Tackling stage fright
Perhaps the thought of bellowing out a tune before a room full of friends and strangers petrifies you, but how about reciting lines from your favorite movie? The Local, 931 Nicollet Mall, is now hosting "Movieoke" on Sunday nights, beginning at 9 p.m.
A takeoff on karaoke, movieoke performers choose a scene from a movie and recite the lines from the scene while the movie is shown silently in the background. Meanwhile, the lines are displayed on a screen to prompt the performer.
The movieoke trend reportedly began in New York City area bars and restaurants. However, it was brought to Minneapolis only after one of The Local's bartenders discovered it in Belfast, Ireland; upon his return, he convinced the owners to spawn a local version. Bobby, the aforementioned bartender, is now the event's host.
Marketing and Promotions Manager John Cosgrove, says the list of 80-100 movies is expanding, but so far, popular selections have been "Caddyshack," "Stripes" and "The Big Lebowski." He points out that there is much less of fear reciting movie lines than singing a song. "The most unlikely people get up there and find that they can put on a perfect impression of someone. They've probably been holding back for years," Cosgrove said.
He recounts one of the most entertaining performances of late, a couple which performed the "fake orgasm" scene from "When Harry Met Sally."
The weekly series has lured in business on a night that is usually dead for restaurants and bars. In particular, it has been a hit with people in the restaurant industry. "Sunday night is like Friday night for restaurant people, and a lot of them have been aspiring actors," Cosgrove explained. The event is co-sponsored by Finnegan's, and each valiant soul who takes the stage receives a free pint.
Marianne Miller, whose most recent food industry credit was head chef at the now-defunct Red, joined the ranks at Bobino, 222 Hennepin Ave. E., in February. While the kitchen has held to the practice of using local, seasonal ingredients, Miller is injecting the cuisine with new techniques. Classically trained in French technique, she emphasizes methods such as poaching and braising, and a streamlined approach to menu design.
"I stay away from Asian ingredients and fusion. I am going for a simpler, more rich and decadent menu. I'm bored with the Asian influence," Miller said.
A particular favorite with the clientele is the seared and butter-poached halibutshe introduced.
To describe her approach to cooking, Miller said, "If the menu reads as it is, that's what people will get. I'm not trying to be funny with names. I'm returning to a quieter time before the culinary scene took off with foams, et cetera. I did that, but there's nowhere to transition from that."
On the heels of recent temperature increases, Bobino's outdoor patio is also now open, and the restaurant will be serving a special a la carte menu on Mother's Day. In particular, Miller speaks highly of the souffl pancakes with homemade jam that will be served that day.
Prices at Bobino range from about $3-12 for first courses and $23-28 for main courses.
Morton's Twins Night
If spring has awakened your appetite for baseball, here's an opportunity to meet the local pros. Torii Hunter and Jacques Jones will be joined by their Minnesota Twins teammates at the second annual Twins Night event at Morton's, 555 Nicollet Mall, Monday, May 16, 6-9 p.m. The event is $125 per person and includes "up close and personal" time with the players, a Morton's buffet, cocktails and a silent auction. Proceeds benefit the Major League Baseball Players Trust, an organization that gives players the chance to volunteer in support of causes they believe in.
Three Mother's Day spots
Mell's Beauty Bar, 606 Washington Ave. N., will hold its annual Mother's Day brunch to benefit the Susan G. Komen foundation for breast cancer. The brunch is $15 per person for a brunch buffet, or $30 for the buffet plus a manicure or massage and a complimentary drink.
Sapor, 428 Washington Ave. N., has just started doing Sunday brunch and will offer it on Mother's Day. The price for a prix fixe menu, that includes two courses, plus sweet and savory breads, is $14.95. Items are also available a la carte. A couple of items being served that day are a raspberry crostata, a crepe with pear-butter ricotta, and chicken and biscuits with poached eggs. The brunch menu will change weekly.
McCormick & Schmick's, 800 Nicollet Mall, is also opening its doors early, at 11 a.m., to offer a Mother's Day seafood brunch buffet for $21.95 per person.
Farmers' markets are open
The Minneapolis Farmers' Market season has commenced. The main location at 312 Lyndale Ave. N., running daily, opened April 23 and the Nicollet Mall market on Thursdays opened April 28.
D'Amico wine dinner
D'Amico Cucina, 100 N. 6th St., will host a wine dinner featuring the wines of Angelo Gaja on Monday, May 16, at 7:00 p.m. The Gaja family founded a vineyard in Barbaresco, Italy, in 1859. The cost of the four-course dinner is $125 per person. Gaia Gaja, daughter of Angelo and spokesperson for the winery, will be a special guest.