Jul 072012

Cuisine: American, Fish & Seafood, Steaks, Chops
Restaurant Features: Bar, Banquet Room, Hotel, On-Site Parking
Location: White Bear Lake, MN
Address: 4940 Hwy 61 N White Bear Lake, MN • 651.653.6718
Hours:  Mon- Thurs 11am-1am *Fri-Sat 11-2am * Sun 9am- 12am  * Kitchen open until 12am
Links: Rudy’s Redeye Website * Rudy’s on FacebookGoogle Map
Atmosphere:  Located in the White Bear Country Inn & Suites just a few blocks from Downtown White Bear Lake, Rudy’s Red Eye Grill is a beautiful, elegant yet casual restaurant.  The walls are painted a rich red, with a handful of abstract paintings adorning the walls  and flower arrangements placed strategically.  The seating is a mix of tables and deep, dark booths along the outer walls.  The Bar Area is also a very popular spot, with several bistro tables as well as seating along the long, beautiful wooden bar.

Menu: Appetizers include Spinach Artichoke Dip, Jumbo Tabasco Onion Rings with Seasoned Sour Cream, Buffalo Wings with or without the Bone, Oysters Rockefeller, Oysters on the Half Shell, Jumbo Shrimp Cocktail, Crab Stuffed Mushrooms, New Orleans Shrimp, Brueschetta, Calamari, Chicken Kabobs, Walleye Cakes, Bull Bites, Walleye Fingers, Coconut Shrimp, and Tuna Taki.

Soups and Salads offered at Rudy’s include French Onion Gratin, Homemade Chicken Noodle, Soup Du Jour, Chili, House Salad, Iceberg Wedge with Bacon and Blue Cheese, Garbage Salad, Caesar Salad, BLT Cheddar, Oriental Chicken, Bleu Bistro, Rudy’s Chopped Salad, Seared Black & Bleu Tuna, Salmon Goat Cheese with Raspberry Vinaigrette, Calamari Caesar, and Redeye Sirloin with Creamy Horseradish Dressing.

Sandwiches come with french fries, fruit, coleslaw, pasta salad, or cottage cheese. Rudy Burger or Chicken Sandwich with BBQ Sauce, Cheddar, and Hickory Smoked Bacon, Grilled Portabella, Bacon Bleu Burger, Chicken Caesar Wrap, and Beer Battered Walleye Sandwich.

Pasta dishes include Fettuccini Alfredo (chicken or shrimp), Spaghetti and Meatballs, Seafood Scampi with Shrimp and Scallops, Sun-Dried Tortellini Pesto with Shrimp, Cajun Chicken Fettuccini, Lobster Ravioli, Seafood Fra Diablo, Baked Five Cheese Penne

Rudy’s Entrees are served with choice of potato.  Options include Angus Medallions, Prime Rib (limited availability), Ribeye: 20 oz. Served Bone-In, Redeye Marinated Sirloin, New York Strip: 16 oz. Served Bone-in, Cajun Combo: Two-4 oz. Blackened Medallions and 3 New Orleans Style Sauteed Shrimp, 8oz Filet Mignon, Blackened Pork Tenderloin topped with Bernaise, BBQ Pork Baby Back Ribs, Drunk n’ Dirty Pork Chop, Tomato Basil Grouper on Mashed Potatoes, Mozzarella Stuffed Chicken Breast with Marinara, Rudy’s Pan Fried Walleye, Coconut Shrimp, Fish n’ Chips, Pistachio Encrusted Alaskan Halibut, Bruschetta Salmon, Seared Scallops, Blue Ribbon Meatloaf, Blackened Ahi Tuna, Steak & Lobster, and Cold Water Lobster Tails.

Price guide: Appetizers $7-12 Salads $5-13 Sandwiches $9-12 Entrees $15-34
Happy Hour:

  • Everyday from 3 to 6 PM and 9 to 11 PM
  • $4.25 Appetizers
  • $2 off Tap Beer
  • $4 House Wine

Weekly Specials:

  • Sunday Breakfast Menu 10am-1pm
  • Pancakes, Breakfast Quesadilla, Pecan Encrusted French Toast, Eggs Benedict, Seafood Benedict, Breakfast Burrito, Steak & Eggs, Ham and Cheese Croissant, and Rudy’s Skillet (Diced ham, red pepper, green pepper, onion, potatoes, cheddar cheese, and scrambled eggs).  Omelets include Ham & Cheese Omelet, Veggie Omelet and Rudy’s Omelet.
  • Monday ~ 1/2 priced Bottles of Wine
  • Tuesday ~ $5 Ruditinis all day
  • Wednesday ~ $16 Walleye Entree

What we ordered: Several of my companions and I  started with Rudy’s famous house drink, The Ruditini. This cocktail comes in a  shaker filled with Stoli Razberi, pineapple juice, fresh lime juice, and a splash of cranberry juice. Comes with a shot of champagne to pour on top.

We were brought a big basket of Warm french rolls, served with a side of honey butter.  Delicious!

A couple of my companions started with an order of the Artichoke Spinach Dip ($9).  Served with toast and tortilla chips.  I did not try this but I have had it before and it is very good.

Another companion ordered the Bruschetta ($9).  The order came with six pieces of toast topped with fresh tomato, basil, olive oil, and melted parmigiano.  The order was drizzled with balsamic vinegar.

For my entree I ordered the Beer-Battered Walleye Sandwich ($12).  This sandwich came with a long, thick walleye fillet, heavily battered and deep fried with a side of steak fries.  Although the breading seemed a little on the thick side, the fish was quality walleye.

One of my companions ordered the Cajun Chicken Fettuccine Alfredo ($18), a bowl full of fettuccine alfredo topped with slices of cajun-spiced chicken breast.  This looked delicious, and as much as I think I might have liked it, it was very peppery and nearly too spicy for my companion to eat.

One companion ordered the Caesar Salad ($9), served with several whole leaves of romaine topped with homemade Caesar dressing, toasted croutons and freshly grated parmigiano.

One of my companions ordered the Mozzarella Chicken ($18), a large chicken breast stuffed with mozzarella cheese, then topped with marinara and more mozzarella cheese.  It was served with angelhair pasta with red sauce, and green beans.

Another companion ordered the Oriental Chicken Salad ($10).  This photo you see is actually the second salad served, as the first was below standard.  The salad which was remade looked far more appetizing and was topped with several slices of grilled chicken, served cold.  It was topped with a handful of wonton strips and served with a side of the Oriental dressing.

Another companion ordered the Pistachio Encrusted Halibut ($17).  This dish was served with green beans and choice of potato (mashed). Looked great!

