A Fish Fry And Old Fashioneds

Entertaining in-laws from Wisconsin meant two things in terms of our diet this past weekend: We were able to indulge in Old Fashioneds, and we needed to find a Friday-night fish fry.

Old Fashioneds are easy enough to serve up at home, assuming you know your guests’ preferred style. In our case, they’re always served sweet with brandy. Selecting a Friday-night fish fry, on the other hand, was a bit of a puzzle until I recalled the Red Stag.

I like the Red Stag for a number of reasons. The food is good, for starters, but more than that, the Red Stag rises above some of the other local fish fries with its commitment to serving local and organic foods as much as possible, conserving resources, composting waste, and always looking for areas to improve their business practices.

We made a reservation for four earlier in the week and once my in-laws arrived on Friday, we headed down for cocktails and the Red Stag’s fish fry. We were seated immediately, and greeted promptly by our server.

They usually have a seafood pasta option on Friday nights, such as saucy, aromatic linguini and clams. They also always have their crispy cornmeal-breaded calamari served with mouthwatering harissa aioli and their unique smelt fries on the menu, to boot. We opted for their fried fish basket, which included fresh coleslaw, one gigantic potato chip, and sweet onion tartar sauce. Red Stag’s fish basket options include singles or doubles. We like the flaky, lean blue gill. Of course, we paired our fish baskets with Old Fashioneds, but local beer from brewers such as Summit and Surly are available as well. We ordered up a side of their Brussels sprouts as well because, well, I can’t resist Brussels sprouts.

The fish was hot, crispy, and tasty, the conversation was interesting, and our server was delightful. It was yet another positive experience at the Red Stag.

Ready to give Red Stag a whirl? It’s located in Northeast Minneapolis at 509 1st Ave NE. They have regular live music, plus Cheap Date Night™ Tuesdays from 5-10 p.m., which includes a bottle of wine, two entrees, and dessert for $32 per couple. You can’t beat that!