Nov 112011

Cuisine: American, Pizza, Tacos
Restaurant Features: Catering, Counter Service, On-Site Parking
Location: Willernie, MN (Mahtomedi)
Address: 468 Stillwater Road Suite B Willernie, MN 55115 651-429-1141
Hours: M-F 3pm-10pm  Sat 12pm-10pm Sun 12pm-8pm
Links: Google Map

Atmosphere: Wildwood Pizza opened in a new location in March 2010, just a few blocks down Stillwater Ave from their original location in the former Wildwood Bowl (which is now home to The Hanger Room).  The new location is smaller and while the service is mostly take-out, there are a couple of tables set up for dining in.  The memorabilia on the walls is the same as what adorned the walls in the old location.

Menu: Appetizers include Nachos, Garlic Bread, French Fries, Cheesy Bread, MOzzarella Sticks, Onion Rings, Deef Fried Breaded Mushrooms, Buffalo Wings, Deep Fried Cauliflower, Cheddar Nuggets, Chicken Nuggets, Chicken Tenders, Chicken Drummies, Jalapeno Poppers, Tator Tots, Pizza Rolls, and Mini Corn Dogs.

Salads offered at Wildwood Pizza include Taco Salad and Chef’s Salad.

Sandwich options include Hot Dago, Philly Cheese Steak, Chicken Sandwich, Hamburger, Cheeseburger, California Burger, Fish Sandwich, Corn Dog, Hot Dog, Chili Cheese Dog, Coney Island Dog, Grilled Pulled Pork.

Wildwood Pizza also offers Fried Flour Tacos (seasoned ground beef and toppings), Spaghetti and Meatballs, and Beef Ravioli.

Dinner Entrees include Fried Chicken and Fried Pollock (come with coleslaw and fries).

The Pizzas are where its at!! Wildwood offers several Specialty Pizzas sized 10″, 12″, 14″ and 16″ including Brian’s Super Deli Specialty (Canadian Ham, onion, pepperoni, sausage, muchrooms and green peppers), Tiffany’s Gourmet Deluxe (provolone, olive oil, garlic, tomatoes, onion and sour cream, plus four toppings of your choice), Cheesy Willermedi Pie (5 cheeses), Boboli, Mushroom Special (pepperoni, mushrooms, green pepper, onion, green olives and bacon bits), Mexican Fiesta Special (jalapenos, refried beans, taco sauce, onion, taco chips, taco beef and tomatoes), Sauerkraut Special (pepperoni, onions, green pepper, green olives, bacon bits and sauerkraut) and Chicago Style (10″ classic deep dish).

Other Pizza Toppings include all of the classic ingredients as well as meatball, asparagus, banana peppers, spinach, jalapeno, shrimp, anchovies, chicken nuggets, grape jelly, peanut butter, black beans, dill pickle, sauerkraut and water chestnuts (just to name a few!
Price guide: Appetizers $2-8  Sandwiches $3-8  Pizzas $11+
What we ordered: For the past decade (or longer) the pizza that we always order from Wildwood is the Jumbo 16″ thin Crust with Pepperoni, Mushrooms, and Shrimp.  Shrimp on a pizza?! YES! These are teeny, tiny baby shrimp but they are wonderful.  The sauce at Wildwood is slightly sweet but it is delicious.

The Fried Flour Tacos are also a tasty treat.  The order comes with three fried flour tortillas filled with seasoned ground beef and lettuce, tomato and cheddar cheese on the side for you to build-your-own. $4.50/order

Service: Depending on how busy it is, Wildwood makes pizzas quickly and they are usually accurate about how long it will take when you order it.

Overall Impression: Wildwood Pizza has long been a family favorite and one that I crave on a regular basis.  The fried flour tacos are also awesome! Really wish they still offered their famous malts that were served at the original location…. I miss the strawberry malt.

Nov 062011

Cuisine: American, Steaks, Fine-Dining
Restaurant Features: Bar, On-Site Parking
Location: Willernie, MN
Address: 310 Stillwater Road, Willernie, MN 55090
Hours: Daily 11am- 12am  Friday-Saturday until 1am
Links: The Hanger Room Website * The Hanger Room on Facebook * Google Map

Atmosphere: Located in the space that was formerly Wildwood Bowling alley and Wildwood Pizza, The Hanger Room looks nothing like the former occupant.  After major renovations, the space metamorphosized into a fine steak house with rich wood features, and white-clothed tables.

The dining room is split into a couple of long corridors with tables along the wooden walls.

The bar is the busiest area in the restaurant, with a handful of booths as well as several bistro tables.  Colorful neon signs sporting the names of many premium beers that can be found on tap at The Hanger Room’s bar adorn the walls.

The 70+ beers on tap at The Hanger Room are rather impressive….

Menu: Small Plates offered at The Hanger Room include Artisan Cheeses, Steak Frites, Tuna Poke, Seared Sea Scallops, P.E.I Mussels, Shrimp and Green Beans, Duck Confit, House Smoked Salmon, Home Made Gnocchi, Filet Mignon Carpaccio, Bing Cherry Glazed Pork Belly, Braised Beef Springrolls, Spicy Beef Tips, Jumbo Shrimp Cocktail and Crab Cakes.

