Usually we go to the North Loop in Minneapolis for great food. This is only because we’ve become comfortable there. That’s the main reason. Ok I fib. The other reasons are:
- Parking is a bit of a nightmare in Uptown, and until you get used to it, it’s difficult to get used to. For us old fogies anyway.
- We have this horrible, sort of food snob thing about restaurants in the ‘burbs, or chain restaurants. Can I please let you know that I KNOW this makes us jerks, and we should be slapped. This part of ourselves is a work in progress.
- There is a bevy of restaurants to choose from in the North Loop, and each one is unique and offers something pretty great.
So, after one particularly long and tiring and upsetting week, I begged to just stay home Friday night instead of go to Butcher and the Boar, where we had Friday night reservations. It was only Wednesday, but I knew I would run out of steam by Friday and would just want to stay home in my comfy clothes. This turned out to be a blessing in disguise when we called to cancel. The weekend went by nicely, and Sunday we decided to go to Ridgedale Mall to look at Macy’s for shoes for Devante. Of course we had only had coffee and by the time we got ready and arrived at the mall, we were both very hungry. We decided to eat at the mall, with (and I’m going to throw Devante under the bus a bit here) SOMEONE was definitely hangry and eating at the mall wasn’t appealing to him. However, we decided to anyway because I basically just wanted to get food in him so I wouldn’t have a reason to end up on Snapped.
We decided to go to Redstone Bar and Grill. Redstone has 9 locations across the US. So it’s a chain, but ... is it really? (Interjection and a need to explain- YES, I DO on occasion go to Perkins, or Buffalo Wild Wings, or 5 Guys. But when I’m going to drop some cash and look a little nicer than usual... you know.) So here we are at Redstone, and it’s 11am so there is a brunch available, or a regular lunch menu as well. We were seated right away and as we settled into our booth, I started to peruse the menu. The brunch looked FANTASTIC, but definitely when it was over, I would be wobbling out the door, or rolling, or maybe die of a heart attack on my way out.
“CHEF’S BRUNCH French toast, fruit salad, cream cheese scrambled eggs, bacon, sausage and hash browns. Additional servings are complimentary.” We later would find out the hash browns have cream cheese in them too, so they are crisp on the outside and softer on the inside. Oh Lort.
Anyways, at this point our server, Chichi, came to our table in a swoop of beauty, elegance, charm, and friendliness. She introduced herself and seemed genuinely happy we were there. I ordered a Bloody Mary, and while Devante was in the washroom at this moment, I ordered him an interesting sounding Pomegranate Mimosa. This is because I wanted to try it, but I couldn’t very well order myself two drinks at once. He was a bit surprised when he came back to the table, but he knows me, so he put two and two together pretty swiftly. He’s such a good man.
Chichi seemed to realize that I was having trouble deciding on an entrée, so she also informed us that there was fresh halibut, salmon, and Chilean Sea Bass as well. She raved about the halibut, letting me know it was very fresh, never ever frozen, and so delicious with the lemon garlic glaze on it. It came with beets, but because I have an aversion to those, she offered the carrots and asparagus instead. This sounded marvelous to me. Devante went back and forth between the Rotisserie Chicken and the Beef Wellington, but since we rarely see Beef Wellington on a menu (and for good reason), he decided to give it a shot. We started off with the parmesan shrimp and calamari. Why not, we said, after all, we didn’t go out Friday night. (This is how we justify things).
Chichi was an AMAZING server, she was friendly, and I’m repeating the word charming, and she was there when you needed her, but she didn’t hover. She brought us a complimentary serving of these little doughnut holes, sugared on the outside and creamy on the inside. There was a cream cheese butter on the side. Now let me confess something. I was going through a “no sugar challenge” at my gym. I blew it. I freaking blew it. Right then and there. I had HALF of a doughnut hole. I did it. I’m sorry Becca the Beast. I didn’t make it. I had two more days of this challenge, and Chichi brought the sample that was my undoing. I’m honestly sad about this, and probably didn’t enjoy those little morsels like I could have, had I not been on this no sugar challenge for almost two weeks. 😟
By this time, the Bloody Mary was disappearing, as was the pomegranate mimosa, which was delicious, bright and a nice surprise. Just when I was mulling over getting one for myself, our calamari and shrimp arrived. It was beautiful. Ok, calamari can sometimes be underwhelming. This was not. Clearly, they change up the oil OFTEN, or we got lucky and came when the oil was fresh. The breading was light in texture but also in color. The pieces were thick but not too much so, and they were not rubbery or dry. Perfection really. The dipping sauce had dill, but not too much. There were little sweet peppers that tasted like banana peppers as well, which was a nice addition.
