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Great New Restaurant – Clearwater Grille

A few days ago, my wife and I went to check out the new Clearwater Grille, in the old Lakeview Castle building up the north shore (Here’s the map).  We always like to get out and see the new restaurants in town, of which there have been a lot over the past several years. 

We were both very happily surprised when we got there.  The new owners of the Clearwater Grille have done a lot of work and the bar and dining room are very nicely redone compared to the state they had fallen into over the past few years at this iconic building.  The bar looks great; very classy.  They replaced the nasty carpet with oak hardwood.  It’s all been painted of course and there are new tables and chairs.  They whole atmosphere is elegant without being pretentious, which some of the recent north shore restaurant additions are leaning toward.  But I enjoy them also when I’m in the mood.  This place is more approachable.

I will comment that I think the sign out front could have been done differently.  It’s a very large sign that says Red Swan Catering and Events Center and in smaller type below it says featuring Clearwater Grille.  It would be hard to see if you didn’t know what you were looking for or if you’re driving by fast or in the dark.   I asked about this and found that the new owners have owned and operated Red Swan Catering here in the area for 27 years and will now be holding events in this building.  It is a very large building.   They said they have a great variety of spaces available depending on the occasion, including the 300-person banquet hall on the lower level.  I personally think the sign should be more balanced.

The food was excellent and our server was wonderful, very attentive and professional.  The server gave us a nice little overview of the menu. He mentioned that the head chef intentionally focused on providing high-quality American fare rather than excessively fancy dishes that you can’t pronounce.  Everything looked good and sounded great.  There was a nice selection of appetizers, some really unique sounding salads, a good variety of entrees, pastas, and sandwiches, and also a lighter fare menu.

He also talked about the wine list (which my wife and I are both big fans of).  They have a very nice selections and we were offered a few samples which we liked and chose from.  I had a cab and my wife had a chardonnay.  I don’t recall the names or I would share them but they were both very good.

For an appetizer we went out on a limb and were nicely rewarded.  We had the walleye and wild rice egg rolls with spicy plum sauce.  They were excellent.  We will definitely be having those again when we go back.  For entrees my wife had the salmon with honey glaze.  It was a generous fillet and the honey really punched up the flavor.  I had the pot roast which was enough to feed an army, fall-apart tender,  and very satisfying.  I was doubly happy with my selection when I had it for lunch again the next day.

We couldn’t bring ourselves to have desert after the wonderful meal, but our server did bring over the desert tray, which you don’t see very often anymore.  There were six options and they all looked amazing, and according to the server are all made in house save for the cheese cake.

If you haven’t noticed yet, this is a positive review.  My wife and I were very impressed with the new restaurant and will certainly be visiting again.  I would recommend it to anyone.

23 Comments

Kelly Boed

about 9 years ago

Thanks for the review. We live nearby and are happy to hear we have another option. We'll check it out soon!

Kerc

about 9 years ago

Price range?

(Thanks for the review. It is most helpful).

CWill

about 9 years ago

Thanks for the great review. Is this a place we should save for 'date night'?  Or would it be a place we could also take our pre-teen and teen kids for dinner?  Jeans?  Dress up only?

John

about 9 years ago

Thanks for your comments.  I appreciate the feedback on the review.  Your questions cover a few things that I should have included.

The prices are reasonable and you get great portions.  I think salads, sandwiches and burgers were in the $5 to $10 range.  I believe the entrees started around $12 and went up to the fillet for $24.  I mentioned that I had the pot roast which was $13, but they had a half pot roast in the lighter fare section for $9.

I would say that Clearwater is on the order of Black Woods or Olive Garden (two of our favorites) as far as style or type of restaurant.  By that I mean that I think that it's certainly date-night quality, but also an atmosphere that is family-dinner friendly.  There was a family there while we were eating that had small children.  They had height chairs, kids menu, crayons and such.  It's a nice place, but certainly not dress up only.

CWill

about 9 years ago

Just what I wanted to hear.  Sounds like a great place!  Thanks for sharing!

John

about 9 years ago

I see the Northland's NewsCenter covered this yesterday.  

Clearwater Grille opens in the "castle"

adam

about 9 years ago

I went on opening day last week. Very little veg or gluten-free options for my companion. The fish of my fish and chips were cold. The entire menu is supper club, Sysco all the way.

