N and I had put off visiting Roberts Crossing after hearing several mixed reviews from our friends. So, it was with a bit of trepidation that I suggested it as my birthday dinner destination. To be honest, I prefer "tried and true" for a special occasion. Don't you? Despite that preference, off we went, heading south instead of downtown.
The parking lot seemed sparse for a Saturday evening, but within the next hour more customers arrived. We made our way around to the street side of the building, after being momentarily fooled by a side door with a table on the opposite side. We were greeted immediately and asked if we wished to sit in the bar or the dining room. We chose the dining room and a window table--the one that had fooled us.
The owners have done a wonderful job of turning what used to be the Wild Pear gift shop into a warm, welcoming, and comfortable environment. It was nice to see chairs that were a bit different from the standard and a beautiful rug on the floor. And maybe it's a silly detail, but I also appreciated the arrangement and spacing of the tables.
As our water glasses were being filled, my sad Beaver believer found consolation in a kindred spirit regarding the disappointing football game earlier that day. Directly after, our waitress told us about the specials of the day and asked what we would like to drink. In the few minutes it took her to return with our cocktails, we were ready to order.
N chose the special-- Smokey Mac and Cheese with the optional chicken, while I picked the Flat Iron Steak with Blue Cheese, potatoes and vegetables. I didn't notice anywhere on the menu about a dinner salad being included with our meal, so it was a welcome surprise to find that it did. I enjoyed another nice surprise when the dinner salads were brought to our table exactly the way I like them: quality greens, dressing on the side, and a few special additions of croutons, tomato, and onion. Hmmm, this was a promising beginning.
Our entrees were brought not long after we finished our salads--neither too soon, nor too late. N gazed appreciatively upon his cheesy noodles topped with a sliced, succulent chicken breast. The chicken was tender, grilled, juicy, sliced chicken breast. The mac and cheese was tasty. He didn't even add pepper. His usual thing. Me? I resisted that well trained inner child and sampled a bite of my flat iron steak before eating my vegetables. It may not have been as tender as butter, but it was full of flavor and so juicy. My mashed potatoes were delicious, but were nearly outshone by the hand-cut, crisp cooked vegetables. The two of us took our time to savor each bite.
Let me be clear, we didn't plan on ordering dessert (surprised, aren't you?). True, it was a birthday dinner, but sometimes the meal is enough. Especially if the offered desserts aren't all that tempting. But when the two of us hear words like, "peanut butter, chocolate torte", all our resolve is but a vague memory. It was worth it. The torte wasn't too sweet to hide that great combo of flavors.
When we removed our napkins from our laps and pushed away from the table, neither of us could find fault with a single thing. Our dinner experience was perfect.
Opens for dinner at 4PM, Tuesday - Saturday
3635 River Rd. S