Dining Dish: The Lexington, Cook, Heyday, and The Minnesota Food Truck Association

The biggest bold name news of the week is that The Lexington, that beautiful phoenix of a stately restaurant on the corner of Lexington and Grand Avenue in St. Paul, might just rise again. The team behind the Smack Shack have partnered with celebrated chef Jack Riebel to take over the place. Part of what makes me so giddy is that both Smack Shack’s Josh Thoma and Riebel have St. Paul roots. That beautiful room needs a gentle lift into the modern age as well as the patience and understanding of its place in history. The menu will remain dedicated to American food with a bit more of a casual vibe. Riebel just took his first tour through the space, so we’ll have to wait with bated breath for a bit longer.

Sticking to the St. Paul side, Serlin’s Cafe has been reborn as Cook. The room has been given a bright makeover and more seating. Word has it that they’ve had the doors open for a while, but the grand opening starts tomorrow. They’re open for breakfast and lunch, 6:30 a.m. – 2 p.m.

In Uptown, Heyday is shaping up to be a beautiful, new restaurant inside the former Sunnyside Up Cafe space on Lyndale Avenue and 27th Street. The room is full of warm wood accompanied with the sweet, smoky scent of wood fire. I got a sneak peek while chef Jim Christiansen was tasting some recipes and the food smelled divine. Friend and La Belle Vie pastry chef Diane Yang has also been in and creating some confections to grace the dessert menu. Co-owner Lorin Zinter was kind enough to give me a little tour and it just looks so comfortable with an easy elegance. In other words, this might be the sort of neighborhood joint every neighborhood wishes was in its midst. They’re open to the public on April 22nd.

Despite winter’s one final hurrah (because this better be the last snowfall), spring is coming. And with spring, comes the food trucks. The Minnesota Food Truck Association’s first food truck rally is on the horizon. Saturday May 10th the trucks will rally at Harriet Brewing. The rally is free to the public (with food and drink costing extra). Truck participating include Al a Plancha, AZ Canteen, Enconada, Gogi Brothers, Hibachi Daruma, Hot Indian Food, Jake’s Street Grille, Moral Omnivore, Brava, O’Cheeze, Pepperjax Grill, RA Mac Sammy, Sandy’s Grill & Italian Ice, Sassy Spoon, Tiki Tim’s, Turkey To Go and Finnegan’s Reverse Food Truck (who will be accepting donations for the hungry in our community). The event will run from Noon – 7 p.m. with plenty of live music and Harriet Brewing’s delicious beers.

So, this is me humbly begging you, Mr. Sunshine: Come back!