Heidi’s & Blackbird Spectacular Spectacular, March 14!

I don’t think anyone who cares deeply about Twin Cities restaurants will ever forget the day Heidi’s and Blackbird burnt to the ground. I myself was sitting in my office downtown as a steady drumbeat of e-mails and phone calls came my way, at first asking me for information (I had none) and finally relaying the terrible news. It shook me as it shook everyone. Thankfully, no one was killed, but it was a stark reminder: All of us are fragile, our bodies and our loved ones and our buildings and our work, no matter how much it seems otherwise in the hubbub of day-to-day life.

If you have been touched by the fire and have want to know what you can do to help, I have good news to share. There are a wealth of benefits scheduled for Sunday, March 14, at a variety of price points. Details are below, and if you can’t make it on March 14, you can donate directly to the Blackbird and Heidi’s Benefit Fund (Central Bank, 2120 Hennepin Ave. S., Minneapolis, MN 55405), according to an e-mail I received from Molly Broder, who is coordinating much of this good work. “The donations will be split equally between the funds, one for each restaurant, and we will be working with the individual owners to distribute funds where needs are the greatest.”

You may also follow developments for the benefit at the Facebook page “Fork the Fire.” This fire and the destruction of these restaurants was of course a terrible blow to all of the cooks, servers, dishwashers, owners, and chefs, and has damaged our little community too, but I think if enough people turn out for these events, we stand a chance of pulling a little hope and repair from, yes, the ashes.

Here’s the key info from forkthefire.org:

Twin Cities Restaurants Host Fork The Fire!

Three Special Events on March 14th To Help Heidi’s and Blackbird Restaurants Recover

There’s nothing like the power of food to bring everyone together. That’s why over 55 restaurants will rise up in force to help Heidi’s and Blackbird—two Twin City restaurants that lost everything recently during a tragic fire in south Minneapolis. Choose one of three delicious ways to be part of this awesome outpouring of support. Pick your spot, book your table, and join chefs and staff across the city for Fork The Fire!

1. In the largest display of solidarity ever on one day, restaurants across the Twin Cities will use a full plate of creative ways to raise money for the cause on Sunday, March 14. Enjoy brunch, lunch, or dinner at your favorite place with your favorite chefs and help Heidi’s and Blackbird through this devastating time. See a complete list of all the fabulous places to sip and savor for a wonderful cause at Fork The Fire on Facebook.

2. Bring a group to Mission American Kitchen where chefs from 12 of your favorite restaurants including D’Amico Kitchen, La Belle Vie, Vincent’s, Edina Grill, The Dakota, Cave Vin, Pierre’s Bistro, and more will serve you their specialties from 2-8 p.m. Come early and get a chance to chat with Heidi’s Chef/Owner Stuart Woodman. Your $30 door price goes to the relief fund. Cash bar and complimentary parking at the IDS. Call 612-339-1000 for information.

3. Owners Linda and Todd Haug of Café 28 and Surly Beer will host talented Blackbird’s chef-owner Chris Stevens, who will be cooking at this deliciously fun $25 event. Call 612-926-2800 for information.

Fork The Fire with Family and Friends March 14, 2010

Participating Restaurants:

Vincent, a Restaurant
Restaurant Alma
Hell’s Kitchen
Turtle Bread Co.
Café Twenty Eight
Cave Vin
Dakota Jazz Club
Café Ena
El Meson
Grand Café
Mission American Kitchen
Café Maude
112 Eatery
Sea Change
La Belle Vie
Birchwood Café
The Citizen Café
1959 Cafe
Manny’s Steak House
Chino Latrino
Il Gatto
Burger Jones
Salut Bar American
Good Earth
Pittsburgh Blue
Victory 44
Strip Club
7 the Steakhouse & Sushi Ultralounge
Coffee & Tea Limited
Broders’ Pasta Bar
Broders’ Cucina Italiana
Sen Yai Sen Lek
Al Vento
Modern Café
Fire Lake Grill House
Herkimer Pub and Brewery
Prima Heartland
Pierre’s Bistro
First Course
The Living Room
Bar Prohibition
Bar La Grassa