Chef Todd Macdonald is out at six-month-old Parella (3001 Hennepin Av. S., Mpls., 612-353-5444,

“I will remain a silent investor, but I will no longer be part of the operation,” he said. “I will be moving on to a new and exciting endeavor.”

No details yet on Macdonald’s next move.

Meanwhile, back at the Calhoun Square restaurant, co-owner Michael Larson has his hands full, obviously.

“I’m starting a search for a new chef,” he said. “Todd conceived our menu and our dishes, and all that is fantastic. We’re keeping all of that in place. The plan is to hire a chef to run the day-to-day operations.

“We don’t have any other changes in the works. The people who prepare the food and serve the food are still in place.”

Dinner in the distillery

The first 2016 gathering for Dinner on the Farm ( isn’t on a farm — brrrr, right? — it’s on St. Paul’s East Side. Specifically, in the 11 Wells distillery in the former Hamm’s Brewery (704 E. Minnehaha Av., St. Paul, on Jan. 28, starting at 7 p.m.

The evening will feature a four-course menu from chef Taelyn Lang of Cook St. Paul (1124 Payne Av., St. Paul, ­ that’s paired, naturally, with 11 Wells cocktails. Cost is $75 per person, reservations at

Lakeville’s latest

Here’s the sincere hope that the fourth time is the charm.

The architecturally dramatic Lakeville real estate that has been home to Copper Bleu, Molly Cool’s Seafood Tavern and Copper River Fish and Chop House is about to take on its fourth tenant in 10 years: Barley + Vine Kitchen/Bar (17516 Dodd Blvd., Lakeville, ­, scheduled to open later this month.

Owner Ben Berry, a certified sommelier and cicerone, is emphasizing eclectic wine and beer rosters, and chef Rodney Smith, a Buca di Beppo vet, is pledging to channel regionally sourced ingredients into Southern, Pacific coastal and Midwestern dishes.

Make a date

If your New Year’s resolutions included “more date nights” — and, if you’re coupled, they should — read on for a few budget-minded suggestions.

At Broders’ Pasta Bar (5000 Penn Av. S., Mpls.,, 612-925-9202), timing is everything, but planning yields a big payoff. From 8 to 9:30 p.m. Sunday through Thursday, couples can choose two pastas (from a list of seven), two small salads, an order of marinated olives and a half-bottle of red or white wine, all for $30. No reservations.

On Tuesday and Saturday (yes, Saturday) nights at casual D’Amico & Sons (several Twin Cities area locations, ­, couples can choose two salads from a pair of choices (Caesar, mixed greens), two pastas (from four options) and a carafe of Chianti or pinot grigio, or a bottle of white or red wine, all for $32. No reservations.

Bryant-Lake Bowl (810 W. Lake St., Mpls., 612-825-3737, believes that the couple who dine and bowl together stay together. At least on Monday (from 6 p.m. to midnight), when pairs can enjoy two of chef Rachel Bonhus’ entrees, a bottle of wine (or a few beers) and a round of bowling, all for $28. No reservations.

Finally, there’s Tuesday evening at the charming Le Town Talk French Diner & Drinkery (2707 E. Lake St., Mpls., 612-353-5398,, where $45 buys a shared appetizer, two entrees, a shared dessert (with options in each course) and a bottle of wine or apple cider. Reservations accepted.