Ramen Kazama. Photo by TJ Turner.
I’m just back from an incredible winter weekend full of food and wine up at Grand View Lodge in Nisswa. The selections were next level, and had me all kinds of riled up for the Minnesota Monthly Food & Wine weekend at Target Field. I’m Flounder in Animal House excited: oh boy! oh boy! oh boy!
Anyway, to tide us over until then, I’m ready to eat some wonderfully wintry dishes (you did see the February issue? It promises to make you love winter. I’m still keeping winter in the friend zone, but there’s good food to be had.)
Tonkotsu Ramen at Ramen Kazama
Winter is soup weather and in this month’s issue, Jason DeRusha and I were bowled over by what this new ramen shop is cooking up on Nicollet Avenue. The glorious aromatics are enough to make you want to linger over the bowl long after every noodle has been slurped. 3400 Nicollet Ave. S., Minneapolis, 612-353-6160, ramenkazama.com
Cinnamon Rolls at Isles Bun & Coffee
Short, cold days require a little extra coaxing from bed. Use one of these incredible buns as your early morning carrot. Yeasty dough ribbons laced with cinnamon and covered with a mound of just-sweet-enough frosting are one of my favorite ways to treat myself. Plus, it’s close to the YWCA … you know, if you’re worried about maintaining balance. 1424 W. 28th St., Minneapolis, 612-870-4466, islesbun.com
The 128 Café
Last time I checked, there were just a couple of Valentine’s Day dinnertime reservations still available at Max Thompson’s criminally undersung restaurant in St. Paul. The food he’s preparing is inventive, comforting, and the room is utterly romantic. Add to that a wine program that really pours beautifully for the money and—I don’t know why you’re still reading this. Get those weekend dinner reservations tied down. You are running out of weekdays fast! 128 Cleveland Ave. N., St. Paul, 651-645-4128, the128cafe.com