Wednesday, October 28, 2009

For years, the restaurant scene in Redmond, Washington has been woefully underdeveloped. I mean, it has it's Claimjumpers and whatnot for those craving 3 meals on one plate. And Pomegranate Bistro has it's moments, but is better for the weekend brunch than the night out without the kids.

But last weekend we found a rare treasure hiding right there in downtown Redmond. As you're going down Cleveland street, look left and you'll see The Stone House, a little old home-turned-restaurant. Quaint, cute...if it were listed in a home real estate listing it would say Charming Cottage (which we all know means Small and Old).

The kitchen, as seen through the backdoor appears miniscule. The dining room isn't much bigger with seating for a tight 25 or so and a teensy bar.

We started off a little shaky with a lunch menu instead of the wine menu, but after that confusion was remedied, the night only got better.

Always a sucker for figs and proscuitto, we got a little balsamic dressed salad for starters. It was good, but lacked some acid. Next up, we shared the Red Curry Mussels, buttery mollusks in a spicy sauce. I personally would have liked a serving spoon, but that's just me. And definitely ask them for some bread to soak up the curry sauce. It's hard to get the nuances of the sauce with just the mussels.

And then (cue heavenly harp chords)...there were the entrees. Oh, the entrees. How wonderful art thou! How genius is thy chef!

Succulent duck breast rolled around a dried cherry hazelnut compote, then wrapped in thick, juicy (not too salty) strips of bacon, all served over a mixture of chanterelle mushrooms and sweet chunks of butternut squash, sauced with a sage pesto. Wow...absolutely amazing.

But there's more. Not only was my entree the best I've had in ages. My husband's meal was equally incredible.

The menu literally reads, "Chili Crusted Painted Hills Farm Beef Tenderloin with White Cheddar Mashed Potatoes, Roasted Local Corn and Cilantro Butter." What that doesn't say is, "This is maybe the best piece of meat in the state." Yeah, I've been to Ruth's Chris Steak House and Daniel's Broiler. They have their good points, but they can go to the back of the lunch line cuz Chef Ryan Donaldson has serious chops (and I don't mean pork). This dish is inspired. The caramelized salty crunch of crust on the melt-in-your mouth beef, a whole cob of sweet corn flavored with that beautiful cilantro butter. I mean, when I go back I want to try something new, but I don't know if I could pass up ordering this beef for myself.

The dessert menu has all the regulars (flourless chocolate cake, creme brulee, bread pudding, brown butter cake) plus a roasted banana split in a martini glass. Cute until you spill it all over the table because it is impossible to eat out of that ridiculous glass. Try their house made brownies, though. You won't be sorry (unless you each had your own dessert before getting the brownies because your waistband will be quite uncomfortable at this point).

And for aspiring home cooks, there are recipes! New every week. If you missed one, all you have to do is email the chef for it. How great is that?

So go to The Stone House. Go, go, go, and ignore the paint color in the dining room for now. Because if you keep going, they can paint over it and maybe upgrade to a bigger restaurant. We do not want this place to close it's doors without opening some new ones.


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