Service: On this particular visit, our party of eight had reservations for 6pm on a busy Saturday evening.  The table was waiting for us when we got there and we were quickly seated.  We took our time, first ordering appetizers and cocktails, then later our entrees.  It was a very busy night and there were several other large parties at Rudy’s that night and it took an exceptionally long time (about an hour) for our entrees to be brought out to our table.  Despite the long wait, our server was apologetic and otherwise very accommodating.
Overall Impression: I have been to Rudy’s many times since they first opened in 2003 and they consistently deliver excellent food.  The food can often take longer than you would think necessary, so plan accordingly.
Rudy's Redeye Grill on Urbanspoon

Jun 102012

Cuisine: American, Barbeque, Pizza
Restaurant Features: Banquet Room, Bar, On-Site Parking
Location: Red Wing, MN
Address: 4243 Hwy 61  Red Wing, MN 55066  651-388-9866
Hours: Daily 11am
Links: Smokin’ Oak Website * Google Map

Atmosphere: Located on Hwy 61 just west of Downtown Redwing, The Smokin’ Oak is a stand-alone restaurant specializing in Rotisserie and Barbequed meats.  Greeting you as soon as you walk in the door is the oak-burning fire with a special rotisserie aparatus.

The restaurant is divided into a dining room on one side and a bar on the other.  The dining room is nothing fancy, just a handful of tables spread out and a row of booths along a couple of the walls.  It felt more like a diner than a barbeque joint and wasn’t particularly busy on a beautiful Monday evening (Memorial Day).

The bar area is small but there are a handful of booths that run along the outer walls.  There are a couple of nice flat screen TVs hanging above the bar and several beers on tap.

Menu: Appetizers at The Smokin’ Oak include Fully Loaded Potato Skins, Bull Bites, Smokin’ Oak BBQ Nachos, Rotisserie Chicken Quesadilla, Wood-Fired Wings (served with Buffalo, Teriyaki or BBQ), Boneless Wings, Artichoke Dip, Artichoke Bites, Onion Rings, and  Cheese Curds.

Salads offered include House Salad, Rotisserie Chicken, Classic Caesar with Chicken, Grilled Steak, Mandarin Chicken, Oriental Chicken, and Orange Sesame Salad.  There is also a Soup du Jour and a Soup, Salad and Bread combo.

Wood Grilled Burgers include Classic, Smokehouse BBQ with Bacon, Mushroom and Swiss, Juicy Lucy, Philly Burger, The Big Bleu, California Burger, and The Big Oak (topped with brisket and cheddar).

Sandwiches are served with french fries or sweet potato fries and beans or coleslaw.  You can upgrade to onion rings for $1.50 extra.  Options include Pulled Pork, Rotisserie Chicken, Beef Brisket, Memphis-Stule Pulled Pork, Chicken & Bacon Ranch, Spicy Rotisserie Chicken, Pesto Chicken, The Burnside Steak Sandwich, The Re-Done Reuben, Southwest Brisket Sandwich, and Philly Steak Sandwich.

Rotisserie Dinners offered at The Smokin’ Oak include Rotisserie Chicken Dinner, BBQ Chicken Dinner, Southern-Style Brisket Dinner, Pork Tenderloin, House Ribs, and Chicken and Rib Combo.

Smokin’ Oak also has steaks including Prime Rib (10 or 16oz), Sirloin (8 or 16oz), and Filet Mignon (6 oz).  Make it a combo by adding shrimp, crab legs or 4-bone rib.

Dinner Entrees include Walleye, Jumbo Shrimp, Salmon, King Crab, Chicken N Biscuits, Beef Stroganoff, Jumbo Shrimp Scampi, Sizzling Fajitas, Carne Asada, and Chicken or Shrimp Alfredo.

Stone-Fired Pizzas include The Viking, Chicken and Ranch, House of Bleu, Barbeque, Maui Wowie, Club Med, The Classic, Veggie Classic, Chicken Alfredo and Classic Cheese.
Price guide: Appetizers $7-10  Burgers/Sandwiches $8-13 Rotisserie Meats $13-26  Entrees $11-19

Happy Hour:

  •  3:00 to 6:00 Monday thru Friday
  • $1 off rail drinks and domestic bottles
  • $5 Pint and Jumbo wood fired wings
  • $3.75 Cuervo margaritas on the rocks
  • $2.00 off select appetizers.

Weekly Specials:

Monday ~ Mexican Night
What we ordered: We skipped right past the appetizers and ordered our entrees.  I ordered the Pesto Chicken Sandwich ($10), which was very good. The rotisserie chicken was tossed with fresh pesto and balsamic vinegar, then topped with feta cheese, thinly sliced red onion, and roasted red peppers. It was served on a hoagie roll that was too soft.  I loved it and will try to recreate it at home.  A nice and somewhat light summer meal.  The sandwich comes with chips but I upgraded to onion rings for $2.

My companion ordered the Chicken and Ribs Combo ($19) which came with half a rotisserie chicken, four bones of very meaty pork ribs, baked beans and coleslaw.  The smoke from the oak really gave it great flavor but they were also well seasoned.

We both wanted to try the Beef Brisket ($14), so we ordered that as well to take with us. The order came with four thick slices of beef brisket, a side of fries, coleslaw,  baked beans and garlic toast.  The brisket had an average amount of fat on it,which made it juicy and gave it nice flavor.  The beans and the coleslaw were ordinary but good, the french fries were the only thing that wasn’t the greatest and that was simply because they were under cooked and not at all crispy.  An extra minute or two in the fryer could have alleviated that issue, otherwise everything was very good.

Service: We had very good service at The Smokin’ Oak.  We were promptly greeted and shown to our table on a not-so-busy Memorial Day.  Our server greeted us within minutes, took our drink orders, and told us that Monday is Mexican night.  She then presented us with a specialty menu.  After she took our order, it took about 15 minutes for the food to arrive.  She was great about keeping our drinks filled and promptly brought us our check when we had finished eating.
Overall Impression: The Smokin’ Oak delivers delicious rotisserie meats smoked over an open fire as well as a selection of other tasty menu items.  The service is good and the restaurant is conveniently located on Hwy 61 with its own parking lot.  Definitely try it out next time you’re in Red Wing!

Feb 262012

Disclosure: I was invited out to do this review and my meal was provided by Morrissey HospitalityAll opinions are my own.

