Sunday, January 31, 2010

Red Stag Supperclub - Minneapolis, MN

The deal:
The Red Stag Supperclub in Northeast Minneapolis, in keeping with the fine supperclub tradition, offers a Friday night fish fry. For between $11 and $13 you can get a single fried fish basket of cod, some Alaskan fish or walleye (note that the fish shown on the menu online are not what's currently on the menu). Baskets include sweet onion tartar sauce, chips and a bit of coleslaw. A basket of bread is served with the meals. The fish fry menu also includes more exotic options like calamari, smelt fries, fried oysters and seared scallops.

The food:
Although I appreciated the bread basket, I was a little sad that the rolls weren't hot and that the "butter" was some bean spread concoction that had almost no flavor. For fish, I went for the walleye and within 5 minutes (yep, it was really that fast) I had a basket of four small pieces of fish and about four large, thin chips. The fish was nearly perfectly flaky and flavorful while the batter was light and crispy without being too crunchy or dry. The chips were wonderful and for I didn't feel cheated by a lack of fries or hash browns. They had a bit of garlicky flavor, but not so much as to overwhelm the fish. As an extra little treat, each basket was served with a tiny spray bottle of malt vinegar. I didn't take advantage of it, but I appreciated the touch.

After the fish, our party split a special ginger creme brulee dessert. I loved the chocolate bottom, but when I have ginger in a dessert, I really want to taste the ginger. It should be the hero and here it wasn't.

The flavor:
The Red Stag is really more of a faux supperclub. No real supperclub would be as pretty or have charming touches like the coasters shown here. You use one side of the coaster to show the waitstaff you want regular water or flip it over for sparkling water.

While our food was served incredibly quickly, once the place got crowded things slowed down and it took awhile to order dessert and get our bill. That's not a big deal, but it's something to be aware of if the Red Stag is just your first stop of the evening.

The drink menu was extensive and included lots of wine, an excellent and thoughtfully chosen selection of beer and lots of hot toddies. There's nothing better on a cold night than a hot toddy. I ordered a hot buttered rum and it was easily the best I've ever had. I'd highly recommend the Red Stag for a contemporary take on classic superclubs, whether you go on Friday or not.

Second opinions:

City Pages
Hungry For Wine
Minneapolis St. Paul Magazine
Minneapolis Star Tribune
Minnesota Monthly
Twin Cities Eats

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