Category Archives: Web

Ole Store Restaurant – food blog

I’ve enjoyed writing about the Ole Store Restaurant in Northfield, MN. Read my latest blog post profiling their seasonal entrees. (Photos and written content by Amy Acheson.) 

As the brisk autumn air turns to winter, the Ole Store Restaurant is busy preparing some warm and oh-so-good seasonal dishes inside.

Harvest time displays a color-rich palette of our region’s bounty that ripens into vibrant tones of mustard gold, deep apricot, crimson berry and toasted walnut hues.

The Ole Store, an upscale neighborly establishment, celebrates the season with an appetizing menu colored by locally produced ingredients. Chef Chris Basina and the Ole Store’s talented culinary team bring fresh insight to create a tasteful selection of fine foods that can be paired with wine and craft beers.

As we enter the cold weather season, warm up to these delicious thoughts —

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The Roasted Garlic Plate is an appetizer to share. Build your own bites from an assortment of delectable fare — caramelized, mild roasted garlic atop toasted baguettes with a taste of award-winning St. Pete’s Select blue cheese. Try the country-style coarse dark ale mustard for a hearty spread. Fresh pear slices and homemade pear butter, created by the Ole Store’s own sous-chef, adds another layer to this palate-pleasing, savory-meets-sweet sensation.

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Another favorite served family style is the Crab Louie. A classic in its own right, this one is piled high in goodness.  Chef Basina adds his own twist to the traditional dish by dressing up the East Coast jumbo lump crab with a slash of color. “We took it a step further by composing it with a salad to build a flavor profile that’s exciting,” said Basina. Added to the 1000 Island dressing option is a new smoked-tomato vinaigrette created right in their kitchen using a four-hour smoking process. Hard-boiled eggs, red onion, kalamata olives, avocado, artichokes, feta cheese, capers and carrots stack up to make you feel like a king served at a table of white linen.

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Along the lines of seafood is the Cedar-Planked Salmon. Again, it’s about the overall experience at the Ole Store. The aroma of the salmon smoked on a red-wine soaked cedar plank is just one of the elements. The salmon itself is carefully sourced from a researched and reputable supplier in the Faroe Islands that believes in environmental stewardship and best practices when it comes to ocean food. This entrée is served with butternut squash risotto with caramelized walnuts, pear butter sauce and chef’s vegetable.

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Locally procured grass-fed beef from 1000 Hills Cattle Company in Cannon Falls is on the Ole Store’s select menu. The aged NY strip is a choice piece that has been hand-cut and is charbroiled to perfection. This tender and juicy entrée is served with your choice of potato — Yukon mashed, au gratin, twice baked sweet potato or french fries plus a chef’s vegetable. For the cheese connoisseur, you can opt to add local award-winning St. Pete’s Select cheese to your steak.

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Pizza never sounded so good. This rustic flatbread is presented with a 16-hour smoked spiced pulled pork and caramelized butternut squash. House made rolled crust is drizzled with olive oil; the garlic bakes in with the melting bubbly mozzarella and chevre while fresh sage is chopped and tossed on top.

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Why have plain old pumpkin pie when you can have Pumpkin Tiramisu? This dessert dappled in layers of airy silkiness and smoothness is similar to the original recipe which paddles in whipped cream, mascarpone cheese with accents of liquor and coffee, but the Ole Store’s version offers a unique autumn edge. Basina turns the leaf with this light pumpkin-filled dessert by sprinkling in crushed gingersnaps and folding in aromatic autumn spices reminiscent of fall’s finest moments … leaving a lasting impression, as the delicate taste-full texture is really an experience worth having.

 — written by Amy Acheson

 

 

 

Recalling History through its Sights and Sounds

The following is a blog post written for the Preservation Alliance of Minnesota.

If you’re an avid music lover and have a high interest in history, you’re going to want to take a trip to southern Minnesota, August 1-4, for the Vintage Band Festival as it relives the sights and sounds of past eras in a variety of genres, heritage influences and period-style performances.

Over 100 concerts will take place in the town of Northfield — from parks, to pavilions to pubs — music will resonate in our state. Several surrounding cities have also joined in as festival satellite concert sites creating an exciting music & history tour of the towns.

Over 30 brass and wind bands are invited, ranging from international performers to nationally recognized vintage bands to Midwestern vintage ensembles to Minnesota-based bands. Listen to community bands such as the Sheldon Theatre Brass Band,  Lake Wobegon© Brass Band and the official band of the our state, the Minnesota State Band. Other Twin Cities ensembles such as the Brass Messengers, Copper Street Brass Quintet and Jack Brass Band will also take to the stage. Hear the distinct sounds of heritages, as with the music of the Mariachi Mi Terra Band, Ameriikan Poijat, Klezmerica, Matterhorn Alphorns and the Bavarian Musiklmeisters to name a few.

Enjoy the works of famous composers from centuries ago and the mellow sounds of vintage instruments restored from past eras. Sheet music passed down through the generations or discovered in the archives at the New York Library of Congress are played, while others are transcribed into modern notation from distant lands. Each live rendition is a glimpse into the history of our world as music preserves and recalls a sense of time, place, and culture.

According to the Festival’s Artistic Director Dr. Paul Niemisto, “Music is one of the most engaging and emotional ways to relive history. Each of us has many personal experiences with this. A whole festival devoted to memories through music is a fantastic opportunity.”

Between the different genres, artistic renditions, ethnic influences and collections of music over the ages, the repertoire for this festival is one you will not want to miss.

Amy Acheson is a volunteer with the Preservation Alliance of Minnesota and is also a promoter of the Vintage Band Festival in Northfield where she lives and works as an independent communications consultant.

Be Local … Buy Local Campaign

Acheson Creative proposed concepts and was hired to develop a community-wide “Be Local … Buy Local” campaign, collaborating with several key partners to: gather input, design a logo, online and print banner ads, window decals, and a website in addition to writing and designing several space ads for the cause.

 

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