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

The Black Stallion of Hampton is a bit of the old time supper club. Prime rib is the specialty of the house with all you can seafood at times. The decor is a bit dated but over all it is a fantastic piece of Americana. This type of place is being replaced all over America with the fast food and specialty restaurant chains. If you want the same exact thing that you can get in any chain restaurant anywhere in America then you might be disappointed as this. If you want the real deal of a family owned restaurant that offers a full menu then you will be delighted.

Add in a lively bar crowd for the frequent live music and I think you have a hit for a great stop in a small town eating place. Almost every night features a different act or type of music. They have a little bit of something for everyone. Texas Holdem night is the one I would not want to miss. Come in for the food and stay for the drinks is more then just a motto.

Located right on 52 in Hampton this is one of those places that you can’t miss.

This is the latest in my ongoing quest for dinner restaurants open on
Sundays. In response to some buzz about The Black Stallion in Hampton, I
decided to check it out. Knowing this place has changed hands over the
years I decided to bring a long time Cannon Falls resident along for
historic comparison sake! We arrived to live music in the bar (remember
this was Sunday) which started about 8pm. It was not loud, and this
provided an alive feel to the place. Moreover, there is nowhere in
Cannon Falls with live music after 5pm on any night, at least to my
knowledge – so that is duly noted. I understand they have live piano
music in the dining room on weekends (and other live music later). The
baby grand sitting in the dining room supports this theory, plus it
looks nice – so, win, win! The d?cor is, well, not too bad and about
what you might expect – they do have a patio off the bar now, or maybe
it was always there, not sure – but there were people using it which I
don’t recall seeing before. However, there is a plan for a deck off the
back, and overlooking the baseball field, which is even more intriguing.
We’ll check back. In the mean time, my Cannon Falls advisor noted the
d?cor is a bit more cheery, and a bit kitschy – but better than it has
been in many years – faint hints of elegance here and there, but missing
a bronze bust of Dean Martin or Frank Sinatra. As I understand it, this
was a really great place for many years and then went into slight
disarray in recent years. But overall, we agreed it was generally
pleasant AND you can see outside. There is no fu-fu on the menu here,
this is the 1970’s supper club menu we all know, comfort food, steaks,
chicken, fish and a variety of very familiar sides. We started off with
some onion rings, which were tasty, seemingly homemade and not greasy.
Over at the bar they know how to make a martini, and they have some
decent call liquor. Nothing on tap that you don’t see advertised every
day, but they have a few good bottled beer selections – which they pour
into a glass for you (and I tell you it is the little things!) The
ribs are very good, substantial, tender, good BBQ sauce. I tried the
walleye which was broiled with herbs and served up flaky with drawn
butter and rice. Well, with whatever you want, you have a good variety
of sides from various potatoes to soup from which to choose to accompany
each entr?e. Good classic dinners for the price. And yep, the hash
browns were downright top notch, which evidently was a hallmark at one
point in their history. Totally expected, but always mystifying to me is
the bagged iceberg lettuce salad with a slice of onion and a couple
cherry tomatoes. One thing I noticed they have is good service, the
nuanced kind where you don’t notice that your plates are cleared, water
is filled, and other needs are met with no asking – further, no one is
trying to up-sell you dessert… So, place your bets – this Black Stallion
could give Wiederholdt’s a run for their money in next year’s run for
the area supper club title.