Cuisine: Italian
Restaurant Features: Banquet, Bar, Valet Parking
Location: St Paul, MN (Downtown)
Address: 360 St. Peter Street, Saint Paul, MN 55102 651.223.7000
Hours: Daily 4-11pm
Links: Pazzaluna Website * Pazzaluna on Facebook * Google Map

Atmosphere: Located Downtown St Paul on St Peter Street, Pazzaluna is in the heart of St Paul’s entertainment district , putting it within walking distance of The Ordway, Xcel Energy Center, Roy Wilkins Auditorium and the Science Museum of Minnesota.  The space is big and open, with the bar area greeting you when you first enter and the dining room taking up the remainder of the space.  The dining room actually has two tiers; an upper and lower.  The upper dining area has a separate room with French doors that can be used for private parties.  There are a handful of round booths but otherwise all of the tables in the dining room can easily be arranged for parties of various sizes.

The Kitchen at Pazzaluna is big and open, the center of which is a beautiful  green wood-burning oven.  It is set off to the side of the restaurant, you walk right by it on the way to the restrooms.

Menu: Appetizers at Pazzaluna include Bruschetta (White Bean & Prosciutto, Tomato Basil, Portabella Goat Cheese, Burrata & Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Braised Beef & Porcini Mushroom), Polenta Fries, Mozzarella & Artichoke Bagna Cauda, Calamari, Seared Scallops, Crab Cakes and Antipasti Bar (cheeses, meats, salad and vegetables).

Soups offered are the Scallop with Cucumber and Cannellini Bean.  Salads offered are the Mixed Greens, Caesar, Arugula, Shepherd, Beet and Panzanella.

Pazzaluna also offers traditional  12″ thin crust hearth baked Pizzas in a wood-burning oven.  Varieties include Quattro Formaggi, Grilled Vegetable, Pear and Gorgonzola, Margherita, Bolognese, Spicy Sausage and Peppers, and Grilled Chicken with Asparagus.

Pasta dishes include Spicy Penne, Rigatoni with Chicken, Capellini alla Caprese, Fettuccine Alfredo, Pappardelle Bolognese, Spaghetti & Meatballs, Seafood Linguine, Spinach and Cheese Ravioli, and Three Meat Cannelloni.  Pazzaluna also makes homemade Gnocchi.  Varieties of Gnocchi include Bolognese, Quatro Formagi, and Tomato Basil. Risotto options include Saffron Risotto with Chicken, and Herb Risotto with Shrimp and Chorizo.

Pazzaluna offers Entrees such as Salmon, Ahi Tuna, Sea Bass, Scallops, Rabbit, Chicken Saltimbocca, Chicken Piccata, Chicken Parmesan, Pork Chops, Beef Short Ribs, Veal Medallions, Filet Mignon, and New York Strip.

Desserts at Pazzaluna include Creme Brulee, Tiramisu, Mocha Cheesecake, Chocolate Cake, Chocolate Versato, Banana Nutella Tart, Frangelico Pecan Pie, Gelato, and Sorbeti.

Price guide: Appetizers $8-14 Salads $7-11 Pastas $14-24 Entrees $19-45

Happy Hour:

  • Daily 4-6pm * In The Bar
  • $3 Beefeater, Pinnacle, Bacardi, Windsor or Campari Featured Cocktails Michelob Golden Light
  • $4 Stella Pinot Grigio or Montepuliciano D’Abruzzo, Summit EPA, Summit Seasonal or Blue Moon
  • $5 Coppola Bianco White Blend or Rosso Red Blend Fulton IPA, Stella Artois or Surly Bender ; $5 Two Antipasti Bar Selections, Fried Gorgonzola Gnocchi, Polenta Fries, Tomato Basil Bruschetta or White Bean & Prosciutto Bruschetta
  • $6 Pazzaluna Signature Cocktails Pazzaluna Signature Martinis  Appetizers: Three Antipasti Bar Selections, Portabella & Goat Cheese Bruschetta, Four Cheese Pizza, Pear & Gorgonzola Pizza, or Veggie Pizza
  • $7 Four Antipasti Bar Selections, Burrata & EVOO Bruschetta, Margherita Pizza, Bolognese Pizza or Chicken & Asparagus Pizza
  • $8 Five Antipasti Bar Selections, Braised Beef & Porcini Bruschetta, Rustica Pizza, Calamari or Mozzarella & Artichoke Bagna Cauda

Birthday Special: Dine at Pazzaluna the week of your birthday and they’ll give you a complimentary* bottle of wine priced at your age. *Purchase of two (2) entrees required. Offer valid for in-store consumption only. Equivalent credit of person’s age can be applied to a higher priced bottle of wine. Proof of age and birthday required. Must be 21 years or older. Offer good for one birthday per table.
What we ordered: We started with the complimentary basket of bread.  It contained slices of fresh ciabatta and focaccia.  The focaccia was especially tasty, as it was seasoned with butter, parmesan and herbs.

There are many delicious appetizers at Pazzaluna, making it hard to pick just one. For our first course we started with the Seared Scallops and an order of Calamari.  The Seared Scallops were cooked to perfection, with a nice caramelized seared crust and soft meat within.  The dish was garnished with slices of skinless pink grapefruit, orange, fresh mint and other fresh herbs.

We also tried the Calamari with our first course.  Pazzaluna puts their own spin on the traditional fried calamari by adding thin slices of carrots, zucchini and sweet onions and frying those too.  It was delicious, I loved the combination of textures and flavors.  The order was very big; piled several inches high and full of vegetables with lightly battered calamari rings tossed in (and a few pepperoncini peppers too!).  The dish was drizzled with a zesty roasted garlic aioli that finished the dish off nicely.

For our next course, my companion and I split the Beet Salad, which was served to us on two plates.  The base of this appetizing salad were the salt-roasted beets, which had a firm yet juicy texture.  We both enjoyed this salad quite a bit; it had such a unique combination of flavors and textures including shaved goat cheese that was subtle yet distinct at the same time.  The candied walnuts provided a nice crunch and hint of sweetness and the micro-greens were fragrant and refreshing.

Pazzaluna is known for its Bolognese sauce, which they offer with a selection of dishes. For our next course, we tried a half-order of the Bolognese Papperdelle and a half order of the Gnocchi Bolognese.  The sauce was a thick and rich blend of ground beef, pork, tomato, onion and a variety of Italian herbs and spices.  It was delicious and would be great on any pasta but was especially good served on the long strips of papperdelle.  Our server grated fresh parmesan on top giving it that extra touch.

The Gnocchi at Pazzaluna are made in-house and are fantastic!  They are soft potato dumplings that are sticky, velvety pillows that on their own don’t have much flavor but when topped with a thick and rich sauce like the Bolognese, they are delicious.

