Kouign-amann, kugelhopf and more
After gaining a long list of devoted customers at her Saturday morning pop-up inside One on One Bicycle Studio (117 Washington Av. N., Mpls., oneononebike.com), Black Walnut Bakery owner Sarah Botcher has widened her reach and gone wholesale.
Her first client? Quality-obsessed Spyhouse Coffee Roasting Co. (945 NE. Broadway, 2404 Hennepin Av. S., 2451 Nicollet Av. S. and 907 Washington Av. N., Mpls., spyhousecoffee.com).
"It's a good fit," said Botcher. "We produce pastries the way they produce coffee."
Look for her extraordinary croissants (plain, savory and chocolate), as well as scones, kouign-amann (a flaky butter cake), kugelhopf (a tender yeasted cake) and the double-chocolate cookie to end all double-chocolate cookies.
Her stellar foccacia is the bedrock of simple sandwiches. Oh, and tea cakes, dense, buttery loaves redolent of lemon, or black walnuts, that are cut into thick slices. They've replaced muffins on the Spyhouse menu, a radical coffeehouse move.
"I was a little nervous, because we've been selling muffins for 15 years," said Spyhouse owner Christian Johnson. "But they're better than muffins. And you don't have to deal with a wrapper."
For the legions of Black Walnut's pop-up fans, here's some more good news: Botcher hopes to start supplying the coffee counter at One on One, hopefully by Thanksgiving.
Chiang Mai Thai (3001 Hennepin Av. S., Mpls., chiangmaithai.com) owner Charles Lodge announced Monday that he's closing his 17-year-old Calhoun Square restaurant on Dec. 23.
In a statement, Lodge said the restaurant's lease has come to an end, and rather than take an offered extension, he's going to call it quits. "It is a difficult decision because my staff is so loyal and capable and many have been with me for over 10 years," he said. "Along with our longtime guests, we honestly call this place a second home."
On Saturday (Nov. 14) at 2 p.m., celebrate 10 years of Yum! Kitchen and Bakery (4000 Minnetonka Blvd., St. Louis Park, yumkitchen.com) with, yes, a (15-minute) parade.
"Why not?" said owner Patti Soskin with a laugh. "It's a year where I've learned that you celebrate the good stuff. We're going to have the cutest parade, ever."
Soskin will also be handing out mini-cupcake versions of her celebrated Patti Cake, while supplies last. On the restaurant's actual birthday — that's Nov. 18 — customers will also be treated to free Patti Cake mini-cupcakes, at both the original Yum! and the new second location (6001 Shady Oak Rd., Minnetonka).
Chef Shack Ranch (3025 E. Franklin Av., Mpls., chefshackranch.com) co-owners Lisa Carlson and Carrie Summer are toasting two years of brick-and-mortar restaurant ownership — their business started with the Chef Shack food truck — with a food-and-drink-filled party on Thursday (Nov. 12), starting at 5 p.m.
Mark your calendar
Magnus Nilsson, the Swedish chef whose restaurant, Fäviken Magasinet, is frequently ranked as one of the world's best, will be in the Twin Cities in mid-May next year, appearing at the American Swedish Institute (ASI) in Minneapolis.
While here, Nilsson will speak on regional cuisine and sustainability, as well as his new "The Nordic Cook Book." An exhibit of photographs he took for the book will be on display at ASI for much of the summer before moving on to other cities.