    This is excellent. Will only read this on my lunch break when I’m already noshing on something, right before a trip to the co-op, or a night out with friends. Prolly’ won’t be able to handle it when my stomach is growling and empty.

    The design of the site is appealing and fresh. Also wanted to give you major kudos for launching diverse content that isn’t entirely Mpls/St. Paul focused. Keep up the great work, Heavy Table.

  2. KTFoley

    Congratulations on the launch, Ed! Best wishes on this opportunity to write what you like.

    Thanks, too, for the hat tip on the chowhound post

  3. Chef M.J. Adams

    James, I like your style! The Heavy Table is right up my alley!
    I wished you were right next door. I can picture hanging out and enjoying wine and obsessing over food. thank god I found you!
    I forsee this as being the begining of a beautiful relationship!

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