For my main course I ordered the Sea Bass.  This was wonderful! The fish was pan roasted until it had a nice crispy sear to the outside while being soft inside. It was served on a bed of carrot purée, and was topped with red onion jam with a drizzling of salsa verde on the plate.

My companion had the Veal Medallions for the main course and it was the highlight of the meal. The veal itself was cooked to a medium temperature and was extremely flavorful and juicy.  The medallions were served on linguine with garlic butter with sautéed porcini mushrooms & spinach.  The dish was topped with a silky roasted tomato butter sauce.  The server topped it with freshly ground pepper corns

I was much too full for dessert but ended up ordering the Banana Nutella Tart.  This was also very good; it had a layer of chocolate Nutella custard, then a layer of banana in a vanilla cream, then topped with real whipped cream.  It was topped with a wafer of caramelized nuts.

Service: We had excellent service at Pazzaluna, starting with the curb-side valet service.  We had a reservation ahead of time and our table was waiting when we got there.  Our server was very professional and highly knowledgeable about the menu, giving us many excellent suggestions from each section of the menu.  Each course that we had was separate and distinct, with plenty of time in between each.
Overall Impression: We really enjoyed our experience at Pazzaluna.  They have a great selection of both pasta and traditional Italian meat and seafood dishes and the service is top-notch.  Pazzaluna is a great place to visit for Happy Hour, a romantic dinner, to celebrate a special occasion or even for larger parties.
Pazzaluna Urban Trattoria & Bar on Urbanspoon
Pazzaluna Reviews in St Paul

Jan 162012

Cuisine: American, Steak, Fish
Restaurant Features: Bar, Banquet Room, On-Site Parking,
Location: Mahtomedi, MN
Address: 10 Old Wildwood Road Mahtomedi, MN 55115 651.777.4097
Hours:  Tuesday-Saturday 4pm-10pm
Links: Google Map

Atmosphere: The atmosphere at the Lakeside Club is one that is very laid-back.  The restaurant has been family-owned and operated since 1946 and the emphasis is definitely on the food.  There isn’t anything fancy about the small, wood-paneled dining room, and eating at the Lakeside does not require anything but casual attire.  A small bar is a popular spot to have a beer and watch whatever game is playing on the TV behind the bar.

Menu: Appetizers at Lakeside Club include Chicken Wings, Cheese Curds,

Sandwiches include Steak Sandwich, Hamburger or Cheeseburger.

Steaks served at Lakeside Club include 12 or 16oz Prime Rib, 12 or 16oz Ribeye, New York Strip, Filet Mignon, and Sirloin. Other entrees include Porkchop, Grilled Chicken Breast, Shrimp or Walleye.  All meals come with side salad and choice of potato or vegetable.

Price guide: Appetizers $7  Steaks $19-30
What we ordered: My companions and I started with the Chicken Wings.  This order of wings came with eight wings that had a crispy, seasoned breading on them.  They were great!

We also tried the Cheese Curds, a large serving of lightly breaded nuggets of hot cheddar cheese.  These were really good; they had a crispy texture and weren’t too greasy.

After we ate our appetizers, our server brought out our dinner salads and a plate of warm rolls, which come with the entrees.  The salads were served in a small bowl with ice berg lettuce, tomato and goldfish crackers.  You can always expect bread of some kind at Lakeside, although it changes frequently.  On this visit we were served brown dinner rolls that were hot and fresh.

I have eaten at the Lakeside countless times over the past decade and I always order the same thing; the 12oz Ribeye, with a medium temperature.  My steak was phenomenal; it was cooked perfectly and was incredibly tender and juicy.  It was only lightly seasoned with salt but the flavor of the aged meat was wonderful.  I had the choice of potato and I ordered fries, which are the salty shoestring variety, similar to McDonald’s. Yum!  Another of our companions also ordered the Ribeye and it was just as wonderful as mine.

Another companion ordered the 16 oz Prime Rib, which was a giant cut prepared medium rare.  This cut was comparatively lean for the size, which was thickly cut.  It was served with prepared horseradish and au jus with choice of fries.

One of my companions ordered the New York Strip, a lean and juicy cut that was just as tender as the ribeye.  Also served with choice of potato and side salad.

Service: I have been going to the Lakeside for over a decade and have become somewhat of a regular over the years.    Our server always remembers what we like to order, which I think is a nice touch.  Sodas are refilled quickly by any available server and the team effort seems to be carried through to the running of dishes and requests, etc.
Overall Impression: The Lakeside Club is a long-time favorite casual place to go for a delicious steak.
Lakeside Club on Urbanspoon

Oct 222011

Cuisine: Breakfast, American,  Fish, Irish
Restaurant Features: Banquet, Bar, Flat Screened TVs, Hotel, Live Music, Patio, Waterfront
Location: Stillwater, MN
Address: Water Street Inn  * 101 Water St South  Stillwater, MN 55082  651-439-6000
Hours:  Mon – Fri: 7 am-1am * Sat: 8am-1 am * Sun: 9am- 1am
Links: Water Street Inn Website * Water Street Inn on Facebook * Google Map

Atmosphere: Located on the street level of the Water Street Inn in Historic Downtown Stillwater,  Charlie’s Restaurant and Irish Pub encompasses a few different dining rooms, including the Red Room.  Old fashioned wallpaper and hand-painted murals on the ceiling emphasize the history of this building which was originally built in 1890 as the Lumber Exchange Building.

Another large sitting room can also be found nearby, with several velvet chairs basking in the natural sunlight that streams in through windows that run along two entire walls.

The Pub seemed to be the most popular place to be with a number of wooden tables as well as a few taller bistro tables.  There were a number of framed prints and posters on the walls as well as a couple of flat screened TVs displaying sporting events.  There is a self-serve popcorn machine near the entrance and the Pub often bears the aroma of the freshly popped kernels.

The bar in Charlie’s Irish Pub seats about six customers or so and is very inviting.  Overall the Pub is a lively place to be.

Menu: Breakfast items include Eggs O’Brien, Pancakes, Thick Cut French Toast, Fruit, Cinnamon Roll, Irish Country Breakfast, Traditional Irish Breakfast, Ham and Eggs, Ha and Gruyere French Toast, and Steak and Eggs.  Omelette choices include The Traditional (choice of meat and cheese), Apple Brie, The Victorian (ham and swiss), and The Baron (ham, sausage, bacon, onion and swiss).

Appetizers on the dinner menu include Antipasto Plate, Walleye Cakes, Smoked Chicken Quesadilla, Calamari, Mini Reuben Purses, Beer Battered Onion Rings, Spinach and Artichoke Dip, Homemade Chips & Dip, Smoked BBQ Chicken Legs.