This was when Chichi recommended the Pay it Forward Martini. During October, $1 of every pink drink would be donated to the Pay it Forward Fund, which is a non-profit that helps breast and women’s cancer patients pay basic living expenses while they focus on getting treatment. This was MORE than a good enough reason for me to get a martini. All kidding aside, this is a wonderful, wonderful cause. The Pay it Forward Martini is DIVINE. It is made with Hendrick’s Gin, St. Germain ELDERFLOWER, Lemon, Rhubarb Simple Syrup, and Bouvet Brut Rose Excellence. Oh my lanta. I could have drunk these all day and slid right under the table. I didn’t, but I could have done so very happily. Now that I had failed my no sugar challenge, I figured I may as well go out with a bang. (Hence, the simple syrup in this drink.)
Then our lunch arrived. Oh, did it ever arrive! First of all, let me give accolades to the presentation. Both dishes looked beautiful. This wasn’t “delicate” food or “artsy” food. This was beautiful, fresh, pleasing to the eye food that was there to fill your belly and not punish you while doing so.
I took a bite first of the asparagus. Asparagus is a tricky thing. I’ve had it when it’s crisp, but cool. I’ve had it when it’s hot but wilted. I’ve had it when it’s tasteless. On Sunday the 6th of October, I had it when it was perfection. It was very warm, crisp but not hard, bursting with flavor, and a beautiful green color. I knew everything else was going to be delightful- and it was. So let me just tell you that the carrots were the most carroty tasting, the sweetest, the most fresh tasting carrots I’ve ever had. They came in a few different colors, and we were told they were sourced locally. I believe Peter Freakin’ Rabbit himself delivered those to the kitchen door that very morning. Then there was the halibut. Ohhhhh the halibut. Flaky, fresh, white, opaque, steamy, and absolutely delightful. It even made me forget about my Elderflower Martini.
I did take a moment to taste the Beef Wellington. How could I not? The pastry was obviously homemade. It had a nice flakiness to it, with the flavor of the prosciutto mushroom on the inside of it, there was a nice pairing there. The tenderness of the meat ... all three of them just came together very, very well. The meat was done to a perfect medium, JUST medium. Like, if they quit cooking it 30 seconds earlier, it would have been a medium rare. You cannot tell this from the photo, but I assure you, this is true. The mashed potatoes were garlic, and smooth, offsetting the richness of the beef. It is rare when Beef Wellington is on the menu, and even rarer still when they don’t muck it up. This was a success, and I knew we had a master chef behind the scenes.
We were fortunate to meet Chef Ross, the Head Chef at Redstone. He came out to our table, as we had raved to Chichi about our meal. He was humble, handsome, knowledgeable and experienced. He had been with Redstone for at least 7 years and was a sous chef prior to. I asked him if this was home for him, as I expected him to be moving onward and upward... like, New York bound or perhaps San Francisco or Los Angeles. Mais non, Chef Ross had a family and was happily residing in suburbia Twin Cities. How lucky is Redstone to have this visionary at their disposal!!
I am going to eat my words. There is rapturous dining to be found in the Ridgedale Mall. There is artistry, a craft, an EXPERIENCE to be had at Redstone there. We WILL be going back, and I will be trying the Chilean Sea Bass next. I cannot express my shock and awe at this place, and I highly recommend it to anyone passing through the Twin Cities area. North Loop be damned, I will see you another time, but for now, I shall start being more open minded. You never know the gems you will discover when you leave your comfort zone.
Written in Stone... I HIGHLY recommend Redstone.
Until next time Friends... Bon Appetite!