Tomatoes, bacon, and roasted lamb: 10 dining events you want to know about

It's about that time to eat bacon straight out of a Red Solo Cup.

It's about that time to eat bacon straight out of a Red Solo Cup.

Do you like drinking? Do you like drinking cocktails mixed by some of the Twin Cities' best bartenders? Do you like doing these things all while helping a person down on their luck? Sure, you do!  On Sunday, August 23, join the Minneapolis/St. Paul bartender's guild in the Fernet Summer Sideshow at the Solar Arts Building for a cocktail competition where bartenders will pair their drinks with classic carnival games. Hey, why not? Guests will be treated to samples of each competitor's cocktail. Snacks will be provided by Chow Girls Killer Catering and donuts by Glam Dolls. The event is to benefit Adam Harness, a member of the guild who caught the bad business end of a truck and wound up with a broken femur. $15/$40 VIP. More information and ticket purchase here. 

Here are two other things we know you like: bacon and beer. And baseball! The Twin Cities Bacon and Beer Classic is coming to Target Field on Saturday, September 12, from 1 p.m. to 10 p.m. Wander the home of the Minnesota Twins and explore the stadium concourse while sipping hundreds of craft brew samples and nibbling  bacon-inspired dishes by local restaurants. There'll be music, games, photo booths, and other fun for the whole fam. Two ticket types available, $59 and $99. More information and ticket purchase here. 

Whole roasted lamb gyros? Yes, please. Join Lake & Irving chef de cuisine Andrew Ikeda for A Lending Lamb, a fundraiser for Alzheimer's Awareness on Wednesday, September 16, at Sociable Cider Werks from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. for a lamb roast, live music, and a silent auction (and the auction will actually have good stuff from local restaurants like wine and tasting menus). 

'Tis the season: Two more big chefs are firing up a whole animal (and maybe more than one). Wednesday, August 26, Steve Hesse of Libertine and Sameh Wadi of Saffron and World Street Kitchen are cooking up a Whole Animal Chef's Dinner at Libertine at 7 p.m. Tickets are $75 and do not include tax or gratuity. RSVP: 952-240-3551 or [email protected] 

The Chipotle Cultivate Festival is back, this Sunday, August 22 in Loring Park. At long last, learn how they make the luscious green stuff.

The Chipotle Cultivate Festival is back, this Sunday, August 22 in Loring Park. At long last, learn how they make the luscious green stuff.

It doesn't really seem possible that the Birchwood can be 20 years old this year, but it's true. They've got lots to celebrate, too, with a new cookbook launch just in time for their birthday. Sunday, September 13, is the 20th Anniversary Birthday Bash at The Birchwood, and they'll be hosting an "old-school, all-ages block party," starting at 11 a.m. with Gorilla Yogis and Big River Yoga in the street, followed by live music from 2 p.m. to 7 p.m. on the 89.3 the Current & Electric Fetus stage, plus local food & drinks from the Birchwood (of course!), Chef Shack, Café Racer, Izzy's Ice Cream, Peace Coffee, Sweetland Orchard, and Surly Brewing Co. Live music includes Clementown, Brass Messengers, the Sunny Era, and a community square dance with Ann Carter and friends. Trivia from Trivia Mafia, kids' stuff from Open Eye Figure Theatre puppet shows, face-painting, ArtiCulture activities, and a bee hive demonstration by the Beez Kneez. More, too, if you can believe it.  

In case you haven't already heard (and we can't imagine you haven't already heard), we're gonna remind you one last time: This Sunday, August 22, is the 2nd Chipotle Cultivate Festival in Loring Park, where the lusted after company brings you ideas, music, celebrity chefs, musicians, and exclusive food and drink offerings. 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Free. More information here. 

If you have a garden, or if you have been anywhere on planet earth, Midwest, lately you know that it is tomato season. Tomatoes are hanging heavy on the vine; your neighbor, if she's a good one, is gifting them to you in little paper bags, every restaurant is slipping them into any menu item that they can. Nightingale has smartly been offering an annual "Embarrassment of Tomatoes" event right at this time of year, and hey, it's that time of year. This year's event includes a five-course tomato dinner plus wine course for $75 on August 31 at 7 p.m. For reservations: 612-354-7060 or [email protected] 

Here's a big deal: Ferran Adria is coming to Minneapolis in a "Notes on Creativity" appearance at the MIA. It's at the MIA, naturally, because the chef's creations are far more art than cuisine, and inquiring minds want to know how the heck he does it. Well, it begins with concepts, ideas, collaged photographs, and loose sketches, and, we imagine, lots of other stuff too. Go. See what knowledge the man can impart (Jose Andres and Andrew Zimmern will be there, too!) Friday, October 9, at 6 p.m. The talk is free, but a post-talk tasting dinner created by a who's who of bigwigs in the local dining scene (and inspired by Adria cuisine) is $150. Reservations here. The exhibition of his work, Notes on Creativity, goes on September 17-January 3 at the MIA Target Wing. 

If that's a little rich for your blood, celebrate back-to-school by bringing the kids to Firelake for free eats now through April 31st. You must purchase one adult entree per kid, and kids can only eat off the kids menu, so sorry, no crawfish bisque for little Johnny. Firelake Grill has two locations. 

You know what's better than a Steven Brown behind the stoves at Tilia? A slightly tipsy, very happy, dancing Steven Brown on the sidewalk at Tilia, greeting his many diners and friends and fans, just having a hell of a time celebrating food, drink, music, life and street dances. It's time for Tilia's annual Augtoberfest, this Sunday, August 23rd from 3p.m. to 8p.m. outside of Tilia in Linden Hills. $5. Get your tickets here, as well as a full lineup of bands and food offerings. It's gonna be Augtober awesome.