illustration by james kloiber
It takes a really memorable experience for me to become a regular anywhere. When I tasted the spaghetti bolognese at the recently opened Blackstone Bistro in St Louis Park, it brought back memories of an authentic dish I had many years ago and have been searching for since. Created with ground beef, Italian sausage, and homemade tomato sauce packed with Mediterranean spices, it’s perfection on a plate (blackstonebistro.com). David Fhima’s desserts, made from natural and organic ingredients, are worth frequent visits to St. Paul’s Faces in the Park—as are his house-made bakery items. Grab-and-go goods include challah loaves and buns, plus chocolate éclairs that are simply sinful (facesinthepark.com). Celebrate the end of summer with a little wine tasting at Sovereign Estate vineyard and winery in Waconia, where a small bistro menu served on the winery’s patio is an ideal way to soak in the last rays of sunshine. Their white and red sangria slushies—an alcoholic version of the 7-11 treat—combined with the beautiful views have me going back again and again (sovereignestatewine.com). And summer isn’t complete without a visit to check out the new foods at the Minnesota State Fair—where everyone’s a regular. For those who already love Midtown Global Market’s Salty Tart, flock to the fairgrounds to buy packs of Michelle Gayer’s coconut macaroons at the west entrance. And if you’re a Rainbow Ice Cream fan, don’t miss the new chocolate jalapeño flavor (mnstatefair.org).