Closings, and openings
Sorry to report the demise of the Blue Point Restaurant & Oyster Bar (739 E. Lake St., Wayzata), which quietly closed its doors last week after nearly 30 years. The restaurant’s 4 ½-year-old sibling (4400 W. 78th St., Bloomington) also closed.
Also gone: Zen Box (607 Marquette Av. S., Mpls.). The skyway outlet — a refreshing oasis from downtown’s second-floor sub sandwich shops and coffee purveyors — called it quits last week after 11 years. Co-owners Lina Goh and John Ng continue to operate their Zen Box Izakaya (602 Washington Av. S., Mpls., zenboxizakaya.com).
Meanwhile, skyway diners have plenty of new options to explore. First up is Bep Eatery (100 S. 5th St., Mpls., bepeatery.com), where co-owners Mark and Thanh Myhre specialize in fresh, vibrant, quick-service Vietnamese fare (banh mi, spring rolls, vermicelli bowls and pho).
Then there’s Naf Naf Grill (200 S. 6th St., Mpls., nafnafgrill.com), a Chicago-based chain that inserts familiar Middle Eastern flavors (falafel, chicken or beef shawarma) into quick-service pita or bowl formats. Yes, Naf Naf is at street level, but it’s skyway accessible; expect to encounter a line at both.
Also open: Co-op Creamery Neighborhood Cafe (2601 E. Franklin Av., Mpls.). The breakfast-lunch-dinner offshoot of the nearby Seward Co-op is being run by former Third Bird chef Lucas Almendinger.
Burger fans, listen up: Once a week I shine the spotlight on a must-have burger — in all its varied permutations — on a blog called Burger Friday. Not surprisingly, the feature appears, yes, every Friday, at Startribune.com/tabletalk.
Recent raves have included the classic Brie cheeseburger at 112 Eatery (112 N. 3rd St., Mpls., 112eatery.com), the inventive foie gras-stuffed turducken burger at Be’wiched Deli (800 Washington Av. N., Mpls., bewicheddeli.com), the addictive loose meat sandwich at Dakota Junction (2281 Commerce Blvd., Mound, 952-479-1519), the lunch-only cheeseburger to end all cheeseburgers at Il Foro (36 S. 7th St., Mpls., il-foro.com) and the double-pattied homage to the ageless A&W Papa Burger at Minnetonka Drive-In (4658 Shoreline Dr., Spring Park, 952-471-9383).
Yep, that’s Surly Brewing Co. (520 Malcolm Av. SE., Mpls., surlybrewing.com) and chef Jorge Guzman getting some favorable ink in the September issue of Food & Wine magazine.
And when Time magazine’s website laid down the law on the nation’s 10 best pizzerias, Pig Ate My Pizza (4154 W. Broadway Av., Robbinsdale, 763-537-7267) chimed in at No. 5.
The Minneapolis Institute of Art has been marking its centennial year with a gangbusters number of attention-grabbing events. The museum may have outdone itself (well, among food-lovers, anyway) with its upcoming Ferran Adrià celebration.
The Spanish chef — he’s a kind of Albert Einstein-meets Mick Jagger-meets Rem Koolhaas — will be featured at a special exhibition, “Notes on Creativity,” on view at the museum from Sept. 17 through Jan. 3.
On Oct. 9, Adrià will take the stage with fellow chef and former protégé José Andrés to talk culinary creativity and innovation. This discussion will be led by Andrew Zimmern of the Travel Channel’s “Bizarre Foods.” The talk is free, but registration is required; tickets available starting Aug. 25 at 612-870-6323 or at artsmia.org.
The program will be followed by a tasting featuring Adrià-inspired food and drink items created by chefs from La Belle Vie, Tilia, Monello, Libertine, Heartland, Meritage, Victory 44, 112 Eatery, Heyday, Spoon and Stable, the Salty Tart, Travail Kitchen & Amusements and Bradstreet Craftshouse. Tickets are $150, available starting Aug. 25 at 612-870-6323 or at artsmia.org.