Yummy Date Night Dinner!

Another post migrated from my 3-Day site...

I had this $100 gift card (remember that amount as you read on) burning a hole in my pocket so Dave and I decided we'd use it on a restaurant we'd never been to before.  Dave had seen a review for The Hanger Room in the paper a couple of weeks ago.  The restaurant is in what used to be a bowling alley in the little town of Willernie on the south eastern tip of White Bear Lake (the lake not the town).

According to their website they prepare all of the meals from only local sources and are committed to a sustainable product.  Even more of a reason to try it in our opinion.

We arrived a bit early for our reservation (there was no traffic on a Friday afternoon, what's up with that?) so we had a seat at the bar.  The bar is beautiful!  They have over 80 different tap beers and a wine list that requires a three-ring book!

We ordered a bottle of Louis Martini Cabernet and decided we were hungry.  Rather than go to dinner early we tried an appetizer.  What would go better with a good (ok great) Cabernet than a plate of cheese?  We ordered the cheese plate.  There were three cheeses, blueberries, nuts, a blueberry puree and a balsamic reduction on the plate.  The blue cheese was a little to "barn" for me but Dave liked it.  The brie was from Wisconsin and I really liked that one!  The third cheese was a pecorino romano and we fought over that one!  The blueberry coulis was ok, but the balsamic reduction was amazing.  I literally scraped plate clean!  A little brie, some greens and that reduction on the amazing flatbread crisps was to die for!

Oh wait!  I forgot to mention the flatbread crisps!  They were so good!  I asked how the chef made them; salt, pepper, garlic oil and flatbread.  You can bet I'll be trying to make those at home!

We moved into the dining room for dinner.  Dave knew he was going to have a steak and they did sound really good but there was a sandwich on the menu that caught my eye,
the Fried Egg BLT.  It had avocado, a spicy a spicy aioli, apple wood smoked bacon, bibb lettuce, and  tomato on ciabatta roll.  It was AMAZING!  The bacon was delicious and perfectly crispy.  The egg still oozed just a little and the aioli was just hot enough to provide flavor without overpowering the sandwich.  The ciabatta roll wasn't like any I've had before.  It was soft!  You could actually bite through it without destroying the rest of the sandwich.

The sandwich came with their Arugula salad.  Dave and I shared that.  It was good but a bit over-dressed for me.  I like a little dressing on my salad, not the other way around.  Next time I would order the dressing on the side (it was delicious!) or just ask for less of it.

Dave had the Beef Tenderloin steak.  It was cooked a perfect medium and was topped with caramelized onions and arguably the best onion ring I have ever had!  I'm not sure what the seasonings in the batter were but that ring was delicious.  Dave's steak also came with cauliflower puree.  It was like cream!  Also drizzled on the plate was a shallot jus.  Something else I need to figure out how to make!

We ordered a side of fingerling potatoes to share.  OH MY!  These roasted little potatoes were addicting!  Again, simply roasted with perfect seasonings.  So good!

For dessert we split a dish of amazing vanilla bean ice cream.  The portion was just perfect.

We'll definitely be going back.  It was about a half hour drive without traffic so not too bad to get to.  The service was great from the bar to the dining room and I'm definitely a fan of the chef!

The entire bill was $100.  Yes, exactly $100!  Don't think that it's an expensive place.  That $100 included the $50 bottle of wine we ordered!

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