For Our Gluten-intollerant Guests: Swap Out the Complementary Pita for Romaine OR Artichoke Leaves

First batch of the season! May we suggest seasoned artichoke leaves to dip into your combo plates? Known since antiquity to be an aphrodisiac, artichokes make everything taste better. Use the leaves like a scoop to enjoy with your dips and sauces. Scrape the tender meat off the end of the leaf with your teeth to add even more flavor! When artichokes aren't available we are happy to provide whole romaine lettuce leaves--these can be sliced broadly and used like wraps, or use the rigid ribs to scoop and add texture to your palate!

TWO Ops for Celebratin Greek Independence Day w/the GREEK DANCERS OF MN!

Yes! Don't be confused, we are celebrating Greek Independence TWICE this year: as part of the Symposia. A Series IV. with Jeremy Iggers and a fundraiser for TC Media Alliance on Wed, March 23 from 6-9, $35/pp members, $40 non-members (make a donation of $10 and become a member) reserve at: http://bit.ly/SalonicaDinner. Second op is the actual date, March 25, Friday, 6-9pm, $30/pp. Seating AT BOTH is limited to 50 and is generally the same format: four-course, wine-paired, family-style menu that Anna will pair with the regions that the dancers will present through their costumes and dances.

You Thought St Patty's Day is a Gala Event: Now Celebrate like the Greeks Greek Independence Day Celebration: FRIDAY, March 25!

The kids have been saying it for years now, "we should really celebrate Greek Independence Day at the Gardens." This year we will. With our guests, the Greek Dancers of Minnesota returning from their debut at the Gardens just two days prior for Symposia. A Series VI, the troupe will perform dances from many of the different regions of Greece with host Dr. Angela Mortari introducing the particulars of each dance and costume. The menu, a four-course, Greek celebratory feast will include wine, fish, lamb and dessert. Seating is limited, so reserve soon. $30/pp. Time 6-9pm.

Where has all the Melitzana Gone? To Warmer Places.....

It's true....over two weeks ago and Killer Frost knocked off all the embryonic fingerlings on the eggplant crop. In January a 30-35lb case cost $16.20. Today, if you can find it, the cost is between $38 for 20 lbs and $57 for 30-35lb of wiggly, wilted, most likely browned inside, eggplant. What's an establishment to do? Espousing locally grown and seasonal...we have decided to temporarily omit Melitzana from our offerings--in house, take out, wholesale and retail.

Symposia. A Series V! Television News & the Changing Face of Journalism w/KARE 11's Rena Sarigianopoulos and Jana Shortal

Already our FIFTH Symposia. A Series, February 23 at 6pm to 9pm and our theme is TV Journalism. Greet! Meet! Eat! TV Journalists Rena and Jana will present their experiences and perspectives from over a decade of combined work in the profession. Guests will dine on four wine-paired courses of all-new offerings by Anna. RSVP's still available! (website, FaceBook, telephone.) Limit 30. $30/pp.

The Zen of Heart Cutting

It's been a while since I cut 24 or so hearts free hand to make individualized cards for my kids' pals on Valentines' Day. But there I was today, Saturday, cutting with my very good Whiskars, pink hearts to cover the Gioconda Truffles that are being sold at the Wedge and Hampden Coop as well as here at the Gardens for about $5.

After TWENTY Years, We've Hung Our Shingle!!

Just wait until you see it lit up!

The Tyranny of Tyro!

Over 20 years of working in the kitchen at Gardens, only one preparation defies my mastery and that is Tyro. An emulsion of feta with nearly double its volume of oils and peppers that is whirred in a commercial high-capacity food processor for nearly an hour, the "finishedness" of Tyro is understood as much by an audible drop in decibels as by its visual texture which runs the gamut of a thickly running latex to a fluffy mousse.

Gardens' BIG Bottles!

Why do we offer BIG bottles--otherwise known as Bomber Bottles? Because that's HOW they sell in Greece! On a hot day at the beach with a bag of chips...when you don't want to miss a moment of serene sea viewing, this portion of beer becomes a meal. From the Belgium Brewing Co we offer the ever popular Fat Tire and Ranger, a particularly hoppy beer as well as Crispin, squeezed from the Honey Crisp apple developed here at the the U of M Ag School! All three please with the Gyros!