Coming soon to the Mall of America

Be on the lookout for Cedar + Stone, Urban Table, which is set to open next month in the new 342-room J.W. Marriott Minneapolis Mall of America Hotel (2141 Lindau Lane, Bloomington).

Chef Everton Clarke is a longtime Marriott veteran; his résumé also includes a stint at chef Michael Mina’s Stonehill Tavern at the St. Regis Monarch Beach Hotel in Dana Point, Calif. Sous chef Laura Bartholomew has worked at Marriott properties in Orlando and Austin, Texas.

Clarke and Bartholomew are promising a seasonal, farm-to-table menu, emphasizing classic steak and seafood dishes. The restaurant, which will serve breakfast, lunch and dinner daily, will feature an open kitchen format and, in a Mall of America rarity, natural light from actual windows.

A Minnesota record?

What might be the state’s largest restaurant-related charity auction item went for a cool $37,000 on Sunday at a benefit for Share Our Strength. The nonprofit works to end child hunger in the United States.

“$37,000 equals 370,000 meals for kids,” said Lizzie Breyer, co-chair of Share Our Strength’s Minneapolis committee, adding that the entire evening raised in excess of $125,000. “It was a pretty monumental night for SOS and the Minneapolis community.”

The hot-ticket item? A party. Chef Tim McKee, a longtime SOS supporter, donated a December holiday gathering for up to 50 people at his swank La Belle Vie (510 Groveland Av., Mpls.,, which is closing on Oct. 24.

That’ll be some party, particularly since it’s going to be staffed by dozens of past and present La Belle Vie talents, many of whom have gone on to helm other top-rated Twin Cities restaurants.

On Sunday evening, McKee was at his packed-to-the-rafters restaurant until the auction started, then raced over to the Loews Minneapolis Hotel and caught the spirited action.

“It was pretty intense,” he said. “There was a lot of energy in that room.”

For non-high rollers hoping to enjoy a final cocktail and snack in the beautiful La Belle Vie lounge (all available seats in the dining room are spoken for), prepare to wait. Record-setting crowds have descended on the 17-year-old restaurant since the closing was announced Oct. 13, so much so that sales have jumped threefold.

Plan accordingly: McKee reports that every day a group of 25 to 30 people politely form a line outside the restaurant’s front doors, which open at 5 p.m.

New in the North Loop

Well, that didn’t last long. Shag Sushi (730 Washington Av. N., Mpls.) has closed its doors after an eight-month run. Owner Michael McDermott is replacing it with an outlet of one of his other restaurant concepts, Rojo Mexican Grill. Look for another Rojo — the Twin Cities’ fourth — to materialize soon in the former home of the Romano’s Macaroni Grill in Rosedale.

And the honorees are …

Nov. 15 is the date for the fifth-annual Charlie Awards, which recognize exceptional contributions to the Twin Cities’ food-and-drink community.

The awards kick off at 3:30 p.m. at the Pantages Theatre and continue with an after-party at the IDS Crystal Court. A four-course dinner at Windows on Minnesota will feature recipes from 2014 honorees, including Alex Roberts of Restaurant Alma, Vincent Francoual of Vincent, John Kraus of Patisserie 46 and restaurateur Kim Bartmann (Barbette, Red Stag Supperclub, Pat’s Tap, Tiny Diner). Tickets ($25 to $150) are available at