My Blog on WCCO-TV: Bite of Minnesota

Sunday, November 11, 2012

New Restaurant :: Nightingale

It's been a blast living in Uptown and watching the ever-changing restaurant scene. We're so lucky there are so many places to walk or bus to in the area. Last month, we got another new restaurant, Nightingale, located next to Treehouse Records on Lyndale and 26th.

We went a couple weeks after it opened -- well, actually, we went twice before that for Sunday brunch, but a note on the door notified us (twice) that brunch wasn't being served. At least we live nearby so we got a little walk out of it.

The dining area is a beautiful sight with buttery white leather chairs, deep blue booths accented with gold nail heads and eye-catching sculptured wood chandeliers overhead. Cocktails were decent, but I had hoped for more depth of flavor; maybe next time.

The food was quite good and I'm excited to try other menu items next time I visit. The menu listed an array of bruschetta and we chose the roasted mushroom which was topped with two sunny-side up quail eggs - yum! Next time I'm trying the ricotta, pine nuts and mint.

The steak tartare was unique as it was on top of a bed of sunchokes. In this case, it was a good unique.

We also tried the Brussels sprouts and enjoyed the tang from the agrodolce, a sweet and sour reduction along with small bites of bacon throughout the dish.

Excited to go back soon. It's a cozy place to have drinks and a small bite to eat. The kitchen is open until 1am so I'm sure that will come in handy post-holiday parties.


Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Books and Bars with Cheryl Strayed

Last night I went to my first Books and Bars at the Amsterdam Bar in St. Paul to see author Cheryl Strayed talk about her book Wild (which my book club is currently reading) and her latest book, Tiny Beautiful Things, based on a Dear Sugar advice column she has been writing for The Rumpus.

I've heard great things about Jeff Kamin, the founder of Books and Bars and he certainly delivered a fun evening. The place was packed, likely because Cheryl was recently featured on MPR (listen to that here), and even showing up 15 minutes early didn't help secure a close table. Jeff was the perfect host encouraging people to become friendly and share their tables at several points before the event began.

Once the event started, it was standing room only and after a quick reading and a few pre-determined questions it was opened up to the audience where questions revolved around pieces of her book and her outlook on life now that she's a published author.

My biggest takeaway from the event was when an audience member asked for Cheryl's advice for writers. Her response?

"Write like a motherfucker!"
And here I am, writing on my blog that I kinda sorta abandonded 10 months ago. Shh, don't tell anyone :)

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