Old school charm at the Red Stag Supper Club: Amy's take

By Amy Ledig

I have long been in love with Barbette (see September’s Food and Drank page for more on that story) and have recently succumbed to the charms of Bryant Lake Bowl, so it only seems logical that the Red Stag Supper Club, which is owned by the same proprietors and appears in many of the same best-of lists, would quickly work its way into my heart. Last weekend, it did just that. Saturday brunch was perfect. The old-school, wood-paneled dining room had just the right laid back ambiance, making you want to say yes to the third and fourth coffee refill offers just to linger a little longer. The sausage and mushroom scramble (delicious) was one on a long list of solid breakfast food offerings; I plan to go back very soon for the brioche french toast. My friend’s lobster egg salad sandwich disappeared almost immediately, and for those of age, there is an inventive list of brunch cocktails, ranging from their version of the bloody mary to a wake up beer-Guinness, fortified with a shot of espresso.

I was impressed with brunch, but wanted more, so I went back later in the weekend for dinner. For a Sunday, the place was happening. The crowd had shifted from yuppie/hipster types to a bit of an older crowd, making my friend and I glad we were on the dressier side. Dinner is definitely more of a splurge, but one that is well worth it. The small plates were hard to choose from-how does one decide between sweet potato gnocchi and lobster and grilled leek mac and cheese? The mac and cheese won, proving to be more of a casserole than a traditional interpretation, but the creaminess was far from a drawback. I had the flat iron steak, which comes with whipped potatoes, braised greens and a madeira sauce. There was less steak than one might expect for $22, but it was clearly quality food. My friend had the fried trout, which, far from the grease-laden seafood picture the name might conjure, was light and delicious, with perhaps not quite enough cauliflower puree but still a winner. Desserts are no joking matter. My friend decided on the carrot cake, which she didn’t think held up to Coffee News’s, but I thought was good. The bread pudding was likewise a solid offering, and my friend said she would go back for the lemon basil martini alone.

The Red Stag is a great reason to head over to a surprisingly happening part of Northeast Minneapolis. It’s not an area I would usually think of hanging out in on the weekends, but this pocket is chock full of cool restaurants and stores-The Bulldog and Conga are both within a few blocks-and if you want a more budget-friendly dinner, hit it up on Cheap Date Night Tuesdays, when you can get two entrees, a bottle of wine and dessert for $32 a couple.

The Red Stag Supper Club is at 509 1st Ave. NE, Minneapolis. Hours are 11 a.m. – 2 a.m. Monday – Friday, 9 a.m. – 2 a.m. Saturday and Sunday. Check the web site (redstagsupperclub.com) for live music and events.