Recommended: Jeffrey Hatcher's "Mrs. Mannerly" and Cafe Ena

By anne
June 29, 2007 - 00:14.

There are certain events you just don’t want to miss. For some, it is shopping on the day after Thanksgiving. For others, it’s the 4th of July fireworks. For me, it’s the opening night of a Jeffrey Hatcher play.

Last night’s Hatchery was an amusing slice of autobiography showcasing super-funny Phyllis Wright as Jeffrey, age 7, and the wry and witty Barbara June Patterson as the playwright’s real-life etiquette instructor and title character, Mrs. Mannerly. The dialogue drew a steady rhythm of chuckles from the audience as well as from Hatcher himself—evidence that the actors did justice to his work.

Among its themes, Mrs. Mannerly deals with dueling desires: wanting to be recognized as special—to be judged “the best”—and hoping to fit in with one’s peers, so as not be judged at all. It is a struggle that doesn’t always end, even into old age. Frankly, I wouldn’t have believed that a second-grader could be as precocious as Jeffrey apparently was, except that I actually know a kid like that. His name is Dexter. Parents of same, you know who you are, and you must see this play!

The first of three plays in the 2007 Fresh Ink Series at Illusion Theater, Mrs. Mannerly runs through Sunday, July 8. Tickets are a steal at $12 adults, $10 students/seniors. To order tickets, click here or call the Illusion box office at 612-339-4944.

Before the play, my girlfriend and I dined at the new Cafe Ena, serving “Latin fusion cuisine” at 46th & Grand in South Minneapolis. It’s delicious! From our outdoor table we enjoyed people-watching as we sipped rosé wine flights. For $8 I got three 2-oz. pours: a Loire Valley Gamay/Cabernet Franc (pleasantly dry with a slight rhubarb tang), Red Guitar from the Navarre region of northern Spain (too syrupy for me but I know people who love the stuff), and a summery Sicilian Nero d’Avola from Lamura (my favorite of the three, and less than $10 in wine shops).

It’s worth noting that you can get a rosé wine from any red grape…you simply pluck the skins out of the process before fermentation. Rosés are just as much fun to taste as reds, and they’re very nice with salads and fish or anything else on the grill.

Cafe Ena gave my friend and me the taste of “somewhere else” that we were craving. We split the colorful Cangrejo salad (crab meat, mangoes, cucumber, red pepper, hearts of romaine and black sesame seeds with citrus vinaigrette), then shared two entrées: the Corvina filet wrapped in banana leaf with a smoky guajillo sauce (mmm!) and the Argentinian steak with a green chimichuri sauce and a lovely Argentinian potato salad. Plenty of steak was left for lunch!

Cafe Ena doesn’t have a website yet, but you can make reservations at 612-824-4441. Open for lunch and dinner at 4601 Grand Avenue South, Minneapolis. UPDATE! Cafe Ena website is up! Click here.

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