I’m back at the Eyeo Festival for the 4th consecutive year, hoping to absorb some of the creative energy that takes place every June in lovely Minneapolis. As usual, there are a handful of folks who will be sharing their insights in ways that can help me to perfect my craft, but I also look forward to a surprise or two that forces me to re-imagine possibilities. In addition to the great events taking place within the Eyeo sphere, I always look forward to a bit of dining and drinking while here, partaking of the increasingly exciting restaurant and brewery scenes in MSP, and will put in a few words about the establishments visited while here. Finally, each day I plan to add a post recapping the previous day’s events and my take on what it all means.
Among the folks I’m looking forward to hearing from:
- Giorgia Lupi and Stefanie Posavec as opening night keynote speakers. Each of these talented ladies are Eyeo regulars who possess fantastic artistic abilities that trigger my imagination. While I could never hope to duplicate their respective artistry, their visual ideas inspire me to think about the many ways data can be displayed.
- Ben Fry is back after a year’s absence, and will no doubt share some impressive work done at his Fathom studio
- Amanda Cox of the New York Times visualization team is back, and will have some outstanding work to show
Now for the food aspect. After arriving 3+ hours behind schedule, I still managed to make the 1.2 mile walk from the hotel to the trendy North Loop area for a bite or two at Spoon and Stable, one of the hottest venues in town. Fortunately, there is available bar seating with access to both the bar and full menus, so walk-ins can be accommodated, especially late on a Sunday evening. Created inside a former stable building, the restaurant has a great vibe, friendly staff, and a creative menu that includes items ranging from duck meatloaf sliders through Colorado lamb. I consulted with one of the bartenders and wound up having bison tartare followed by spaghetti nero (squid ink pasta with octopus, mussels, and prawns), accompanied by a bit of red wine (there is a nice selection of local beer available as well). Both dishes were flavorful, creative, and delicious, and the overall experience was very favorable.
Tonight is likely to see a return visit (I’ve been the previous 3 years) to Black Sheep Pizza for some of their outstanding coal-fired pie, before taking the walk down to the Guthrie Theater for opening night. More to come tomorrow.by