Well, I'm back from vacationing in New York City, which of course means one thing: I'm broke!
It also means I'm jonesing for great eats more than ever. What's a girl to do? Good thing our city has two things: great eats and good deals. See you later, NYC. I can't afford to love you.
Five great dining deals for you, and for me:
Every food has its celebration on the calendar these days: National Macaroni and Cheese Day, National Chocolate Chip Cookie Day, National Fiddlehead Fern Day. But National Oyster Day is a concept we can really get down with, especially when it means $1 oysters from the usually tony with attendant tony price tags Oceanaire Seafood Room. And there's no catch, except the fresh catch of the oysters themselves. Just visit the restaurant on Wednesday, August 5, from 5 p.m. to close, and enjoy $1 chef's choice oysters all night long. Now pass the mignonette.
50 S. Sixth St., Minneapolis
Lovely little East Side bistro Tongue in Cheek is celebrating its one-year anniversary (congrats!), and because they're good, solid, sincere St. Paul stock like that, they're extending a little gift to you. Visit the restaurant through the end of July, fill out a raffle ticket, and enter to win a 10-course tasting menu valued at $180.
989 Payne Ave., St. Paul
It's been a pretty big story in food circles around here that chef Tommy Begnaud, on the heels of starting a big gig at Coup d'Etat, was T-boned in in his car by a drunk driver and suffered some pretty major injuries. He was confined to a wheelchair for quite some time, then a walker, but now he's up and at it and ready to get back into the food-slinging game. Coup d'Etat is throwing a bash in his honor, and for $25 you're gonna get a pretty sweet deal: a crawfish boil, all-you-can-eat jambalaya, all-you-can-drink beer, and live entertainment from the Jack Brass Band. It takes place Sunday, August 2. Register here. And here's to Tommy back on his feet, and his French Louisiana influence on the new menu.
Sunday, August 2
3 p.m. to 8 p.m.
2923 Girard Ave. S., Minneapolis
Complimentary pastries by John Kraus of Patisserie 46? Is it Christmas and my birthday all wrapped into one? No, it's Gather at the Walker, and our town's (and one of the world's) best pastry chefs is going to be presenting sous vide apricots with tarragon ice cream and pecan crumble; and roasted plums with yogurt ice cream for the low, low price of nothing at all on Thursday, August 6, from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. And, a head's up: Next month the presenting chef is Thomas Boemer of Corner Table, the reigning king of all things pork and chicken.
750 Hennepin Ave., Minneapolis
Chipotle's Cultivate Festival is approaching: On August 22, revel in all things Chipotle, including guacamole demos; a tasting hall offering sneak peeks of not yet available locally Chipotle items including Shophouse rice bowls from the company's Asian concept; cooking demonstrations by Andrew Zimmern, Jim Christiansen of Heyday, Jaime Malone and Erik Anderson of upcoming Brut; live music by a bunch of cool bands including Hippo Campus, and a shit ton of beer. Get the full lineup here. The best part? The event is free, fabulously free.
August 22, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.