Well, we are finally in our last week of the wildest election cycle in recent history and -- while one of these two folks is sticking around, perpetuating family feuds everywhere -- I think the end of the incessant ads, the blow-by-blow coverage and the epic Twitter battles is something we can all celebrate.
Enter FireLake Grill House & Cocktail Bar at the Minneapolis and Mall of America Radisson Blu locations.
This week, they're offering up cocktails inspired by the candidates -- for Donald Trump, the Last Word (gin, green Chartruese, Luxardo and lime juice) and for Hillary Clinton, the Southern Sunset (Vodka, Southern Comfort, Apple Pucker, and sour mix). It's probably best not to read too deep into any of those ingredients.
And when the whole show draws the curtains? The downtown location will be hosting a "Thank Goodness the Campaign is Over" happy hour full of drink specials on Wednesday.
Cheers to that.
And if mental exhaustion and booze isn't enough to lull you into contentment -- read on for the rest of our lineup for the best food-and-drink themed events happening around the Twin Cities in the next two weeks.
Thursday, Nov. 3
Iron Fork – The City Pages’ chef battle returns at International Market Square and this time, for – why not? – a taco throwdown. The basic idea? A secret ingredient is introduced and featuring that item, chefs have to make their best Mexican street food delight. Competing chefs include Miguel Pulacho of El Burrito Mercado, Alejandro Castillon of Sonora Grill and Angelo Pennacchio of Bar Luchador. Bartenders will also be duking it out for the title of 'Absolut Mixologist'. General entry tickets are still available at $35 and include samples from a serious lineup of restaurants and cafes including Vieux Carre, the Third Bird, La La Homemade Ice Cream and 4Bells. More info here.
Cedar + Stone, Urban Table dinner – this Mall of America restaurant is joining with Fulton Brewing for a $85, nine-course meal prepared by executive chef Laura Bartholomew and paired with nine Fulton brews. Only 12 seats are available. The menu includes the likes of beer-braised short ribs, kabocha squash with curry soup and scallops with Fuji apple and fennel. More info here.
Saturday, Nov. 5
Erick Harcey cooks with Jack Riebel – Upton 43’s Chef’s Table returns, this time with chef Harcey joined by Jack Riebel, the executive chef of the anticipated the Lexington in St. Paul. The menu for the 10-12 course gala? That will remain a surprise. Tickets are $125. Wine pairings are available for $65. More info here. Read more about chef Harcey here. (Upton 43 pictured, above; photographer; Leila Navidi)
Coup d’Etat cocktail class – In case you needed another excuse for day drinking, the Uptown behemoth will be teaching patrons to create six half-sized cocktails from 1-3 p.m. Tickets are $60. More info here. (Cocktail seminar pictured below, photo by Kyndell Harkness)
Sunday, Nov. 6
Pig Party – Another all-you-can-eat showdown from the Pig Ate My Pizza people? Yep. And while they’re at it, they’ll throw in all-you-can-drink with the ticket price ($46, a steal). Fair State Brewing Cooperative will be on site providing the beverages. As usual, there will be PAMP ‘zas and plenty of shenanigans worthy of Mike Brown and Co. More info here.
Monday, Nov. 7
Pigeonhole dinner – Join Lyn 65 owner Ben Rients and chef Jose Alarcon as the duo begins to develop the menu for their upcoming refined Mexican cuisine project expected to land in south Minneapolis next year. The five-course dinner will have three seatings, tickets are $45. More info here. Read more about the upcoming restaurant here.
Friday, Nov. 11
A trio of openings -- Lots swirling in the restaurant world this week, capped by the expected debut of Restaurant Alma's new cafe and hotel in southeast Minneapolis. Another hotel will also be opening its doors this weekend with Hewing Hotel holding its soft opening, which includes a free preview meal at restaurant Tullibee with a single-night stay. And downtown, McKinney Roe -- housed in that stunning brick addition to the new Wells Fargo Towers you keep walking past -- will usher in guests beginning on Friday as well.
Dumpling pop-up -- Can't wait for Uptown's first dumpling restaurant to hit the ground running? Catch a preview during Mrs. Dumpling's latest pop-up. In anticipation of their winter opening, these folks, who have been showing up for Japanese invasions all over town, are taking over at Lowry Hill Meats. More info here.
Sunday, Nov. 13
The Charlie Awards -- See who in the Twin Cities food and beverage community will take home a cascade of accolades at this sixth annual celebration at the Pantages Theatre. The after-party in the IDS Crystal Court features live music, special cocktails and sample dishes made by local culinary school students, starting at 5 p.m. And the whirlwind culminates with a Chef's Dinner at Windows on Minnesota (the 50th floor of the IDS) at 6:30 featuring four courses from chefs who snatched the honors last year (Sean Sherman (Tatanka Truck), Thomas Kim (Left Handed Cook), Marshall Paulsen (Birchwood Cafe), and Karyn Tomlinson (Borough). Tickets for the three events together are $150. More info here.
Tuesday, Nov. 15
Wednesday, Nov. 16
Jax Hunters Dinner -- This is a bit of a tradition for Jax Cafe and this year, they're pairing with Summit Brewing Co. for an epic dinner that appears certain to leave you waddling out in a serious food coma. There will be an avalanche of hors d'oeuvres -- including sweet potato pancakes with smoked duck, rabbit and rattlesnake cakes and deviled eggs with wild boar bacon -- and Knob Creek cocktails before a five-course meal that features the likes of a duck porchetta with a roasted onion tart, beer-battered Bluegill, roasted venison and stout cake. My. Mouth. Is. Watering. A Summit beer is paired with each course. Tickets are $80. More info here.