Food & Drink

Cocoa powder.

While studying abroad in Venezuela, I, along with other students, would take overnight buses to the coast. It was there where I discovered cacao trees, which give us chocolate and is found growing as an understory tree.

Hesitant about eating out alone? Get over it—I have. Of course, my job necessitates frequent solo dining, but I’ve come to love it. What’s more, I often prefer it. Obviously, dining out by yourself is very different from dining as a couple or in a group.

We asked local wine experts for the best pairings of the season and they responded with these suggestions to add an extra bit of savor to the palate of your party.

Trent Taher’s long fingers move quickly on his iPad screen as he scrolls through photos, his smile growing wider and his voice more animated as he reminisces. “Nobody really likes this, but it’s one of my favorite photos,” Taher says, grinning.

Of course you want your kids to eat well, but you also want them to taste a variety of flavors and experience the simple pleasure of enjoying meal.

It’s polite to say it’s agonizing to choose the best of the year. I ate so many amazing things in our area these last 11 months, but the chance to re-experience my favorites was pure, unadulterated joy.

Let us consider the prosaic potato. Sound boring? Not so fast. The realm of the unsung tuber warrants a closer look.

Is there an app for that? Sure—an appetizer, that is—and with it, a well-matched glass of wine. Chefs who value first impressions strut their stuff with starters, which explains why a restaurant’s appetizers can be more interesting than the entrées.

Looking to shake up your Halloween routine? Sure, there’s the costumes and trick-or-treating, but what to do beforehand? It falls on a Wednesday this year, so throw together a family dinner or neighborhood bash with our version of this haunted holiday two ways.

Chanhassen Haskell’s franchise owner Mark O’Connor is someone worth chatting with if you’re interested in your next best holiday wine.