Salads at Charlie’s include Caesar, Cashew Chicken, Greek Salad and Traditional Cobb.

Charlie’s sandwiches are served with chips or upgrade to fries or fresh fruit for $2.50.  Options include Pulled Pork, BLT and Guacamole Wrap, Buffalo Chicken Wrap, Classic Reuben, Walleye, Chicken Jack Melt, Grilled 1/2lb Burger, Steak Sandwich, Roasted Portabella and Turkey Burger.

Entrees include Seafood Linguini, Chicken and Portabella Pasta, Mostaccioli, Fish & Chips, Honey Soy Grilled Salmon, Blackened Seafood Trio, Eggplant Parmesan, Almond Crusted Walleye, Twin Lobster Tails, Stuffed Center Cut Pork Loin, Stuffed Chicken Breast, New York Strip, 8oz Pub Steak and 11oz Ribeye Steak.

Desserts at Charlie’s includes Berry Bread Pudding, Charlie’s Big Brownie, and Flourless Sin Cake.

Price guide: Appetizers $7-11 Salads $5-12 Sandwiches $9-13  Entrees $17-31 Desserts $7

What we ordered: We started with an order of Calamari.  I didn’t take much notice of the menu description so the unexpected sweetness of the first bite caught me by surprise.  This calamari at Charlie’s is lightly breaded and  fried, yhen bathed in a sauce of honey, ginger and garlic.  The flavor of the honey sauce was delicious, but very sweet and almost too much for just two of us.  The green onions helped counter the sweetness but I would have loved some thin slices of red thai chili peppers to spice it up.

After much deliberation over the menu, I ordered the Reuben.  This sandwich was stacked with thinly sliced corned beef then topped with genuine aged Swiss cheese, sauerkraut and thousand island dressing sandwiched between marbled rye bread.    The swiss and thousand island really made this sandwich; the corned beef tasted good but it was definitely deli-style.  I upgraded to fries for $2.50 and received a huge pile of the hot crinkle variety.

My companion ordered the Fish N Chips. This basket of crinkle fries was topped with one large fillet of walleye that was beer-battered and fried.  The fillet was impressive; not only was it long, it was also thick and meaty.  It was served with a homemade tartar that had dill rather than the traditional pickle.  Seriously good fish!

Service: Our visit was in the early evening on a Sunday but we easily found a spot in the the adjacent public parking lot.  We entered through a door on the patio that led us directly to the Irish Pub.  There wasn’t a hostess so rather than sitting in the dining room, we found a table in the Pub despite it being fairly busy.  We took our time ordering and the server had many suggestions from the menu.  There appeared to be only one server for the entire pub and she was constantly running out to the kitchen or perhaps to one of the other dining rooms.  Drinks took awhile to be filled but food was prepared in a reasonable amount of time.

Overall Impression: The food at Charlie’s was pretty good, the walleye was especially memorable and the calamari was also unique and excellent (albeit sweet!).  Great place to stop for breakfast, lunch or dinner while wandering around downtown Stillwater or as a romantic weekend date.

This is an original review of Charlie’s Restaurant and Irish Pub on Twin Cities Restaurant Blog
Charlie's Restaurant and Irish Pub at the Water Street Inn on Urbanspoon
Water Street Inn Reviews in Stillwater

Sep 042011

Cuisine: American, Greek, Mediterranean, Pizza,
Restaurant Features: Banquet Room, Bar, Patio, On-Site Parking, Sunday Brunch Buffet, Valet Parking
Location: Eden Prairie, MN
Address: 13000 Technology Drive Eden Prairie, MN 55344   (952)546-6722
Hours: Daily 11am-2pm (Kitchen until 10pm)
Links: Santorini Taverna Website * Google Map
Atmosphere: Santorini Taverna is located in Eden Prairie, near Prairie Center, in a giant stand-alone building.  The main dining room is casual yet sophisticated, with a giant fireplace in the center, giving each side of the room a more intimate feel.  There are tables as well as booths, complete with layered tablecloths.

There is a separate dining room that can be used for banquets or large parties and is used for over-flow on busy nights.  There is a fireplace in this room as well as a door leading to the patio.

The spacious lounge area is near the front entrance, complete with a beautiful bar and several bistro tables and an elevated floor.

The patio is a very popular destination for many months of the year.  Tucked away behind the property, you can access the patio around the right side of the building or from the dining room.  There is a giant outdoor bar in the middle and many tables (with umbrellas!) surrounding it.

The far side of the patio has many more tables for dining.

Menu: Appetizers (Mezedes, Tapas and Antipasti) include Dolmades, Wood Grilled Octopus, Grecian or Buffalo Wings, Shrimp Cocktail, Buffalo Shrimp, Artichoke and Crab Dip, Wood Grilled Lamb Chops, Jumbo Lump Crab Cakes, Seared Ahi Tuna, Santorini Gyros, Flamed Saganaki, Baked Mussels, Pastichio en Phyllo, Goat Cheese Bruschetta, Calamari a la Romano, Spanakopita, Wood Grilled Shrimp & Veggies, Greek Peasant Sampler.

There are also a number of Meditteranean Pita Spreads served with warm pitas including Spicy Feta, Taramosalata, Tirosalata, Tzatziki, Tahini Hummous, Roasted Pepper Hummous, Melitzano, Kalamata and Goat Cheese Tapenade.

Wood Oven Pizzas include Four Cheese Classico, Mediterranean, Iberian, and Pizza Margherita.

Salads include Greek Salata, Peppered Steak, Nicklow’s Deluxe, Horiatiki, Caesar, Spiced Ahi Tuna, Shrimp and Avocado, and Chop Salad.  Soups include Avgolemono and a Soup du Jour.

Sandwiches and Burgers all come with choice of Lemon Oregano Fries or Tavern pasta.  Options include Gyro Pita, Chicken Pita, Veggie Pita, Pita Melt, Mediterranean Chicken Wrap, Walleye Sandwich, Burger, Pepper Jack Burger, Surf and Turf Burger, Prime Rib French Dip, Santorini Club Croissant, and Open Faced Prime Rib Sandwich.

Meat Entrees include Lamb Chops a la Thebes, Filetto de Greco, Athenian Pork Chops, Surf & Turf, Bone-In Ribeye, South American Strip Steak, Prime Rib, New York Strip, and Filet Mignon.

Seafood Entrees include Pan Fried Walleye, Scampi con Pollo, Roasted Norwegian Salmon, Seafood Platter (shrimp, scallops, lobster and salmon), Shrimp Mikrolimano, Moroccan Shrimp, Roasted Scallops, and Lobster Dinner for Two.