Salads include Frisee au Lardone (with fried egg), Grilled Caesar Salad, Spinach and Blue Cheese, Mixed Green Salad, and Beet Salad.

Entrees include Duck Breast (with roasted truffle cauliflower), Chicken Breast (with jalapeno corn and black bean hash), Pan Seared Elk Loin, Walleye, Scallops, Bourbon Glazed Salmon, Risotto (with mushroom,spinach, caramelized fennel and goat cheese), Shrimp Strozzapretti, Chicken Orrechiette and Porcini Rubbed Filet..

The Steaks at The Hanger Room are dry-aged for 21-28 days. 21 Day Aged Steaks include the 8oz Sirloin, 10oz New York and 12oz Ribeye.  28 Day Aged Steaks include the 20oz Kansas City Strip, 20oz T-Bone, 22oz Porterhouse, and 30oz Ribeye/  There is alsoa  14 Day Aged Pork Chop.  All steaks come with one set.  Set #1: mashed Potatoes, Garlic Spinach and Roquefort Sauce Set #2: Au Gratin Potatoes, Brussel Sprouts and Bearnnaise  Set #3:Mushroom Risotto, Haricot Verts, and Bordelaise Sauce.

Desserts change frequently but may include Toasted Coconut Creme Brulee, Mocha Parfait, Craisin Walnut Bread Pudding, and Pumpkin Swirl Cheesecake.

Items offered in the bar include Onion Rings, Chicken Wings, BBQ Ribs, Chicken Saltimbocca, Angus Cheeseburger, MN Game Burger, Tenderloin Steak Sandwich, Vegetarian Panini, Pulled Pork Sandwich, Margherita Pizza and White Pizza.

Price guide: Small Plates $7-21  Entrees $16-36  Steaks $28-75

What we ordered: We started with some of the complimentary homemade bread.  This was wonderful; it was thick and dense, with tiny pieces of garlic baked within so it was very flavorful.

My companion and I ordered the Duck Confit small plate, which was recommended by our server.  As the technique requires, the leg of duck was cured with salt and other seasoning and then rendered in its own fat until extremely tender.  The duck was rich and delicious, served on a  bed of crispy spaetzel and then covered with tart balsamic cherries, feta and chives.  I thought the combination of the cherries and the feta worked really well together and complimented the richness of the duck perfectly.

For my dinner I ordered the MN Game Burger, which was a blend of ground bison, elk and bacon.  The elk and bison meats are very tasty but so lean that the bacon is needed to give it additional juiciness. The burger sat on a very fresh bun and was topped with bleu cheese and caramelized onions, lettuce, tomato, red onion and a lingonberry aioli.  It was served with fresh cut fries and homemade ketchup.

My companion ordered the 28 Day Aged  22oz Porterhouse Steak which came with a choice of set; the set chosen was au gratin potatoes and brussel sprouts with bearnaise sauce.  The steak was quite large and was cooked rare while still having a slight charred crust.  It was very lightly salted so the aged flavor of the steak was more noticeable.  My companion thought this steak was wonderful but the few bites I tried weren’t all that tender.  At $65 for this steak, I thought it would be the best steak I’ve ever eaten and it fell short.

Service: We had excellent service at The Hanger Room.  Our server was very knowledgeable of the menu and had several great recommendations for us.  The food was prepared in a reasonable amount of time and every detail was attended to with forethought.
Overall Impression: Everything on the menu looked great and was made from scratch. Meats and produce are locally sourced when possible.  The service was very good but prices were on the high end. The bar is a great place to come and have a beer, especially since there are 70 on tap.

This is an original review of The Hanger Room on Twin Cities Restaurant Blog
The Hanger Room on Urbanspoon
The Hanger Room Reviews in Willernie

Jan 082011

Cuisine: American, Deli, Italian, Pizza
Restaurant Features: Bar, Market, On-Site Parking
Location: Willernie, MN (Mahtomedi)
Address: 460 Stillwater Road Willernie, MN 55090  (651) 653-4733
Hours: Mon-Thurs  11am-9pm   Fri-Sat 11-am-10pm  Sun 11am-8pm

Links: Roma Website * Roma Facebook Page *  Google Map

Atmosphere: Roma is located in downtown Willernie in a space that used to occupy a laundromat.  They did a spectacular job with their remodeling, as the new space is a very fresh and cute.  A majority of the space is used by the dining room, which has a mix of both tables and booths.  There is also a bar area that offers seating at the bar as well as at a handful of bistro tables.  There are many windows, giving plenty of beautiful natural light during the day.  I sat at a booth by the window and discovered that it can also be cool and drafty during winter months.  I can only assume that the lights are dim at night to offer more of a romantic and relaxing atmosphere.

Roma also has a “Roman Market” which offers Premium Meats and European Deli items.

