Walking into Redstone American Grill on a Friday night, we were immediately hit by the vibrant energy. It has a classic steakhouse vibe, with a large circular bar in the center surrounded by spotlit leather booths. An open kitchen at the back of the room exposes the hustle and bustle as they prepare delicious steak and seafood.
A seat at the bar keeps diners in the midst of that urban Friday night energy as bartenders race back and forth and the food flies by to the more intimate seating on either side. We were led to one of the booths along the outskirts of the room, a more intimate space with quieter lighting and a lovely date night vibe.
We started the night with their most requested signature drink, the Redstone Doli. At the top of the bar, you see the pivotal foundation of this fruity sipper. Two large jars are filled with fresh pineapple slices and New Amsterdam vodka. The jars sit for 5 to 7 days, the pineapple infusing the vodka with the fresh flavor of the fruit, but eliminating some of the sweetness. The result is grounded and complex getting to the strong essence of pineapple while creating a bold flavored cocktail.
The first starter to arrive at our table was the Buffalo Jumbo Shrimp. Everyone who visited us throughout the evening pointed out that Redstone’s seafood is flown in fresh daily. The massive shrimp freshness of the seafood, but the attention to detail in the preparation. The breading on the shrimp adds a welcome crunch to the deliberate chew of high quality shrimp and there’s a wonderful buffalo wing heat that radiates from the buffalo sauce covering the shrimp and decoratively ringing the plate. Each shrimp sits in a pool of blue cheese dressing and there are full crumbles of blue cheese scattered over the dish that act as the perfect counter note to the spicy buffalo sauce.
The Jerk Chicken Fondue is another starter that proves Redstone’s interest in defying expectation, and could just as well serve as a multi-faceted entrée for one as it does a crowd pleaser for the table. The chicken has a grill-blackened smokiness that makes the mouth water and is topped with a slaw made of diced red and yellow peppers, green onion, and red pepper flakes, all distinct and detectable under the current of spiciness they create.
The slaw creates a zing that pleasantly reminded us of pickled jalapeño. The fondue is smoked gouda with a little tea candle lit underneath the fondue pot to keep it warm and melted. For dipping, the offerings are sliced green apples, purple grapes, and toasted sourdough croutons, which are absolutely the best. Though everything works within the dip, we chose to eat the chicken unadorned, enjoying the spicy flavor of the slaw, slather the apples and bread in as much cheese as possible, and use the grapes as a refreshing chaser.
On the back wall, right next to the open kitchen there’s a wood-burning rotisserie, with juicy chickens rotating endlessly above logs that slowly burn down to glowing embers. We had a chance to sample the effect of these birds on the Rotisserie Chicken Chopped Salad, and though the chicken is chilled to fit with the rest of the salad, the wood-smoked flavor is outstanding. This hearty salad combines shreds of chicken with mixed greens, grape tomatoes, applewoodsmoked bacon, and a sting of sweetness from golden raisins, sweet corn, honeylime vinaigrette, and, the masterstroke, corn bread croutons. Light but with a touch of chewy smokiness, this dish would be perfect on a summer picnic table.
Considering their steakhouse identity, we had to try one of the steaks. While each sounded delicious, the description of the Ribeye Jameson Au Poivre captured our imagination. The cast iron seared, black pepper crusted ribeye steak cooked medium sat in a delicious Jameson whiskey veal cream sauce. If you’re a fan of pepper and spice, this one will do the trick. The pepper crust catches perfectly at the back of the throat and the heat continues to build, particularly after you swallow. Each bite amps up the heat and is aided by a side of steamed broccoli sprinkled with red pepper flakes. A side of horseradish-chive mashed potatoes also serves to push the spice factor, while being flavor forward enough to push through the steak’s incredible pepper profile.
The highlight of the night was their Parmesan Crusted Walleye. The fish is exceedingly creamy, flaky, and tender with a tantalizing mild crunch to the exterior courtesy of a pan searing. It’s accompanied by a helping of precedent-setting garlic mashed potatoes, starting strong with the garlic flavor before a deep, buttery follow through.
Lined up across the potatoes are perfectly prepared, grill mark-emblazoned asparagus. Everything sits on a pool of caper beurre blanc, emphasizing the buttery aspects of everything and investing a touch of citrus.
The dessert we saw parading through the restaurant most often was the Warm Chocolate Chip Cookie Sundae. It’s a small cast iron skillet, piping hot from the oven, the entire bottom of which is coated with a soft, warm chocolate chip cookie. The cookie is topped with two scoops of vanilla bean ice cream, whipped cream, and candied pecans, it tastes like the freshest cookie dough ice cream you’ve ever had. If celebrating a birthday, it comes with a firework on top of it that shoots sparks two feet into the air, lighting up an entire section of the restaurant as it arrives. We happened to catch it twice on the night of our visit. It’s the perfect visual representation of the show stopping flavors inside the skillet.
Redstone American Grill is located at 13 Lincoln Center in Oakbrook Terrace, 630-268-0313, redstonegrill.com.