Pasta dishes include Taverna Pasta, Seafood Bucatini, Spaghettini  Arrabbiata, Ouzo Linguini, Raviolo Basilio, Lobster Ravioli, Tortellini Baronessa, and Cajun Pasta.

Mediterranean Favorites include Grilled Chicken & Shrimp Kabob, Traditional Pastichio, Grilled Beef Kabob, Lamb & Beef Moussaka, Grilled Swordfish Kabob, Kotopita, Eggplant Moussaka, Gyro Dinner and Lamb Shank.

Desserts include Chocolate Fudge Cake, Key Lime Pie, Cheesecake, and Galaktoboureko.

Price guide: Appetizers $8-12  Salads $7-15  Sandwiches $10-19  Meat Entrees $24-34  Seafood $19-49  Pasta $13-26  Greek Favorites $16-23

Happy Hour:

  • Mon-Fri 4-7pm, Sun-Thurs 9-11pm, Fri-Sat 10pm-2am
  • $2-  Mini Burgers, Cheesy Bread with Marinara, Pita & Spread
  • $3- Rail Drinks, Tap Beers, Santorini Wings, Onion Rings, Szechuan Green Beans, Mini Pizza, Mini Cheesecakes
  • $4- Santorini Sliders, Fish & Chips, Sloppy Joe’s, Pork Potstickers
  • $5- BBQ Shrimp Skewers, Mini Crab Cakes, Goat Cheese Bruschetta, Gyro Appetizer, and Shrimp Gazpacho.

Weekly Specials:

  • Friday- Fresh Alaskan Halibut Char-grilled with fresh herbs and lemon, served with roasted potatoes and vegetables $24
  • Saturday-  Boneless leg of lamb stuffed with spinach, feta and loukaniko sausage Served with roasted potatoes and vegetables $23
  • Sunday- Family Style Platter with Avgolemono soup, Greek salad, gyro & fixings, sliced chicken breast, two lamb chops, Taverna pasta and baklava  For two $45 | For four $75

What we ordered: We started with an order of Artichoke and Crab Dip.  This was a delicious blend of cheeses, with garlic and chunks of artichoke and crab, baked until hot and bubbly then topped with fresh tomatoes.  It was a decent sized order served in a ramekin with several triangles of warm pita bread.  Great stuff!

We also ordered the Baked Mussels, which I thought were excellent.  They were magnificently tender and came swimming in a big, deep bowl of broth made with white whine, saffron, tomatoes, fennel and garlic.

Another appetizer we tried was the Goat Cheese Bruschetta.  We loved this! The goat cheese was blended with cream cheese and then placed on a bed of tomato-basil bruschetta.  The order came with several slices of crustini drizzled with balsamic vinegar for building little bruschetta toasts.

There were many items on the menu that sounds really good to me, but I wanted to try authentic Greek food.  The owner of Santorini himself highly suggested the Moussaka, so that is one of the items we tried.  This dish was sort of a Greek lasagna, with layers of ground beef-lamb, eggplant, and slices of roasted potato topped with tomato sauce and bechamel cheese.

We also shared a New York Strip which was extremely tender, juicy and well seasoned.  The steak came with a serving of roasted zucchini, yellow squash, onion and fingerling potatoes.  The steak was wonderful.

We also tried the Kotopita, which was a chicken breast topped with spinach and feta, then wrapped in flaky phyllo dough.  This was a great dish with a wonderful combo of flavors and textures, from the tender chicken to the creamy feta to the flaky phyllo crust.  It was served with Santorini’s famous Angel Hair pasta tossed with brown butter, garlic and mizithra cheese.  Both were delicious!

Our server presented us with the dessert tray and enticed us to order a couple of desserts, including this Galaktoboureko, a lemon custard wrapped in phyllo dough.  Excellent!

We also tried the Chocolate Fudge Cake, which was very moist, drizzled with chocolate sauce.  Way too much for just one person after all that food!

Service: We had very good service at Santorini Taverna.  We arrived after 7pm on a beautiful Thursday night and opted to wait 15+ minutes for a table on the patio.  It was very busy but our server was attentive and had some good suggestions from the menu.  Our appetizers came out in waves and the entrees came much later.

Overall Impression: Santorini Taverna is a beautiful restaurant and has a great selection of Greek and Mediterranean foods.  I thought the food was great and I especially loved the giant patio and good service.
Santorini Taverna on Urbanspoon

Jul 262011

Cuisine: Fish & Seafood, Steaks
Restaurant Features: Bar, Banquet, Valet Parking
Location: Downtown Minneapolis, MN
Address: 801 Hennepin Ave Minneapolis, MN 55402 612-692-9000
Hours: M-F 11am-2:30pm  M-Th 5-10pm  Fri-Sat 5-11pm  Sun 5-9pm
Links: The Capital Grille’s Website * The Capital Grille on Facebook * Google Map

Atmosphere: The Minneapolis location of The Capital Grille is located down town in the Hennepin Theater District, with the main entrance on Hennepin Ave and an additional entrance from inside La Salle Plaza.  The main dining room is big with several booths arranged around the room to maximize both space and privacy There are also a couple fo smaller private dining rooms.

There is a bar area just inside the entrance from Hennepin.

Menu: Appetizers at The Capital Grille include Wagyu Beef Carpaccio, Cold Shellfish Platter, Lobster and Crab Cakes, Pan Fried Calamari with Hot Cherry Peppers, Smoked Salmon, Shrimp Cocktail, Fresh Oysters on the Half Shell, and Prosciutto Wrapped Mozzarella with Vine Ripe Tomatoes.

Soups offered are the Clam Chowder, Lobster Bisque, and French Onion.

Salads offered include Fresh Mozzarella with Tomato and Basil, Chopped Salad, The Wedge, Caesar, Spinach with Warm Bacon dressing, and Field Greens with Tomatoes.

Chef’s Selections include Seared Tenderloin with Butter Poached Lobster, Cedar Planked Salmon with Tomato Fennel Relish, Bone-In Kona Crusted Sirloin with Caramelized Shallot Butter, Porcini Rubbed Delmonico with 12-Year Aged Balsamic, Sliced Filet Mignon with Cippolini Onions and Wild Mushrooms.

Other Entrees at The Capital Grille include Filet Oscar, Dry Aged Sirloin, Dry Aged Porterhouse, Dry Aged Steak Au Poivre with a Courvoisier Cream Sauce, Filet Mignon, Delmonico Steak, Double Cut Lamb Rib Chops, and Roasted Chicken.