Menu: Appetizers include Antipasto Classico (meat & cheese tray), Cheese & Fruit Plate, Spinach Artichoke Dip, Spirito (Flatbread and three dips/spreads), Mussels ala Romana, Caprese, Italian Wings, Hummus, Bruschetta, Gelee (fruits and cheeses on crustini bread), Fonduta, and Italian Fries.

Salad options are the Gorgonzola, Greek, Caesar, Bistecca (steak with caramelized onions), Chicken with Apple and Walnuts, Rucola (arugula, bacon, egg, tomato), and Spinach Salad.

Sandwiches at Roma are served with kettle chips and include Greek Gyro, Italian Sub, Reuben, Rachel, French Dip, Turkey Melt, Hot Dago, Italian Beef, and Trojan Tenderloin.  Flatbread wraps include Turkey, Chicken Caesar, Garlic Steak, Italian Combo, Diavlo Shrimp and Stromboli.  Additional sandwiches served on the lunch menu include Porketta, BBQ Meatloaf, Grinder, Sausalito Turkey, Meatball Hoagie, Pastrami, Walleye, Margherita, and the Gladiator Melt (roast beef and cheddar).

Roma’s Pasta menu consists of Spaghetti, Gnocchi Bolognese, Lasagna Classico, Lasagna Blanco, Fettuccine Alfredo, Sausage Arabiatta, Chicken and Shrimp Linguini, and Squash Ravioli.  Additional Pastas and Entrees served at dinner include Lobster Canneloni, Shrimp Pomodoro, Gorgonzola Filet, Sacchetti (pasta filled with truffle and ricotta in fontina cream sauce), Scallops Puttanesca, Chicken Saltimbocca, and Walleye in a Remoulade Sauce.

Roma has quickly become known for its wood-fired pizzas (10″& 14″) with options such as the Cheese, Margherita, Succo (cinnamon cream, squash, gorgonzola and caramelized onions with maple syrup), Garden, Balsalmico, Vesuvio (pepperoni, sausage, ham, mushroom, onion and peppers), Pesto Shrimp, Greek Gyro, Chicken Alfredo or Build-Your-Own.

Price guide: Appetizers $4-12  Salads $8-12 Sandwiches $8-12   Pastas/Entrees $12-22  Specialty Pizzas 10″ $9+   14″ $14

Happy Hour:

  • Daily 3-5pm
  • 2-for-1 Tap & Bottled Beer, Mixed Drinks and Wine-by-the-Glass
  • Cash Bar Only

What we ordered: The Italian Wings sounded good so we started with an order of those.  The wings were loosely coated with Italian bread crumbs and then fried to a golden brown. The breading was only slightly crispy  and was flaking off the wings in the usual way of bread crumbs, but they tasted delicious nonetheless! They were served with both bleu cheese and marinara.

Our server highly recommended the Spinach Artichoke Dip so we also had an order of that.  It took some time to arrive because the flatbread was made to order, but we both liked it quite a bit.  The flatbread was baked with parmesan cheese until the perfect texture of soft and crispy.  The dip was very cream-cheese dominant with subtle pieces of artichoke and spinach blended in.  We liked it but both agreed we prefer artichoke dip with a blend of cheeses and seasonings.

There was a very nice selection of sandwiches on the lunch menu and after asking for a recommendation, I ordered the Gladiator Melt.  This sandwich was very good! The thinly-sliced roast beef was very tender and flavorful and had the cheddar cheese melted right into the layers.  It was served on a soft yet slightly crusty ciabatta bread with a wine vinaigrette and aoili sauce.  The textures and flavors of this sandwich went really well together.  It was served with seasoned kettle chips and red grapes.

The Porketta was another recommendation of the server’s that my companion decided to try. I had been really enjoying my Gladiator Melt but then I tried a bite of the Porketta and I forgot all about the sandwich i ordered.  This was one of the best new sandwiches I have tried in quite some time!  The base of the sandwich was moist, tender pulled pork flavored with Italian seasonings then topped with melted pepperjack and sauteed peppers and onions.  Seriously awesome, can’t figure out why this sandwich is not included on the dinner menu!?

Service: Our visit was mid-afternoon on a weekday so we had no problem getting a parking spot and we had our pick of tables as well.  We were promptly greeted by our friendly server, who seemed to be the only person working in front.  She made some great recommendations from the menu and brought us drinks and refills as needed.  The timing of the food wasn’t the best; it took nearly 20 minutes for our appetizers since they were both made-to-order and even though we ordered our sandwiches later than we ordered the apps, our sandwiches came out less than five minutes after the apps.  That is kind of a pet-peeve of mine but I didn’t sweat it since we were practically the only people in the restaurant.

Overall Impression: This is a lovely little gem in Willernie, near Mahtomedi.  The sandwiches are excellent and the pastas and pizzas are rumored to be pretty awesome as well.  The prices seemed very reasonable for the amount of food you get.  Can’t wait to go back and try dinner very soon!  One thing I think is great about Roma is that they always have some kind of printable coupon on their website.  The current coupon for January 2011 is for Buy-One-Get-One Half Off .  Now print yourselves a coupon, try Roma and let me know what you think!

Roma Restaurant and Roman Market on Urbanspoon