You’ve had a long week. Or not, maybe you just got back from Spring Break. Either way, you deserve a night out. Get this thing started with a well-earned dinner at one of Kim Bartmann’s hot spots, The Third Bird in Loring Park. Chef Lucas Almendinger deftly and subtly works his magic with dishes like the roasted pork jowl- a shareable plate of sliced pork served with an herb buttermilk sauce, green tomato relish and crisp romaine leaves that invite diners to create their own wraps. In fact, all the dishes on the ever-changing menu are meant to be shared, including the impressive 25 oz. rib eye, which comes with a plucky chimichurri sauce.
Cross the park for an evening of artsy delights at the Walker’s International Pop Preview Party. This Friday night from 9 pm to Midnight, revel in what the Walker Art Center is billing as a "whirlwind night" which will include music, pop-influenced food and cocktails and, inexplicably, a Ferris wheel. The Walker also suggests that you dress the part- as in skinny ties and miniskirts. The new exhibit should be great fun, and you can be one of the first to enjoy it!
So, it’s Saturday morning. You whooped it up till the wee hours at the Walker last night, or if you’re more like me, perused Facebook way past your bedtime. Ease into the weekend by heading over to Cook on Payne Avenue in St. Paul for a tall glass of Eddie Wu. Named after Cook’s owner, the concoction is made with Gray Duck Chai and homemade lemonade. It’s a surprising, refreshing marriage of flavors that goes great with anything, but the short ribs eggs benedict is a particularly splendid way to start the day. Succulent braised short ribs are topped with poached eggs and drizzled with hollandaise sauce that is sure to cure your ills.
After a quick walk around Como Lake for a breath of fresh air, keep lunch light at Foxy Falafel on Raymond. One of Twin Cities’ first farmers-market-darling-turned-bricks-and-mortar success stories, Foxy Falafel serves up delicious, healthy fare in this adorable Saint Anthony Park spot. Owner Erica Strait knows her way around a chickpea, and her inventive creations include a mouthwatering rendition made with beets and topped with a divine preserved lemon and goat cheese sauce. Don’t consider it a meal unless it involves a hunk of meat? No worries, Strait has you covered there too. The chicken shawarma boasts chicken roasted with fragrant onions and garlic and served with grilled onions and peppers for a hearty lunch that won’t make you feel guilty for the rest of the day. All of the sandwiches come with one complimentary side of sauce, but you will want to add more. It’s impossible to choose between the creamy tzatziki, the kicky green tahini or the addicting smoky harissa. Live a little, get them all.
Finish off the day with a late dinner and music at the iconic Half Time Rec and Paddy Shack. Half Time Rec is arguably one of the best dive bars in the Twin Cities, and with chef Jack Reibel in a sparkling new kitchen, there is no beating it for down home Irish fare and great local music. This Saturday, Iron Range native Paul Seeba and his band Mitchell Yards will supply the entertainment while you nosh on some of the best fish and chips this side of the Atlantic. Talk your dinner companion into getting the decadent beer mac and cheese, and be sure and share a plate of the cauliflower cheese appetizer. You’ll need a Guinness or four to wash it all down, but hey, it’s Saturday night! Take a break for a little bocce ball action in the basement- it hasn’t changed in decades, and that’s a good thing.
There is no better way to start a Sunday than with a donut. It should be a law, really. Glam Doll Donuts on Eat Street was just awarded the 2015 Best Donut Award by The Munchies, a national competition recognizing the best in food around the country. This week, Glam Doll is giving a nod to spring (HA!) with a delightful donut filled with fresh kiwi cream and topped lavender white chocolate icing and fresh berries. I’m not kidding. So grab the kids, or borrow a few, because after a couple of donuts, we are heading to the Minneapolis Institute of Arts and Children’s Theater Company for some cradle rockin’.
Rock the Cradle, a free yearly event sponsored by The Current, is a chaotic, fun-filled day of art and music for kids and grown-ups alike. From 11 am to 5 pm, kids of all ages can burn off that sugar with DJ story time, dance parties, hands-on activities and more. There will be complimentary snacks from the Wedge and coffee from Spyhouse. Check out the massive list of activities at the Current’s website.
Tuck the exhausted brood in bed and tell the babysitter you’ll be late, it’s time for some whiskey. Whiskey on Ice will launch its inaugural event on Sunday, April 12th, when, for the first time in Minnesota, attendees will have the opportunity to taste whiskeys from over 100 distilleries from around the world. The event takes place at The Depot in downtown Minneapolis (get it? It’s an ice rink...Whiskey on Ice…) and promises to be the premier whiskey celebration in Minnesota. Attendees will enjoy samples of 300 whiskies, Surly beer, food, and even receive some swanky swag to take home. Tickets are available even on the day of the event.