Green with Enviable Cooking

Let’s start with the important stuff: everything I had at the Green Room in Stillwater was good. We have to start there, because this place is weird.

On the menu, sushi cohabits with hummus. Fresh ceviche stands alongside dishes of Italian pasta. There are no burgers. This is world cuisine with a very unique take on “world.” Which, at first glance can seem, well, weird. Who puts a sushi appetizer and hummus on the same menu?

But you should order the hummus. It’s beautiful and delicious. The garlic gives the creamy dip a bit of a kick, but the presentation is what really kicks—crispy papadum crackers stand tall, surrounding the hummus and baba gannouj. The salads are also nice. We especially enjoyed the super-fresh greens, blueberries, and hazelnuts of the Minnesota salad, although the turkey confit topping was a bit dry.

The ricotta-and-spinach gnocchi is fantastic. The prosciutto is long, thick, and flavorful, and the fresh Parmesan and white-wine garlic sauce is rich and decadent.

We also loved the smoked pork loin, served in a giant hunk, perfectly prepared and topped with a delicious, chunky applesauce.

As bizarre as it may seem to have Indian dishes on this menu, they are really excellent. The Indian seafood congee is poorly named (it’s more like a bouillabaisse) but delicious, loaded with perfectly prepared mussels, shrimp, scallops, and salmon. The broth was extremely herby and fresh, with a dominant ginger flavor. And the vegetables! The dish was packed with crispy broccoli, cauliflower, and carrots. Simply wonderful.

The chana masala was as gorgeous as the hummus, presented with crispy papadum and sweet batura bread. Our server gave us a choice of spice level, warning us that medium was not “Minnesota” medium. He said it made him sweat. It didn’t make us sweat, we told him, and he immediately brought out a plate with four different types of chilies and spices. That’s great service.

So, although the Green Room is admittedly hard to characterize, it certainly doesn’t lack deliciousness. And ultimately that’s what matters, right?

The Green Room, 215 Main St. S., Stillwater, 651-342-0215,

Jason Derusha is a reporter for WCCO-TV.