I won't be back. I do hope their catering buoys them (which the Sysco makes sense for with large-scale, economical catering), otherwise 18 months or less.

Kevin Nealon

about 9 years ago

"Olive Garden!  I wouldn't take a dump in the Olive Garden." 

German Chris

about 9 years ago

Is this a review or an advertisement? What customer reviewer adds a map and news articles to their review?

CWill

about 9 years ago

Why must every public forum turn ugly?  The reviewer was merely comparing the new restaurant to Olive Garden, not suggesting we all go there.    And personally, I appreciate a map, and an additional link to the news article.  It's all good info.  And if it happened to accomplish advertising, so what?  Don't we all benefit indirectly from successful businesses in the area?  Shame on those who insist on being rude.

German Chris

about 9 years ago

Please explain my rudeness CWill?  Since when is it rude when someone asks questions? This is a public forum you know. Public discourse involves/requires questions.

It just seems weird that this review is so onesided and that this is the first review I have read from John. I don't see how a business faking good reviews benefits me? I would go there under false pretenses and eat food that may not taste good. 

Most reviewers give their full names and generally can help the business find some areas to improve on. Look up the Mary Tennis reviews from the Ripsaw for example.

Reductions and Reintroductions

Claire

about 9 years ago

I appreciate good and thorough reviews. I also appreciate honest feedback. And since I see Adam around town a lot at the same kinds of places I frequent, I don't think this is the kind of place for me. But good luck to them, I hope the place isn't a train wreck like that Carribean place sounds like, from some reviews of it.

Paul Lundgren

about 9 years ago

Chris, I think you should keep in mind that this is a community blog, and the reviewer is not (as far as we know) a professional. 

I agree that the review comes off as somewhat advertorial, but it would also be unfair to be overly critical of a restaurant that has only been open a few days. And I don't think adding the map or linking to the news article was inappropriate at all.

Others will weigh in as time goes on, I'm sure, about what they think of this restaurant. There is already one negative review in these comments. Personally, I wouldn't put too much stock in John's rave review or Adam's verdict that he "won't be back." I look forward to checking the place out and deciding for myself.

CWill

about 9 years ago

Chris-The post that struck me as rude and off topic, was not yours, but the comment about Olive  Garden.  It seemed totally unnecessary and rude in this string of comments.  I understand, questions are necessary and welcome.  

As far as the review being one-sided, I see your point.  I was reading the review from the perspective that the reviewer was a community member like me, not a professional reviewer.  Either way, I appreciated the opinions will welcome the opportunity to form my own opinion in the near future.

Barrett Chase

about 9 years ago

CWill: The Olive Garden comment is a joke from Weeds and is probably nothing to get upset about. I'm sure it's meant in fun.

digit3

about 9 years ago

I certainly didn't read the write-up as if it were written by a professional reviewer. The OP did give this new restaurant a glowing review which is great. When he likened it to two of his other favorites -- Olive Garden and Black Woods -- I am sure that many of us have enough info now to decide whether or not to spend our hard earned bucks there.

adam

about 9 years ago

Unless they have music. Florian Chmielewski on the stage above the bar.

CWill

about 9 years ago

Thanks for the clarification, Barrett.  I stand corrected, and have now shown my ignorance of current day television programming.

John

about 9 years ago

Quite the little discussion my review has spawned here.  I am certainly not a professional reviewer.  I am a web developer here in town at one of the local colleges (it won't take you much digging to figure out which one), hence my proclivity to link content in my posts.  My post was heartfelt and an attempt to help out a new business that I had a favorable experience with. It wasn't 100% positive.  I did give them a hard time about the way they did the sign out front.

Drew

about 9 years ago

Sysco Foods of Minnesota is the most green of all food distributers. They distribute the most organic foods, update and reinvest in their trucks so as to lessen polution as well as provide the most good paying jobs for families here in our community. They do not have an agenda, in fact, if the community wanted to eat only organic foods,  Sysco would ship only organic foods as they'll ship whatever their customers desire.

zra

about 9 years ago

I smell an opening for an official PDD food critic position.

Claire

about 9 years ago

I nominate Ironic1.

Bob Collings

about 8 years ago

The french onion soup was served cold, it arrived with a limp piece of mozzarella on top -- apparently they have never heard of the normal way to serve this soup, which is hot, with the cheese having been melted under a broiler. It was, frankly, the worst french onion soup I've ever tasted.

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