Above: The creative menu is as bright as the towering windows at St. Kilda Surf and Turf, which opened last week.
By Wini Moranville
Alexander and Whitney Hall continue to raise the standards for polished-casual dining in town. The owners of St. Kilda opened their newest venue, St. Kilda Surf and Turf, last Wednesday in the East Village. These five things impressed me most on an opening-day visit:
• A modern yet graceful ambiance: Cement floors and hard-edged furnishings seem to be de rigueur in restaurants these days, but here, sky-high ceilings and (almost) floor-to-ceiling windows opening onto the East Village streetscape and downtown cityscape give the space a roomy elegance.
• Committed menu available all day every day: What a challenge it must be to keep the doors open all day, with the entire menu available for a 15-hour stretch. But what a boon to diners who want odd-hour breakfast, lunch or dinner. Hours are 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. weekdays, 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. on weekends.
• A promising start: The all-day menu includes plenty of breakfast options; for lunch and dinner, look for modern riffs on surf-and-turf. The “surf” includes either seared or fried fish and hand-cut fries, and the “turf” includes souvlaki-style pita sandwiches. We were thrilled by the lamb souvlaki, with its exceedingly tender roast lamb and bits of caramelized onions atop homemade pita, all sparked by a bright mustard aioli. Though less head-turning, the walleye fish and chips entree was solid and straightforward.
• Solid staff: Our visit fell on opening day – and a busy one at that – yet we encountered no glitches, just a polished and professional approach all the way around.
• Committed espresso bar: I’ll say it again: It’s rare in this town to get great espresso drinks at a place that also serves great food. Here, they can do both. A full bar is also available. Having it all under one roof is refreshingly European (or, in this case, Australian).
St. Kilda Surf and Turf, 111 E. Grand Ave.; 515-288-1086; stkildasurfturf.com.
Wini Moranville writes about food, wine and dining for dsm magazine and dsmWeekly. Follow her on Facebook at All Things Food–DSM.
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