According to a recent study done by Smart Asset, an online financial resource, Minneapolis is sixth among the nation’s “best cities for foodies.” We’re a bit skeptical, since New York didn’t make it into the top 10, while a few other unlikely cities did. (San Francisco, OK. But Cincinnati?) Still, there’s no arguing that the Twin Cities boasts a vibrant, happening culinary scene.
The dead of winter isn’t putting a damper on it, either. During the next two weeks, you can sample dishes from a French-inspired chef taking a pop-up detour, eat at a bonfire-lit, 100-seat table set up on a city street, become a chocolate connoisseur and sip from 150 goblets (or plastic cups) of beer.
Read on for all the best food-and-drink-inspired events coming your way.
Thursday, Jan. 26
Burns Night: Transport yourself to Scotland for the evening at Waconia’s J. Carver Distillery, where the signature spirits will be poured alongside bagpipes played by kilted men and servings of haggis. (That’s a savory, sheep organ pudding for you non-Scots.) The four-course, family-style feast will be prepared by Craig Sharp, chef of Terra Truck in Waconia; tickets are $67, a cash bar boasting crafted cocktails will be available, too. Buy tickets at square up.com/store/terra-truck/item/burns-night-ticket.
Sunday, Jan. 29
Houndstooth, a pop-up: Chef Rick Didora (St. Genevieve, Tilia) will be showing off his French technique with international flavors in a five-course blowout at oft pop-up emporium Cook St. Paul. Paige Latham Didora (Modist Brewing) will be packing the beer pairings. Tickets for the 5 and 8:30 p.m. seatings are $60 without beer and $80 with beer on brownpapertickets.com.
Monday, Jan. 30
Winter Table: The Great Northern — a new collaborative 11-day winter “experience” spearheaded by Bachelor Farmer and Askov Finlayson owner Eric Dayton — kicks off on Jan. 27 and will be in full swing three days later when the Bachelor Farmer and Spoon and Stable will serve a four-course meal at a 100-seat harvest table in the middle of N. 1st Street in Minneapolis, surrounded by bonfires. Needless to say, it sounds pretty epic — and frigid. Guests will be treated to icy shellfish towers courtesy of Meritage, wine, cocktails and dinner, custom Faribault Woolen Mill blankets and handmade s’more kits. And if all that sounds expensive — well, tickets for the 5:30 p.m. feast are $395 apiece. Purchase tickets at thebachelorfarmer.tocktix.com.
Tuesday, Jan. 31
St. Paul Chef’s Experience: The Great Northern continues with an outdoor bash under the awnings at the Lowertown farmers market. Chefs Thomas Boemer (Corner Table and Revival) and Adam Eaton (Saint Dinette) will be cooking up skewered meats, smoked fish, toasted bread, warm maple syrup and more. Tickets are $30 at eventbrite.com. Spiked warm and chilled cocktails will be available for purchase.
Bittercube at Lawless Distilling Co.: The cocktail moguls are primed to teach you everything they know (well, maybe not everything) as a cocktail class series at Lawless continues. Tickets for this event (6:30 to 8:30 p.m.) are $50 at lawless distillingcompany.com.
Tattersall pop-up at Psycho Suzi’s: The folks from Tattersall Distilling will be at the island-inspired bar, shaking and stirring five original tiki drinks. Doors open at 6 p.m. and admission is free.
Saturday, Feb. 4
The Beer Dabbler: The legendary winter carnival at the Minnesota State Fairgrounds is back, drawing beer-loving Minnesotans out of hibernation to sample 150-plus local, regional and national craft brewery offerings, eat lots of meat and cheese and food truck grub, and listen to live music (Shannon Blowtorch, The 4onthefloor, ZuluZuluu). If that’s not enough action, perhaps you’ll be lured by the promises of beer pong and human foosball. General admission is $45 in advance; check out beerdabbler.com for more details.
Thursday, Feb. 9
Tu B’Shevat Seder: The lineup for the four-hour, eight-course, wine-spiked feast at Beth El Synagogue in St. Louis Park will feature chefs Michelle Gayer (the Salty Tart), Eli Wollenzien (Coalition Restaurant) and Michael Agan (Xavi), among others. They’ll share their takes on Holy Land cuisine — highlighting ingredients like wheat, barley, grapes, figs, pomegranates, olive oil and dates. Tickets to the traditional Jewish holiday feast (6-10 p.m.) are $125 per person and can be reserved at bethelsynagogue.nirsham.com/form/tu-bshevat-seder-2017.
Craft chocolate class: Taste France 44 Cheese Shop’s decadent selection of artisan chocolates — just ahead of Valentine’s Day — while learning about some of the nuances and sipping on drink pairings. Tickets for the event, which goes from 6:30 to 8 p.m., are $50, and can be purchased at eventbrite.com.