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.
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