I finally succeeded in checking the Crossings at Carnegie out, drawn by the Prudence
Johnson show. They have an amazing line-up of musicians – especially
for such a small place and town. It is kind of like our area’s Cedar
Cultural Center. From Cannon Falls, Zumbrota is an easy 20-mile drive
straight down Hwy-52 so there are just two stoplights between here and
The Crossings at Carnegie. However, very unlike the CCC, The Crossings
stage is set right in the middle of the gallery / gift shop, which
provides plenty of artistic visual stimuli. For example, there is an
exhibit right now called “Silverwhere”, which is, well, silverware
sculpture. And, right behind Dean McGraw (played Guitar with Prudence
and arranged some of the songs), there was a life size (blue) heron made
from silverware. As far as the show, Dean and Prudence were accompanied
by Michelle Kinney on cello, and the trio played almost exclusively
traditional folk music from the 16th to the 19th century – much of which
I would consider to be from “the path less traveled” – and quite
entertaining. Prudence’s angelic vocals combined with Dean’s excellent
picking and Michelle’s cello integrated beautifully, the light
amplification was probably not truly necessary. The C@C (as I have
come to call it) has a small but decent selection of wine and beer, as
well as some fresh baked goods. It is a small place, so no matter where
you sit you will be able to count the freckles on the face of the
musicians, and there is no reserved seating. You will be slightly more
comfortable if you bring a chair pillow as the seating is just folding
chairs. Most of their shows are either Friday or Saturday and usually
start around 8pm. You can also bring a portable water bottle and
repeatedly fill it with LaCrosse water. However, they don’t sell or
allow bottled water.

Crossings Gallery and Gift Shop
320 East Avenue
Zumbrota, MN 55992

So we made it over to the Cannon Golf Club for dinner last weekend, in
part because I had been meaning to experience their patio. Well, that,
and we wanted a decent dinner on a Sunday night. If you are not
familiar, this patio is pretty nice – umbrella tables, which are wrought
iron and solid, and a beautiful view of the course from slight
elevation. I would suggest some flower pots or a little more color
somehow, but already (and this is not a huge achievement, but…) this is
the best outdoor restaurant/bar patio within a few miles of Downtown
Cannon Falls. I suspect they might invest more in it if it was
patronized. For reference, this was one of those perfect days, 75
degrees with low humidity, very light breeze, clear blue evening sky.
Plus, it was Sunday, so it might have been the only restaurant with any
patio that was open. And? No one was outside. All the other patrons
were inside. All of them. Sure, they were happily eating and drinking
in there. I find that quite bizarre. But enough about that. On this
visit, I discovered the walleye fingers – which were beautiful, large
pieces of walleye deep fried in a light and crunchy classic batter. I
know it’s simple, but this can get messed up pretty easy – plus it was
substantial. These were not those silly corporate restaurant fingers,
this is closer to what you get when you bring your Canadian fishing trip
catch back to grandma’s and she whips out a deep fryer from a back
cupboard and it gets to be a feast. I also discovered the cranberry
vinaigrette dressing, which was not only tasty but worked as an
interesting alternative dipping sauce for the fish. The bottom line is
this is a solid restaurant with a nice patio that is open on Sunday. I
urge you to recall this the next nice day you are looking for a nice
outdoor dining experience in Cannon Falls, ANY day of the week.