Kathleen Celebrates on Sunday!

Do wop was playing and we all wore name tags and we had to write what decade in which we became friends! One guest was from the 40's. Imagine! And forty four friends of Kathleen gathered for a leisurely Sunday get-to-gether with apps starting at 4 and dinner buffet served at 6. Lots of good conversation among all the "ages" of friends and then Connie, who has been cutting Kathleen's hair for just over half of Kathleen's life, brought out the "Birthday Surprise." Na ta ekatostiseis, Ekaterina! (May you live to be a 100!)

We Took Creative License!

When Larry and Karen decided to celebrate his 50th Birthday at the Gardens--the "neighborhood go-to" when they were newly weds, we didn't know what we were in for! In any case over a dozen musicians showed up with a LOT of gear and the place jammed and Larry, more than any one else. While guests were treated to huge trays of Boughatsas, Gyros meat and saganaki, Larry and his band played all-out for their enjoyment.

As Touted in "100 Local Tastes" of City Pages' Restaurant Edition: "The Gardens Mousakas...a Winter Warm-up"

In over twenty years of business we have never had to consider removing Mousakas and it popular, over-achiever off-shoot, Veggie Mousakas, from the menu. After last months killer freeze in Mexico, however, the landscape was forever changed. Eggplant cannot be found for even less than double the standard price and if so, not in good condition. So when we found the four remaining cases at the Co-op Partners Warehouse we were in a quandary: should we prepare the two most popular dishes, Melitzana and Mousakas, until the eggplant ran out or should we eliminate one in preference for the other?

No "Soup Nazi" That One! Grandson and Namesake of the Most Authentically Colorful Restaurateur West of the Rockies

Baby Laz surveys his Kingdom from his rocky perch...what a winsome boy, that one.

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.