It was really beautiful out today, so we hunted down a restaurant with a great patio. It just happened to be Salut on Grand Avenue. Recently reviewed in the Star Tribune, Salut just opened on Grand. The first location opened a couple years ago in Edina and have done steady business since. St. Paul, specifically Grand Avenue, needed a casual but fun place with great food and a nice atmosphere.
Archive for June, 2008
After we went to the Science Museum of Minnesota and the Star Wars Exhibit with some friends, we ran up the hill to W.A. Frost for dinner. We had been there just a couple weeks ago and I just love their patio. It’s wooded and has a lot of character. The main patio was booked, so we found a table in the Bar Patio. It was packed. And I think there was one server running from table to table. I’ve been in that situation before and it sucks, but she was doing all she could to keep up. Managers were delivering food and filling water and it was a beautiful night so I was okay with it. Even after they delivered an appetizer plate with dried food on it. And a fork with dried food on it. And a martini glass with dried food on it. And a wine chiller with sauce on its side. Really, I was okay with it.
Maybe it was the flight of Rosé I started with that made me accept all these mishaps. Or the bottle of Pinot Grigio we finished next. Regardless, I had a great time with some great company and the food was above average. (Oh – and my favorite of the three was called Badia a Coltibuono Cetamura Rostao from Tuscany.)
A few times each week I ask Husband what he wants for dinner. His usual response is, “Something quick,” or “Whatever you want.” I asked him today and he recommended fish wrapped in foil cooked on the grill. Now that’s a good idea. I called Kim who is my go-to-gal on cooking, and she said to wrap the fish with fennel, lemon, garlic and some fresh herbs. I picked up some Cod at Lunds (because the Halibut was way too expensive). I did what Kim suggested, but also made foil packets of vegetables. I included local sugar snap peas from the Minneapolis Farmers Market, yellow pepper, orange pepper a red onion and some basil and parsley.
The result? A beautiful, light and healthy meal. With plenty of leftovers.
I heard about a new restaurant recently, and after checking out their website, realized I need a bit more meat and/or dairy that they offer. But Jen, from Painted Fish Studio, is a vegetarian, and she was generous enough to try it out and offer the following review. Enjoy! (Oh, and I love the logo).
Jenn recommended I try Café Agri (
), a local organic
café that focuses preparing food grown locally, using sustainable means.
When I checked out the menu and saw that all items were vegetarian, my
interest was piqued, as was my sis who is also a vegetarian. We made plans
to meet after work
You’ll notice a new image off to the right there. Yep, I joined a swap. This is my first swap and I’m very excited to be participating. It means I’ll have to do more than cook and eat. I might have to learn to sew, which is great because I just picked up my grandmother’s sewing machine. It’s pretty old, but I’m sure she took very good care of it. She taught my sister and me how to sew in High School when we needed running tights for track practice. There was still some elastic in one of the cubbies. Now that brings back fond memories. I’ll post a photo of it soon.
A friend got married a few weeks ago, and as a wedding gift I gave them this beautiful salt box from Crate and Barrel. I have the same one, but I found mine at The Chefs Gallery in Stillwater last summer. I love the simple design and it keeps my salt within arms reach. Oh, and it looks great on my counter as well.
To go along with their new salt box, I hit Williams-Sonoma for some unique salt. And man, do they carry some interesting stuff. After browsing through their selection of Sea Salts and flavored salts, I settled on a lovely jar of Unoaked Chardonnay Salt. Who woulda thunk, eh? Turns out these salts are hand-harvested, so you’re paying a bit more than you would for the Morton Salt Box at the local mart. Is it worth it?
So, I ask you, have you ever had any flavored salts? I haven’t, unfortunately. I would love to try a Truffled Salt, or even the Chardonnay Salt. Or, my favorite color, the Pink Salt. Good thing I have a birthday coming up
The Tanpopp Noodle Shop is this great little Asian restaurant in the lowertown part of downtown St. Paul. I’ve walked by it a gazillion times on the way to the St. Paul Farmers Market and Jen has been talking it up for quite some time. Finally, after walking by it again last weekend, I made Jen meet me there for dinner.
I was not disappointed.
I received an email this morning from my mother-in-law with these questions:
Also, do you have any smoked paprika? I’ve never heard of it but what do I know?
Now, she’s a very bright woman and she brought up a darn good question, so I went digging and learned a little something.
A quick search led to this page about Paprika on the Cooking Light website. Essentially, paprika is made from sweet red peppers. Plain paprika, which our grandmothers sprinkled on just about everthing, is very mild. Smoked paprika comes in three heat levels (sweet, semisweet and hot). The peppers are smoked dry and it is of much better quality than the plain.
Penzey’s Spices has a whole page of Paprika for sale (where does one begin?).
And finally, Wikipedia had a whole lot more information (more than most need) on Paprika.
Regardless, I learned something today. The next step is to do a taste test of plain, hungarian and smoked paprika. Sounds like a great weekend project.