What a fun night we had at the Red Stag Supper Club in Minneapolis! The room was gorgeous, the food was superb, and the company was best of all. The photos, taken by my friend, fellow foodie, and excellent blogger Kate Sommers of Les Petites Images, tell the story way better than I can.
I started the night by thanking the Red Stag, our guests (50 in all!), and the Simple, Good, and Tasty crew. Then I made a toast to our food, food producers, local restaurants, and co-ops. The restaurant is a loud, festive place, so I tried to keep it short and sweet. (Not sure I made it, but I tried.)
Next, restaurant manager Amy Kelly spoke about the Red Stag being the only LEED certified restaurant in Minnesota. It's made of mostly recycled materials, uses LED lights almost exclusively, offers the option of a "half-flush," and uses 70% less water than a typical restaurant. Our guests listened intently to take it all in.
Then came the food.
Although the meal was billed as 3 courses, the Red Stag took an opportunity to show off a few of the cool extra things they do. Here's a picture of their meat and relish plate, featuring all sorts of good local veggies (including kohlrabi and beets), pickled eggs, and mortadella.
The meat and relish plate was followed by another local favorite - smelt fries, with smoked tomato ketchup, and tartar sauce.
And finally, it was time for the salad, local heirloom tomatoes with arugula, cucumber granita, basil seed caviar and tomato consomme. The salad was a lot simpler than it sounds, and extremely refreshing. For many of us, the tomatoes were the first local ones we've eaten this year (due to the unusually cool summer we're having).
After the salad, Chef Brian Hauke came out to talk a bit, meeting with each table to answer questions. Brian is a terrific chef, and super nice person, and a rising star in the Twin Cities.
Then came the main courses. I didn't get to try the chicken (brick pressed with broccoli a la Romana), but I heard it was excellent.
I ate the grilled pork loin and braised pork belly with house made guanciali, sweet corn, and sorrel, which was astoundingly good - and beautiful.
Did I mention that the whole thing cost only $35 per person? Or that for an extra charge, the Red Stag offered beer and wine pairings, as well as a custom sized lemon basil martini? Or that the Red Stag now has it's own "Simple, Good and Tasty" handshake (which, frankly, looks more like a cheer to me :-))? This monthly local meal has turned out to be such a fun adventure - I'm thankful and happy to have friends who are willing to come along for the ride.
If you want to be among the first to hear about our next Simple, Good, and Tasty monthly meal (August is already full and spots tend to fill up fast), please join our mailing list (enter your email address in the "join" section on the upper right of the web page).
Meanwhile, check out Les Petites Images to see more of Kate Sommers' excellent photos and food musings. (You can also see more, bigger pictures from the dinner at Kate's flickr photo stream.) Thanks again, Kate!