The Minneapolis restaurant scene is garnering all kinds of attention in the national media.
“America’s next great food city” is how Saveur puts it in the magazine’s July issue, with writers Matt Lee and Ted Lee extolling the virtues of the Bachelor Farmer (50 2nd Av. N., Mpls., thebachelorfarmer.com), Heyday (2700 Lyndale Av. S., Mpls., heydayeats.com), Spoon and Stable (211 N. 1st St., Mpls., spoonandstable.com) and Tilia (2726 W. 43rd St., Mpls., tiliampls.com).
“We were floored by how Minneapolis was inspiring excitement about Midwestern food the way Nashville was Southern food,” wrote the Lees, authors of authoritative “The Lee Bros. Southern Cookbook.” Find the story online at saveur.com/north-country-fare-restaurants-minneapolis.
Meanwhile, at Food & Wine (which decreed Minneapolis as “America’s best — and best-priced — new food city” in 2012), the magazine included Spoon and Stable in its first-ever Best Restaurants of the Year list, sharing the spotlight with the Progress in San Francisco, Petit Trois in Los Angeles, Cosme in New York City and the Grey in Savannah, Ga.
“Chef Gavin Kaysen left his enviable job at NYC’s Cafe Boulud to open S & S,” wrote Kate Krader, the magazine’s restaurant editor. “He’s a big reason the Minneapolis restaurant scene has become one of the best in the U.S.” Find the feature at foodandwine.com.
Food & Wine’s July issue will also feature Heyday chef Jim Christiansen on its cover. Christiansen is one of 10 chefs celebrated in the magazine’s 27th annual Best New Chefs issue. Christiansen will also be showcased at the annual Food & Wine Classic in Aspen, Colo., held June 19-21.
Dessert Professional magazine hailed Michelle Gayer of the Salty Tart (920 E. Lake St., Mpls., saltytart.com) as one of the nation’s best pasty chefs in its 22nd annual Top Ten Pastry Chefs in America Awards, held earlier this month in New York City.
Gayer will be featured in the trade publication’s August issue, along with honorees hailing from Atelier Joel Robuchon in Las Vegas, Craftsman & Wolves in San Francisco and Le Bernardin, Gramercy Tavern and Laduree USA in New York City.
Let the summer celebrations begin.
Northern Spark (northernspark.org) kicks into its fifth year on Saturday at sunset (listen for the church bells at 9 p.m.) and proceeds for the next 8 hours and 26 minutes, in venues across Minneapolis.
Food trucks will be out in force, of course. A caravan of sorts will be pulling an all-nighter at the Stone Arch Bridge, including Brava on Wheels, 128 Cafe, Anchor Fish & Chips, the Cave Cafe, Midnord Empanada Truck, the Moral Omnivore, Potter’s Pasties, Scratch Food Truck, Taco Taxi, Tot Boss and Wild Earth Wood-Fired Pizza. Oh, and also be on the lookout, Stone Arch-wise, for the foursome behind Cranky’s Ice Cream (cranky sicecream.com), who will be scooping up their crazy-good frozen stuff from dusk until dawn (see Q&A, above).
Other trucks will be scattered at key event sites, including Slider Squad and West Indies Soul Food at Peavey Plaza, Gastrotruck and Sandy’s Grill & Italian Ice at the Walker Art Center, O’Cheeze and Cafe Racer at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design and Kabomelette at the Northrop auditorium.
At 5:30 a.m. Sunday, dig into a pancake feed, hosted by the Bachelor Farmer and Al’s Breakfast, at Aria (105 N. 1st St., Mpls.). Tickets $5 in advance (buy them at tinyurl.com/mx56fty) or $25 at the door.
June 20 is the day for ASI Midsommar Celebration at the American Swedish Institute (2600 Park Av. S., Mpls., asimn.org).
From 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., look for all kinds of traditional Swedish activities, including the most important — eating — facilitated by Fika, the institute’s exceptional cafe.