Seafood items include Broiled Fresh Lobster, Grilled Swordfish with Lemon Shallot Relish, Seared Citrus Glazed Salmon, Lobster and Crab Stuffed Shrimp, and Sushi-Grade Sesame Seared Tuna with Gingered Rice.

Side Items include Vidalia Onion Rings, Parmesan Truffle Fries, Lobster Mac ‘N’ Cheese, Au Gratin Potatoes, Fresh Asparagus with Hollandaise, Fresh Creamed Spinach, Roasted Seasonal Mushrooms, Sam’s Mashed Potatoes, Sauteed Spinach, and Fresh Green Beans with Roasted Tomatoes and Fennel.

Desserts include Trio of Handmade Ice Creams, Cheesecake with Fresh Seasonal Berries, Fresh Berries in Vanilla Ice Cream, Fresh Strawberries Capital Grille, Coconut Cream Pie, Flourless Chocolate Espresso Cake, Chocolate Hazelnut Cake, and Classic Creme Brulee.

What we ordered: (Disclosure: My visit was part of a pre-arranged five course dinner held to kick-off this summer’s The Generous Pour Wine Event. I will only be writing about the items I tried that are permanent features on The Capital Grille’s dinner menu.)

I started with samples of two appetizersPictured below on the left is the Pan Fried Calamari with Hot Cherry Peppers.  I really love calamari when it is cooked right and this calamari was cooked perfectly so that it was tender without a hint of chewiness.  It was lightly breaded and slightly crispy.  I have been loving the combo of fried calamari with peppers lately and The Capital Grille’s version really hit the spot.  The other appetizer that was paired with the calamari was the Prosciutto Wrapped Mozzarella with Vine Ripe Tomatoes.  One look at this treat had my mouth watering and it smelled amazing.  The prosciutto was thickly sliced, slightly smokey and perfectly crispySimilar to bacon but even better!  The melted mozzarella was creamy, a perfect contrast to the crisp prosciutto. Could I eat nothing but this every day for the rest of my life and call it a low-carb diet? Sounds like a great idea to me!

Just before the main course we were brought a basket of different breads.  They all looked great but I didn’t want to ruin my appetite.

For the entree, I chose the Kona-Crusted Sirloin with shallot butter. This steak had exceptional flavor, having been dry aged and cut on-site, extremely tender with just a trace of marbling throughout the meat.  It was broiled at a high heat to give it the prefect amount of char while still between a medium and medium rare temperature, as I requested.  The shallot butter melted on top just emphasized its natural juices and flavors.  Everything about it was excellent.

My companion has the Cedar Planked Salmon with Tomato Fennel Relish.  This looked amazing! The salmon filet was thick and cooked al dente toward the center, as it should be.  It was seasoned with fennel seed and then covered with a relish made from shallots and tomatoes.  I tried just a bite of this and thought it was great.

We were served two different side dishes with our entrees, including the Lobster Mac ‘N’ Cheese.  This delicious, rich and creamy dish was made with Marscapone, Havarti and Grana Padano cream sauce.  I can’t recall having a macaroni and cheese with this exact combo of cheeses, but the flavors were pleasant while being somewhat strong. There were a handful of large pieces of lobster claw meat in the dish, which was then covered with white cheddar and Panko bread crumbs.

Another side dish we were served with our entrees was the Sauteed Spinach.

For the dessert course I chose the Strawberries Capital Grille.  This dish consists of handmade vanilla ice cream that is topped with fresh strawberries and a special sauce made with Ruby Port and Grand Marnier.  My first impression of this rich and creamy dessert was that it tasted like marshmallow but the strawberries brought a nice mix of both sweet and tart.

Service: I had great service at The Capital Grille, which can only be expected since I was their guest for this special dinner.
Overall Impression: The Capital Grille may be a chain restaurant, but it is one of the finest chain restaurants in the Minneapolis area.  You can always count on a delicious, high-quality meal at The Capital Grille.  One of the best deals around is their Generous Pour Wine Event currently running through Sept. 4, 2011, where patrons can get unlimited glasses of wine with dinner for only $25/person.

The Capital Grille on Urbanspoon
Capital Grille Reviews in Minneapolis

Jun 162011

Cuisine: American, Fish & Seafood
Restaurant Features: Bar, Banquet, Hotel, Locally Sourced,
Location: Downtown Minneapolis, MN
Address: 615 Second Ave South  Minneapolis, MN 55402 (612) 288-8888
Hours: Monday – Saturday  3pm-1am   Sunday   3pm-12am

Links: The Six15 Room Website * The Six15 Room on Facebook

Atmosphere: Located in the newly remodeled Grand Hotel in Minneapolis, The Six15 Room is the newest, swankiest and most contemporary cocktail lounge in the heart of Downtown.  Located just inside the Grand Hotel entrance, The Six15 Room is not just for guests of the hotel, it is also the ideal place for anyone looking to try fun and delicious artisenal drinks and foods.

The entire space of The Six15 Room is divided into smaller little areas, including a VIP area that has comfy purple velvet-covered sofas, fluffy pillows, and an entire wall filled with a variety of mounted metallic deer trophies.

One very fun feature of the VIP room is the 50″ Flatscreen TV fully equipped with a XBOX 360.

The far end of the trophy wall has a real wild boar’s head as the center piece. I wouldn’t have wanted to run into him in the forest, this bad boy has a big ol’ snout and some big curvy teeth. The Six15 Room is taking suggestions for naming the Wild Boar, if you would like to enter, simply submit your idea with the bartender!

Here is another seating area in the lounge; complete with sofas, tables, and more big TVs.

Menu: Some of the creative signature cocktails offered by Master Mixologist Troy have fun names such as Don’t Be Coy, Turn the World On, A-lo Down Low, Caught in her Web, Rose Creek, Bite the Bulleit, Six15, and Orangegasm.  There are also a number of classic cocktails such as the Aviation, Dark & Stormy, Clover Club, Negroni, Last Word, Moscow Mule, Daiguiri, Manhattan, Margarita, Martini, Sidecar, Sazerac, and Whiskey Sour.  There are also a number of local beers on tap as well as a large selection of domestic bottles.  Big selection of wines as well.

All of the menu items offered in The Six15 Room have ingredients that are locally sourced.  Options include Calamari Fries, Turkey Burgers, Grilled Sausage, Beef Skewers, Smoked Trout, Walleye Tator Tots, Grilled Shellfish, Mixed Greens Salad, and Cheese Plate.

You can also get a Tasting Portion of the Grand Entrees, including Fish Tacos, Braised Duroc Pork Shank, Creek Stone New York Strip, and Scottish Salmon.

Desserts include Mini  Ice Cream Sandwiches, Ginger Creme Brulee with Almond Cookies, and Chocolate Lava Cake with Espresso Creme Anglaise.


