It's as if space and time have ruptured to create a secret portal between New York City and the Canlis parking lot: The restaurant just announced another cool popup: Christina Tosi's Milk Bar will set up shop here for a single day in August.
This warm and fuzzy empire of personality-packed sweets began as the dessert offshoot of chef David Chang's restaurant group, but Tosi grew Milk Bar into its own formidable entity, one built on cornflake-capped soft serve flavored with cereal milk, and oh god—cookies so good I haul dozens back from any New York trip to hoard and distribute to people I hold in high esteem.
This time, however, Tosi's the one making the cross-country trip: She and her crew will pop up in the Canlis parking lot for a one-day ice cream social and bake sale from 12–4pm on Sunday, August 12. They will bring their famed cereal milk soft serve and slices of crack pie, plus a host of Milk Bar's truffles (birthday and chocolate malt) and cookies. Specifically the confetti and corn cookies, the cornflake-chocolate chip-marshmallow number, and, yesssss, the compost cookie (made with pretzels, potato chips, coffee, oats, graham cracker, butterscotch, chocolate chips) with its perfect salty-sweet-savory trinity.
To counteract potential sugar crash, Canlis chef Brady Williams—maybe you saw him on the cover of Food and Wine recently?—will do his interpretation of country fair food: turkey legs, corn on the cob, corn dogs, fried cheese on a stick, and popcorn. A Canlis rendition of fried cheese sounds like something that would only happen in a marvelous dream.
And, awww: Attendees can pose for a picture (specifically a Polaroid) with Tosi, then decorate it in a craft tent. And yes, of course there will be special Milk Bar–themed friendship bracelets.
The shape of this is much like the June Shake Shack popup: Admission is free; you pay by the item for food and drinks (beer, wine spritzers, soda, bottled water). The back parking lot will be full of carnival games, family friendly activities, and live music from the Tallboys.
A $50 donation to the Queen Anne Farmers Market gets you a VIP ticket, and the ability to arrive an hour early, bypass the presumably bananas lines, and get a cool poster designed by the artist Marisol Ortega and autographed by Tosi. VIP passes will be sold only at the Queen Anne Farmers Market on August 2 and August 9 and each one covers two early entries.
Canlis is billing this as its second Parking Lot Chef Series, a casual counterpoint to its more intimate visiting chef dinners. As with the Shake Shack popup, Tosi has a secret Canlis connection; her husband, Will Guidara, sits on the restaurant's board. Another similarity—it's bound to be crowded, so public transit, bikes, or ride shares to nearby Thomas C. Wales park will be your friend.
Of course, the Shake Shack popup was a predecessor to its first Seattle location opening this fall. Milk Bar's been in expansion mode of late. Come on, karma, do your thing.