Ahh, summer. You know that feeling of wanting to eat oatmeal all day and get a tan with your racerback tank-top on that looks totally weird when you're in a strapless dress with your hair up? Me neither. Nevertheless, some things are inevitable.
So Matt and I celebrated our 8-year dating anniversary (sometimes referred to as Malliversary in our native language side effects may include nausea) and to give this special occasion an appropriate venue, we ventured up to Northeast.
Red Stag Supper Club
509 1st Ave NE
Minneapolis, MN 55413
Red Stag is the quintessential fancy urban restaurant of Minneapolis. Imagine Kincaid's if hipsters took it over and redecorated, then added vegan options to the menu because they were vegan before it was cool. Side note: vegans, don't go to Kincaid's. Ever. You say the word vegan in there, I'm pretty sure they call the fire department. The best you can hope for is a baked potato. But hallelujah: Red Stag knows what's up.
As you peruse the menu, on which there are options - plural - you get some free bread. Ours was lovely and dense, full of fresh dill and with a nice East European feel. Crispy crust, moist middle. It came with a non-vegan spread: a bean dip made with butter. That's alright. Bread's good by itself.
If I'd wanted, I'm sure I could've ordered the risotto vegan. Instead I went for the Crispy Tofu for $17, and specifically asked for a vegan preparation. You should drop the v-word, too.
Holy mother of vegan pearl, this thing was incredible. I know I keep finding amazing vegan fried tofu and telling you it's the best vegan fried tofu I've ever had, but this one. This one. Is the one. Not even kidding. It is perfect in every way. The crisp, the penetration of flavor, the combination with the surrounding foods on the plate... $17 is a lot to pay for one meal. But muffins. SO worth it. The sauce was almost as magic as the tofu: a slightly spicy peanut concoction that went amazingly with the Asian flavor blend of warm, creamy lentils, crunchy peanuts, steamed asparagus, and crispy tofu.
We shared a scoop of Pineapple Strawberry Sorbet for $3. And by shared, I mean I had one and a half bites. The stuff was way too sweet for me (think airy strawberry ice cream with a pineapple tang), but Matt really enjoyed the lightness.
Then we went home and Captain Adventure was so utterly sleep deprived that he gently batted at my face (much like a cat would, but with his big ol' man-hands) while giggling - I'm not exaggerating, it was definitely not laughing but giggling - for about 30 minutes. Good anniversary.