Chef John Krattenmaker and his crew will be serving shrimp salad, potato salad, hot dogs (a beef frank, served on flatbread with potato purée, mustard and pickles) and flatbread topped with beets, radishes and herb cream cheese, all in the $3 to $8 range. Oh, and pickled herring, of course, for $1. Admission $10 adults, $5 ages 6-18, free for ages 5 and under.
On June 26, get a taste of beers from more than three dozen regional beermakers — matched with food from 30-plus food trucks — at the fourth annual Beer Dabbler at Twin Cities Pride.
The event will be held in Loring Park in Minneapolis from 5:30 to 9:30 p.m. Admission is $40 in advance (tickets at http://tinyurl.com/p22cyqq) and $50 at the door.
Block out June 28 for Prevail Travail Lakeside, the annual food-and-drink-fest hosted by the creative talents at Travail Kitchen & Amusements (4124 W. Broadway, Robbinsdale, travailkitchen.com) and held at Lakeview Terrace Park (3769 Crystal Lake Blvd., Robbinsdale) from 1 to 8 p.m.
Expect live music, local beers and all kinds of picnic fare (grilled sweet corn, grilled shrimp, burritos, ice cream) in the $3 to $6 range (cash only) and plan ahead by buying admission tickets ($10) in advance (at tempotickets.com/prevailtravail).
Planning ahead, think about setting aside Aug. 1 for Kräftskiva!, the fourth annual block party hosted by the Bachelor Farmer, Marvel Bar and Askov Finlayson, an evening of live music, food (chilled crayfish with dill, meatballs, grilled sweet corn) and libations (Fulton beer, aquavit).
Advance admission tickets ($20) are on sale now (at Askov Finlayson, 200 N. 1st St., Mpls., or at askovfinlayson.com) and all ticket proceeds will benefit the Mississippi River Fund.
Coming soon to Downtown East
The long-awaited All-American brasserie inside the nearly completed Latitude 45 apartment building in downtown Minneapolis has a name and a long roster of talent.
At Eastside (301 Washington Av. S., Mpls.), owner Ryan Burnet (Barrio, Bar La Grassa and Burch Steak and Pizza Bar) has pulled together a team that includes chef Remy Pettus (previously of Cast & Cru) and general manager Jennifer Nye (a Barrio vet).
Longtime Burnet colleague Bill Fairbanks is behind the design of the menu and the kitchen, which will include a wood-burning brick oven for fish, meats and vegetables. Amaya Fairbanks (Bar La Grassa) has created the wine list.
And Dan Oskey, formerly of Hola Arepa and the Strip Club — and the guy behind the flavorful mixes at Joia Soda — is taking time from his soon-to-open Tattersall Distilling (1620 Central Av. NE., Mpls., tattersalldistilling.com) to develop Eastside’s bar program, using spirits from his micro-distillery and taproom.
Be on the lookout for an August opening.
Food truck bonus
There’s a swell new dining venue for downtown Minneapolis food-truck diners, particularly those perusing the eats along Marquette Avenue.
It’s called Parklot. The pop-up park — complete with bench seating, high-top standing tables and a handy trash receptacle — is tucked into the 8th Street entrance of the IDS Crystal Court.
The project, which grew out of the Hennepin Theatre Trust, will remain through the warm-weather months. It was designed and built by University of Minnesota students and funded by Bank of America.
What a great idea, right?
Drop in on the Star Tribune’s new headquarters (650 3rd Av. S., Mpls., in the main floor atrium) on June 18 (11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.) for a free — and freewheeling — discussion on the Twin Cities dining scene and the changing face of restaurant criticism, with Taste editor Lee Svitak Dean and chefs Carrie Summer of Chef Shack Ranch (3025 E. Franklin Av., Mpls., chefshackranch.com) and Gavin Kaysen of Spoon and Stable.