Of Bars and Kitty Cats: 3 Things to Eat This Week

Stopping by the bars at Bellecour, Spoon and Stable, and Grandview Lodge

I don’t want to deal with this, but here it sits, staring me in the face. I mean, literally. I’m looking at my poor cat right now, and times are a little grim. The problem with pets is that we all know these days are going to come. The sweet face that has sent numerous glasses to shattered nonexistence on my floor is looking a little weak. The sassy, buff-colored tabby that once looked at me with what could only be called a grin while peeing into my favorite ballet flats is now having a hard time jumping up onto his favorite counter perch. It’s time to say goodbye. When we do, I’m going to need some respite.

How I cope is by sitting down with friends. We cry, we laugh, we swear, we drink and share a million small plates. “Laughter through tears is my favorite emotion.” (Steel Magnolias) So, this week, as my family cares for our sick little four-legged friend during his final days, I’m going to focus on the things that make me happiest in the world.

Bellecour’s new bar menuThere’s foie gras in the butter on the popcorn. If that doesn’t get you through the doors at Gavin Kaysen’s brand new French bistro out in Wayzata, let me also add that there’s a special burger cooked up on Thursday nights for the lucky few souls able to grab a seat at the bar. The new bar menu just debuted, and these dishes are looking divine. I can’t wait to get over there and sip one of Robb Jone’s excellent cocktails and snarf some pork croquettes (it’s everything awesome about pickle dip with the added bonus of being fried. Yeah.)

Spoon & Stable’s Spring Cocktail Menu: Let’s just stay in Gavin Kaysen’s world for a little bit, because it is so nice here. At his original restaurant in the North Loop, they are just about to unveil the new spring cocktail program, and it is glorious. A pack of fresh, light drinks that will put a bounce in your step like a tipsy Tigger. I’ve so far sampled a glorious, bright fizz topped with an alluring beet syrup (says the beet hater) and another drink that sips like a sophisticated remake of a Pimm’s Cup. It’s here that you’ll also find Nathaniel Smith, who is fast becoming known as one of the best bartenders in the country, if not the world. Get to know him while we can before he launches into full on celebrity bartender status.

Distilled at Grandview: While we’re talking cold, let’s take the party a few hours northwest to Grand View Lodge, where this weekend they are hosting their annual Distilled event. The very best in spirits are represented up there, and you will not believe the quality of our locally made booze. Dip into some of the incredibly informative classes. My buddy Jeff Rogers (a crazy-experienced bartender and one of the best cocktail teachers you’ll ever find) along with Heather Manley of Crooked Water Sprits will be doing a build-your-own-punch class that will be epic!

Go in health, my friends! And have one for me.