Earlier this summer, I put on a new dealer in suburban Minneapolis. I did a training for them one evening and then took them out to dinner at the Redstone Grill in Eden Prairie (see map). I was sort of familiar with the Redstone Grill, knowing it was a somewhat upscale place to eat, but I'd never been there before. I looked forward to going there that evening.
The Redstone Grill got it's start in 2000 when Dean Vlahos, the man who started the Chammps Americana sports bars and restaurants, opened the first Redstone Grill in Minnetonka, MN (see map). Vlahos incorporated an adventurous menu with a restaurant that featured both a north woods and contemporary theme to the decor. There's a lot of stone and wood in a Redstone Grill, giving it sort of a rugged, yet romantic look.
In addition to the Minnetonka and Eden Prairie locations, Vlahos has expanded the Redstone Grill locations to five with one in suburban Chicago, one in New Jersey and one in Pennsylvania. A sixth location will be opening in Maryland in the coming weeks.
It was around 8 p.m. when we got into the restaurant. The Eden Prairie location has a good sized parking lot with valet parking, but nearly all the parking spots were taken. We didn't have a reservation, but it only took us about 10 minutes to be seated. We were taken to a table next to a screened in window looking outside to the patio. There was a small combo playing music and a number of people seated outside enjoying the long days of mid-summer in Minnesota.
We all decided to eat steaks that evening as the Redstone Grill is famous for their grilled beef. I proposed a bottle of wine for the evening and asked one of the guys to pick out something from the wine list. He came up with a bottle of the Caymus Cabernet Sauvignon 2002, a very fine wine that I'd had one time a few years ago. It wasn't cheap - $140 for the bottle, but what the hell.
As I said, the menu was sort of adventurous with a number of seafood entrees to choose from. The Redstone Grill also features ribs and rotisserie chicken. I understand their ribs are very, very good. But beef is the king at the Redstone Grill with such tantalizing offerings such as a bone-in prime rib, dry-aged rib-eyes and strip steaks, and tender filets. You can add either a sauce or a dried crust to the steaks for an additional charge.
All five of us went with steaks - four of us got the strip steak, while the other went with the rib-eye. I ordered mine with the peppercorn cream sauce and a side of sauteed mushrooms. I also got the garlic mashed potatoes as a side. For a starter, on a recommendation from one of my guests, I got a bowl of the wild mushroom soup.
As we were waiting for dinner, one of the guys told me the bathroom, which was right near our table, was the infamous bathroom in which Kirby Puckett, a former Minnesota Twins star and a member of the Baseball Hall of Fame, allegedly forced a woman into the bathroom and groped her. The story made national news before Puckett was subsequently tried and acquitted on all charges.
The story about Puckett served as a starting point for a conversation about famous people or athletes the dealer had served during the over 40 years they'd been in business. The musician, Prince, is said to have bought his first stereo years ago from this dealer. And a number of Minnesota professional athletes from the Twins, Vikings and hockey teams have bought systems from the dealer over the years. It was good to have my gear in this store.
My wild mushroom soup came out with the other salads. I have to say it was very good. It was creamy, had a nice earthy taste to the mushrooms, but it wasn't heavy and rich. It was a nice warm-up for the main entree.
It wasn't much more than 15 minutes later when our steaks showed up at the table. My 16 oz. New York strip was cooked to a perfect medium rare. The peppercorn cream sauce was a nice addition to the taste of the steak. And the garlic mashed potatoes were very good, as well.
One of my guests asked for his steak to be cooked rare, but it came out more done than my medium rare. We got the waitress to take it back. In the meantime, one of the managers came over to the table to apologize for the overcooked steak. About 10 minutes after his first steak disappeared, a perfectly cooked rare strip steak showed up at the table. The manager checked back to see if everything was fine with the second steak. My guest was more than pleased with his correctly cooked steak.
After dinner, we all decided to have a glass of the MacAllan 18 year old Scotch. The MacAllen is one of my favorites and the 18 year Scotch is absolutely smooth and tasty. The Scotch was great after a great dinner.
The bill with tip came to a little over $500 bucks, but I didn't care. These guys were good people, I was happy to finally have a high profile dealer in Minneapolis and we were having fun connecting the dots of people in the AV industry that we all knew. The Redstone Grill was everything I expected it to be - great food, great service, great atmosphere. We were treated well at the Redstone Grill and although it was a little expensive, it was worth every dime dropped in there.