For 53 years, the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra has engaged eardrums with a vast repertoire of classical masterpieces and 128 newly commissioned works, earning 15 ASCAP awards for its adventurous programming. This season, the distinguished troupe hosts a quintet of internationally acclaimed artistic partners, a group that consists of visiting conductors, singers, fog horns, and musicians whose varied styles diversify the orchestra's huge selection of performances. During a marathon concert season, the orchestra's nimble bows and lusty horns leap and dash through the notes of Mendelssohn, Schubert, Haydn, and Mozart in dozens of concert dates. Awe strikes audiences during a rousing performance of Beethoven's Piano Concerto No. 1 (November 25–27), and Dawn Upshaw—recipient of a rare MacArthur Genius Award—sings sweetly in "Upshaw Sings Ravel and Debussy" (February 16 and 18). Many Friday and Saturday performances also include free preconcert discussions, which bring scholars, guest artists, conductors, and musicians to chat with audiences about the upcoming performance and their favorite mac 'n' cheese recipes.
The year 1927 saw Babe Ruth’s Yankees dominate pro baseball and the precursor to Big Louie's Bar and Grill—Main Street Tavern—open in Minneapolis. In addition to depicting athletes from that bygone era, the Big Louie’s menu catalogs an array of traditional American bar and grill fare. From boneless wings to fish ‘n’ chips, the cuisine roster has even more depth than the famed Yankees lineup of ’27. The restaurant further establishes its entertainment value by hosting karaoke and bingo and by not allowing recitations of real-estate-law books.
A bright illustration of a burger and beer towers over Adrian's Tavern, inviting the neighborhood inside to enjoy sandwiches and brews. Since its origins as a steak house in 1931, Adrian's has remained a family-owned-and-operated establishment run by Jim and Karen Pratt. Nine varieties of burgers, craft and domestic beers, and red and white wines satisfy dinnertime hungers and thirsts. The bar welcomes kids with an extensive child-friendly menu, and old-fashioned pinball machines and video games offer families alternative entertainment to staring contests with Grandpa.
BayView Event Center takes on the gustatory burden of planning parties, bridal events, or holiday gatherings with an expansive catering menu of gourmet appetizers and intricately arranged party platters. Soirees start on a bite-size note with starters that include an assortment of toasted and seasoned baguette canapés ($58 for 25 pieces), such as roasted pork dolloped with a savory jalapeño-and-blackberry marmalade. Salads and veggie, fruit, meat, cheese, and bread platters serve 12–18 people or 300–400 famished pixies. Deadliest catch the chilled Atlantic salmon plate ($75), a piscatorial trencher that dresses the eponymous fish as cold smoked lox with a dill-mustard sauce and capers, plank-grilled with mango salsa, and sous vide with a basil garlic-butter infusion. International dishes, such as the mediterranean platter ($90), inspire guests to pen odes to Grecian urns while munching on morsels such as spanakopita (miniature spinach pies), stuffed roma greek salad with an ouzo aioli, and beef and chicken gyro roulades with tzatziki sauce.
Steel Toe Brewery's founder was a home brewer, fermenting beer in his bedroom overnight, until the gurgling sounds of the carboy began to disturb his wife's sleep. Origin stories like these are just one of the attractions of Taproom Tours' brewery tours, which also explore the Belgian yeast of Boom Island Brewing, celebrate session ales at 612 Brew, and enable sud savoring in the wood-paneled taproom at Indeed Brewing Company. Visitors taste sample brews at each location, and, helped along by a knowledgeable guide, explore the breweries' inner workings until they have learned every yeast strain's first name and favorite sports team.
Paul Werni had a lot of time on his hands. After relinquishing the successful landscaping business he helmed for 10 years, his mind wandered to thoughts of what he might do next. A love of well-crafted spirits eventually turned his attentions to books on distillation, which in turn brought him to workshops across the country and tours of distilleries in Austria and Germany. With a few in-depth lessons with experts from a Christian Carl distillery, Werni finally learned enough to create refined, flawless libations, and his own distillery was born. Lauded by critics and connoisseurs alike, 45th Parallel Distillery distills quality vodka pours from local ingredients and zero additives, overseeing the entire process from grain to bottle within its facility. In addition to 45th Parallel Vodka—a name derived from the line of latitude on which France's Bordeaux region, Italy’s Piedmont region, and Vermont's Appletini region lie—the distillery also fills bottles with whiskey, limoncello, and Midwest vodka and gin, a budget-friendly alternative to top-shelf spirits that pairs well with mixers or stands alone for delicious home imbibing.