Charlie Awards winners announced

Winners in 13 categories were announced Sunday afternoon at the third-annual Charlie Awards.

The awards, which celebrate the Twin Cities food and drink community (and are named for the late, great Charlie's Cafe Exceptionale in downtown Minneapolis, which closed in 1982 after a 49-year run), were held at the Pantages Theatre in downtown Minneapolis.

Women were at the forefront, starting with Lucia Watson. The force behind the 28-year-old Lucia's Restaurant (1432 W. 31st St., Mpls., as well as the adjacent Lucia's Wine Bar and Lucia's to Go, was handed the Charlie's Lifetime Achievement award.

Birchwood Cafe (3311 E. 25th St., Mpls., owner Tracy Singleton walked away with two honors: the Community Hero and Outstanding Neighbor awards.

Julie Snow Architects of Minneapolis won Outstanding Restaurant Design for the firm's work on Burch Steak and Pizza Bar (1933 Colfax Av. S., Mpls.,

Diane Yang of La Belle Vie (510 Groveland Av., Mpls., was named Outstanding Pastry Chef. In the afternoon's second twofer, the restaurant also won top honors in the Outstanding Restaurant Service category.

Three men were also honored. Sameh Wadi of Saffron Restaurant & Lounge (123 N. 3rd St., Mpls., and World Street Kitchen (2743 Lyndale Av. S., Mpls., was named Outstanding Chef.

The Emerging Food Professional award went to Tyler Shipton, co-chef/co-owner of Borough (730 Washington Av. N., Mpls.,

St. Paul's sole Charlie went to Strip Club (378 Maria Av., St. Paul, mixmaster Dan Oskey, who won the Outstanding Bartender honor.

Butcher & the Boar (1121 Hennepin Av. S., Mpls., was named Outstanding Restaurant.

Three food and drink items were placed in the klieg lights: Newcomer Hot Indian Foods ( won the year's Outstanding Food Truck Item with its Indi Frites. Lift Bridge Brewing Company's Hop Dish IPA won the Outstanding Local Craft Brew award, and Corner Table (4257 Nicollet Av. S., Mpls., won Outstanding Menu Item with chef Thomas Boemer's version of crispy pork belly.

Awards for individuals and businesses are determined by a vote of all participating Charlie Awards restaurants. Food and beverage awards are determined by an online public vote and a panel of experts.

Congratulations to the winners.

Merging holidays

You've heard of Chrismukkah? Get ready for Thanksgivukkah, a celebration aimed at the once-in-a-lifetime overlap between Thanksgiving and Hanukkah.

David Weinstein, owner of Rye Delicatessen & Bar (1930 Hennepin Av. S., Mpls., is taking advantage of the calendar convergence by offering a half-dozen clever crossover menu items, including sweet potato-spinach latkes with cranberry relish and a sandwich of roast turkey, challah stuffing and cranberries, all stacked on a potato latke.

Weinstein is running the specials now through Dec. 8, and a portion of the sales will be donated to the Minneapolis Jewish Federation.

New to the menu

World Street Kitchen is now serving weekend brunch. Chef/co-owner Sameh Wadi is featuring a pair of basted eggs over caramelized lamb belly with cheesy hash browns, an egg sandwich with house-made lamb-beef sausages on white Cheddar biscuits, a savory waffle topped with the kitchen's exceptional fried chicken, and more. Brunch is served Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Thanks to the addition of dinner service, the cafe at the General Store (14401 Hwy. 7, Minnetonka, is now going by a new name: General Store Cafe & Bistro. Expect to encounter lavishly topped flatbreads, well-stuffed sandwiches, wild rice hot dish, roast chicken, salmon cakes and other American classics, served 5 to 9 p.m. Monday through Saturday. Wine and beer, too.