Guests staying at the Grand Hotel also have the option of ordering off a larger menu for In-Room Service.  Breakfast selections include the International Grand Traveler, Continental Breakfast, Eggs Benedict, Eggs Florentine, Belgian Waffle, French Toast, Beef Hash, Three Egg Omelet, Spa Egg White Omelet, Chef’s Favorite (bacon, eggs and pancakes), Berries & Granola, and Fruit Plate.

Dishes offered all day include Spinach & Artichoke Dip, Pork Pot Stickers, Chicken Wings, Chicken Tenders, Cheese Plate, Calamari Fries, and Poached Tiger Shrimp.

Soups offered are Cream of Wild Rich and White Chicken Chili.  Salads include the Grand Hotel Salad, Caesar, Greek and Grilled Salmon.

Individual Pizzas are also available.  Build-Your-Own, Three Cheese, Margherita, Thai Chicken and The White Pizza (alfredo sauce, caramelized onions, spinach, goat cheese and dried cherries).

Pasta Selections offered are the Spaghetti Carbonara, Mediterranean Primavera, and Noodles & Sauce.

Sandwiches include Grilled Angus Burger, Trio of Mini Turkey Burgers, Grand Club, Walleye Fish Tacos, The Duet, MLP (mushrooms, lettuce, and roasted peppers), Grilled Chicken Breast, Beef Stroganoff, and Fried Egg Sandwich.

Grand Entree Selections offered after 5pm include Eat Street Noodle Stir-Fry, Chicken Marsala, Duroc Braised Pork Shank, Creek Stone New York Strip Steak, Steamed Salmon, Walleye, and Mediterranean Primavera.

Price guide: Small Plates $9-18  Grand Entrees $15-35

What we ordered: I had a chance to meet with Executive Chef Kris Koch, the master behind the menu. Born and raised in Minnesota, Koch has deep roots in the area and well-established relationships with a number of local farmers, and sources ingredients locally whenever possible.  Many of the items he has created have a fun twist on traditional local favorites.

One of the first items we tried was the Smoked Trout from Rushing Waters.  This pretty-plated dish also included toasted bagel chips with lemon-herbed cream cheese, Koch’s spin on the traditional cream cheese and lox.  This was so good! There is just something about cream cheese and smoked fish that speaks to me and then when you add in the buttery crunch of the bagel, you have the perfect combo of textures.

Smoked Trout with Bagel Chips at The Six15 Room at Grand Hotel ~ Minneapolis, MN

Smoked Trout with Bagel Chips at The Six15 Room at Grand Hotel ~ Minneapolis, MN

Mmm, take a closer look at that deliciously smoked trout. Slightly salty and smokey, the trout had a nice, light and flaky texture without any fishiness.  It was served with lettuce and pickled red cabbage.

We also tried the Calamari Fries. You may have noticed that i order calamari at many restaurants. The calamari fries at The Six15 Room rank up there with the best.  These calamari strips were double-dipped in tempura batter and then fried just perfectly.  The batter was crispy yet the calamari was tender and delicious.  Thin slices of slightly pickled peppers were arranged on top, adding a slight bite and interesting contrast.  A lemony mayonnaise was served for dipping, a light and fresh compliment to the calamari.

Another item we tried with the first wave of goodies was the Grilled Sausage Platter.  It came with two varieties of sausage, one that was Maple flavored, the other with bits of bacon ground in.  Both sausages were excellent but one of my favorite parts of the dish was the apricot mustard. Yes, you read that right.  Pureed apricot with stone-ground mustard blended in.  A delicious combo of sweet from the fruit and spicy and slightly piquant flavor of the mustard.  The dish also came with several slices of buttered, grilled whole wheat toast.

One of the first cocktails we tried was the Don’t Be Coy.  It may come as no surprise to you that I am a Margarita Girl, so this drink was perfect for me.  Made with Herradura Tequila, raspberry syrup, Licor 43 and fresh lime, this was a wonderful blend of tart, sweet and agave.  Loved!

Another drink we tried was the Whiskey Sour.  Normally I wouldn’t think I would enjoy anything made with whiskey but I immediately changed my mind when I tried the Whiskey Sour at The Six15 Room.  This drink was fabulous! Made with Jim Beam Black bourbon, lemonade, and a touch of egg white.  The egg white gave it just a tiny hint of froth, which I thought was a great touch.  The next time I drink whiskey I hope it tastes as good as this!

After eating and drinking all of the above, a second wave of food and cocktails were brought out to us.  I was especially excited to try the Fish Tacos, a favorite food of mine. These may have been the first fish tacos I’ve had made with locally-caught walleye.  Served on double white corn tortillas, each of the two tacos had a nice size fillet of pan-seared walleye topped with pickled cabbage and cilantro.  Excellent and very filling!

Fish Tacos at The Six15 Room ~ Minneapolis, MN

Fish Tacos at The Six15 Room ~ Minneapolis, MN

We also tried the Scottish Salmon, served with brussel sprouts, jasmine rice and a sweet-yet-savory carrot ginger puree.  This salmon was very good, perfectly (under)cooked so that it retained the right amount of moisture and light flavor of the fish.  It was lightly seasoned with just salt and pepper but was dressed up by the accompanied ginger-carrot puree.

The last food item we tried was the Walleye Tator Tots.  How perfectly Minnesota is this dish? The walleye was finely blended with mashed yukon gold potatoes, spiced up and then formed into shapes about the same size as a marshmallow.  Lightly breaded then fried, these were wonderful little treats that anyone would like.  Served with a citrus tartar sauce.

The second wave of cocktails included the Moscow Mule, made with Absolut Vodka, house-made ginger syrup, fresh lime juice and soda.  Light and refreshing!

We also tried the Rose Creek cocktail, made with pear brandy.  I can’t recall having pear brandy before this, but I was pleasantly surprised to smell the sweet smell of pear about 6 inches before I brought the glass to my mouth.  It tasted just as good as it smelled! made with Clear Creek Pear Brandy, fresh lemon juice, real grenadine and Angostura (a secret blend of herbs).

Overall Impression: I was very excited to try the new Six15 Room once it opened and after trying it,  I am just as excited to return.  Executive Chef Kris Koch has a real knack for creating dishes that are not only creative and delicious, they are made from fresh, locally-sourced ingredients.  Everything that is offered on the menu is appealing to both locals and those who are in town and would like to try a true taste of Minnesota.  The Grand Opening of both The Six15 Room and The Grand Hotel is taking place tonight, June 16, 2011.
Six15 Room on Urbanspoon