A colleague invited me to a New Year’s lunch. We picked the St. Paul Grill. It’s one of my favorite lunch spots, also very popular with Minnesota politicos and St. Paul leaders.
We both started out with a Caesar salad. The salad was very good. The dressing was nice and light, not excessively garlicky. No anchovy, however. It was a very large serving. I ate most of it anyway. But two people could easily split it.
Neither of us charted new territory with our entrées. My friend had the walleye lunch. I’ve had it in the past. It’s lightly breaded and sautéed. The fish comes out very moist and the coating has a nice crunch.
I ordered the pasta Adriatica. The first time I ordered this lunch, I was so impressed that I replicated it at home. It’s really quite simple. The ingredients are pasta, cubes of chicken, tomatoes, spinach, and kalamata olives. At home, I made it vegetarian by substituting mushrooms for the chicken. A nice firm tofu also would make a good substitute. The first time I had this dish, it was made with farfalle. That’s what I used when I made it at home. This time, it was made with penne. I like it better with farfalle.
St. Paul Grill is a great place for a business lunch. The service is great. The ambiance is comfortable. The food is reliably good. I’m not so fond of it for dinner. I’ve only had dinner there once. But at night, it becomes a pretty straight-forward steak place. It’s good, but nothing remarkable.