Of All Things French and Flavorful

Hi, my name’s Joy Summers. That’s not just a name—it’s an attitude. No, actually, it’s really just a name—one I married into, but it is a real name, not some hippie nom de plume. I have the driver’s license to prove it. I’ve been blogging about the Twin Cities food scene for nearly a decade and very happy to say that I’ll be doing a weekly food news round up for the TC Taste blog. I’m incredibly excited to be a part of this esteemed blogger line up—one I’ve followed for years.

Every Thursday I’ll share with you the food events and news tidbits that we’re most excited about. January is a notoriously sleepy time for the restaurant business. Usually, diners hunker down after the new year and don’t even log into their Open Table accounts until somewhere around February 13th, when they wake in a cold, sweaty panic about an impending date night. This year is the exception to the rule. There are plenty of new restaurants opening and fantastic events on the horizon.

The most buzzed about restaurant opening of the new year would have to be Coup D’Etat in Uptown. Located across the street from the Lagoon Theater, this is fast shaping up to be the new see and be seen, scene. The restaurant is massive and run by the same people behind Burough and Parlour in the North Loop. Cocktails are of the craft variety and the food is elevated, but not so far away that it won’t go with a comfortable pair of jeans and a tap beer. As far as first bites go, the arancini with tender rice, succulent duck confit breaded, and fried to a crisp with a red onion marmalade is a great place to start.

Fast approaching their opening date is the re-imaging of Travail Kitchen and Amusements and The Rookery. The one restaurant space will house two concepts, one for nightly tasting menus and another for craft cocktails and bar bites. Expect to find lines around the Robbinsdale Main Street block from their devoted fans in anticipating of their February 4th grand opening. They won’t take reservations, so we’ll all have to wait our turns.

Speaking of craft cocktails (can you tell someone didn’t take to the fitness resolution?) The North Star Bartender’s Guild is hosting a their very own winter carnival this Saturday. The collective of bartenders and cocktail mix masters throw a dazzling party. The current and former presidents of the NSBG will just be returning from a tropical vacation business trip in the bahamas. They’ll likely be sharing some of their new ideas and techniques. Best of all, every guild event benefits a charity and this is no exception. Admission is only $10 and tickets can be purchased online

Back to more romantic and French-influenced leanings—it isn’t too early to make your Valentine’s Day reservation. Or, skip the crowds and make a reservation for next Sunday February 9th at Vincent A Restaurant. Chef Vincent Francoual is preparing a special concert dinner that will pair food with music performed by the Four Voices String Quartet, all members of the Minnesota Opera Orchestra, including concertmaster Allison Ostrander. Each dish is specifically tailored for the music that will be played. Tickets are $150 per person. Reservations can be made by calling the restaurant (612) 630-1189.