Further confirmation that Lyndale Avenue in south Minneapolis is fast becoming a culinary destination is the news that pals Lorin Zinter and Jim Christiansen are converting a former laundromat and breakfast joint into Heyday.
As little as six months ago, the property, on the southwest corner of Lyndale and 27th Street, was being eyed as a location for a Trader Joe’s. That proposal fell through, and now the somewhat down-on-its-fortunes structure is getting a thorough makeover, inside and out.
“It’s essentially going to be a new building when it’s finished,” said Zinter. "It's being gutted down to the studs."
The plan, more or less, is that the laundromat side of the building will house the full-service bar, and the footprint of the former Sunny Side-Up Cafe will house the Heyday dining room. “It’s probably going to be 40 percent bar and 60 percent restaurant,” said Zinter. “It’ll be a spot where you can drop in a few nights a week, or for a special occasion.”
Christiansen and Zinter have been scouting sites for nearly three years for their long-planned collaboration. “Oh god, I can’t even begin to count the number of places we looked at,” said Zinter. “Dozens and dozens.”
The duo met in that great Groveland Avenue talent incubator known as La Belle Vie. Zinter (pictured, above, in a Star Tribune file photo) was in the front of the house and Christiansen (pictured, below, on the rooftop at Union) was in the kitchen when the four-star restaurant made the move from Stillwater to Minneapolis in 2005.
When La Belle Vie chef Tim McKee was tapped to reinvent the Guthrie Theater’s ground-floor restaurant in 2009, creating Sea Change, both Zinter and Christiansen were recruited to play a major role in getting that ambitious venture off the ground.
Zinter is now working as the food and beverage director at the Minneapolis Club, and Christiansen just left his position as executive chef at Union.
No specifics on the food, yet – Heyday isn’t set to open until early December – but Zinter said that the menu will be determined by “what Jim is inspired by at the moment,” he said. “I’m just excited to help Jim showcase what he does so well.”
There’ll be no rest for the wicked on the weekend on May 18-19, as two of the year’s best events unfold.
Perhaps my favorite wine tasting of the year, Solo Vine’s rosé tent gala, commences in an enlarged space next to the store at 517 Selby Av. in St. Paul. There’s always super-swell food on hand and a bevy of tasty fermented grape juice.
And not just pink but white wines and plenty of that stuff with tiny bubbles. The event costs $35 and runs from 2 to 5 p.m. on Sunday, May 19, rain or shine; call 651-602-9515 or go to solovinowines.com
I guess that means that, for me at least, Saturday the 18th will be the day to head to Minnesota Monthly’s GrillFest, where some great chefs, wine wholesalers and product purveyors will be on hand.
This one runs through Sunday, May 18 & 19, 1-5 p.m., both days, at the Depot (225 3rd Ave. S.) in Minneapolis. Tickets are $30 at Grillfestival.com or $35 at the show.
Guess I’ll have to put off the gardening chores for yet another weekend.
There were local winners among those who won James Beard awards for their broadcast work.
Daniel Klein and Mirra Fine (in green shirt and with camera) won an award -- their first -- for their video webcast program, "The Perennial Plate." The award is specifically for their "World Food Tour" program.
Andrew Zimmern won an award in the category of best host/personality for his"Bizarre Foods America" program on the Travel Channel. (He's pictured here with last year's award.)
Time to stock your shelves with a new cookbook or two. The James Beard Foundation announced its winners Friday for its annual competition.
Cookbook of the Year: "Gran Cocina Latina: The Food of Latin America," by Maricel E. Presilla (W.W. Norton & Company)
Cookbook Hall of Fame: Anne Willan, for the whole of her cookbook authorship, which includes 30 books
American Cooking: "Mastering the Art of Southern Cooking," by Nathalie Dupree and Cynthia Graubart (Gibbs Smith)
Baking and Dessert: Flour Water Salt Yeast: The Fundamentals of Artisan Bread and Pizza," by Ken Forkish (Ten Speed Press)
Beverage: Wine Grapes: A Complete Guide to 1,368 Vine Varieties, Including Their Origins and Flavours," by Jancis Robinson, Julia Harding, and José Vouillamoz (Ecco)
Cooking from a Professional Point of View: "Toqué! Creators of a New Quebec Gastronomy," by Normand Laprise (les éditions du passage)
Focus on Health: "Cooking Light The New Way to Cook Light—Fresh Food & Bold Flavors for Today’s Home Cook," by Scott Mowbray and Ann Taylor Pittman (Oxmoor House)
General Cooking: "Canal House Cooks Every Day," by Melissa Hamilton and Christopher Hirsheimer (Andrews McMeel)
International: "Jerusalem: A Cookbook," by Yotam Ottolenghi & Sami Tamimi (Ten Speed Press)
Photography: "What Katie Ate: Recipes and Other Bits & Pieces," Photographer: Katie Quinn Davies (Viking Studio)
Reference and Scholarship: "The Art of Fermentation: An In-Depth Exploration of Essential Concepts and Processes from Around the World," by Sandor Ellix Katz (Chelsea Green Publishing)
Single Subject: "Ripe: A Cook in the Orchard," by Nigel Slater (Ten Speed Press)
Vegetable Focused and Vegetarian: "Roots: The Definitive Compendium with More Than 225 Recipes," by Diane Morgan (Chronicle Books)
Writing and Literature: "Yes, Chef: A Memoir," by Marcus Samuelsson (Random House)
For a complete list of all the James Beard awards, go to http://www.jamesbeard.org/awards.
See the earlier posting of cookbook winners in the competition by theInternational Association of Culinary Professionals.
The procratinator's dilemma: Barely time left to get your tickets to hear Michael Pollan when he speaks Thursday evening, May 2 at Beth El Synagogue in St. Louis Park.
The best-selling author, whose works are on the shelves of those following food issues, will talk about his new book,"Cooked: A Natural History of Transformation," as part of the synagogue's "Inspiring Minds" series. Pollan is the author of "Food Rules," "The Omnivore's Dilemma," "In Defense of Food," and other writings that have become must-reads in the food world. You can read my interview with him in the Taste print edition on Thursday and online Wednesday afternoon at www.startribune.com/taste.
Tickets for the event are as follows:
-- $500 for a VIP ticket, which includes a private reception (appetizers by Heidi and Stewart Woodman, chef/owners of Heidi's and Birdhouse) and a photo opportunity with Pollan, plus reserved seating and a copy of his new book.
-- $180 for reserved seating and a copy of the book.
-- $60 for a general admission ticket.
-- $25 for a senior (65 or older) or student general admission.
The event will be held from 7 to 9 p.m. at the synagogue, 5224 W. 26th St., St. Louis Park. For tickets or more information, see www.besyn.org/pollan or call 952-873-7300. There will be no ticket sales at the door.
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