The Ole Store Restaurant of Northfield appears to be a hit

Marin Amundson-Graham, Dana Graham, and sons Steve Hartke and daughter Madelyn Hartke Anne Kroes and Meredith Fierke Mary Rossing and Linda Schneewind Griff and Robbie Wigley
Robbie and I had dinner last night at The Ole Store Restaurant, newly reopened this week. As you can tell from the thumbs-up and smiles, patrons are liking it. L to R above: Marin Amundson-Graham, Dana Graham, and sons; Steve Hartke and daughter Madelyn Hartke (celebrating Madelyn’s 21st birthday); Mary Rossing and Linda Schneewind; me and my sweetie.

Owner Chuck Pryor (far right) and friends Food: The Ole Store Restaurant of Northfield Executive Chef Chris Basina and Sirie Basina Food: The Ole Store Restaurant of Northfield Food: The Ole Store Restaurant of Northfield
Chuck Pryor (on the far right in the left photo above), purchased the building earlier this year and owns the restaurant. (Chuck also owns The Tavern of Northfield and The Grand Event Center.)

Chris Basina is the Executive Chef and his wife Sirie Basina was our waitperson (center photo above). I’m no restaurant critic so let’s just say that Robbie and I were blown away by the quality of the food and the service. Chris and Sirie were delightful, as was manager Deanna Sharp (not pictured).

Interior: The Ole Store Restaurant of Northfield Interior: The Ole Store Restaurant of Northfield Interior: The Ole Store Restaurant of Northfield Interior: The Ole Store Restaurant of Northfield Menu: The Ole Store Restaurant of Northfield Menu: The Ole Store Restaurant of Northfield
The interior has been revamped and spiffed up a bit. It’s quite classy. The dinner menu? Wow.

3 thoughts on “The Ole Store Restaurant of Northfield appears to be a hit”

  1. Jonathan and I were there last night too and really liked it. We tried the lettuce wraps, crab cakes and sausage flatbread – all yummy!

  2. Press release on the Ole Roll from Amy Acheson, Acheson Creative:

    The Ole Roll is Making a Giant Comeback!

    NORTHFIELD (Jan. 2012) – The Ole Store Restaurant is “rolling” in the New Year with their famous Ole Roll — a gooey, caramelized sweet — to compliment a new breakfast menu beginning the weekend of January 21-22, 2012. The buttery pastry has long been a favorite of locals and out-of-town visitors to the Northfield landmark, a quaint neighborhood restaurant nestled in the west side of town just down the hill from St. Olaf College.

    The restaurant’s soft opening, under new ownership this past summer, is what really began to stir the pot. Patrons were asking almost daily,“When are you bringing back the Ole Roll?” It was apparent to the new owners and management that the tradition of this well-known, sticky roll had really stuck. Armed with a couple of tried-and-true recipes passed down through the years, Executive Chef Chris Basina was up for the challenge to reintroduce the long-awaited roll. A from-scratch recipe of this largest importance (and proportions) certainly couldn’t be half-baked — “Research was an important step in the process,” shared Basina. The chef also mentioned he’d be sprinkling in of few ideas of his own. “We are not trying to create an exact replica,” said Basina. “It will, however, have all the elements that make up the great Ole Roll. The caramel recipe is just as important as the dough — we’re going to have a good combination of both!”

    Swirled in home-cooked cinnamon flavor with caramel bubbled to perfection, the Roll is dubbed as the town’s ultimate comfort food –- the kind that brings back warm childhood memories of Grandma’s sweet rolls taken straight out of the oven and eaten right there in the kitchen. The air filled with the aroma … it was something you could really sink your teeth into. It’s not complicated and certainly not an exact science, but great chemistry happens with all that sugar and spice.

    The Ole Store is rich in more ways than one. Its history dates back to the late 1800s drawing loyal customers from the neighborhood, locals, the college communities of St. Olaf and Carleton, and out-of-town visitors that know of the hidden gem. General Manager Deanna Sharp notes it as a “destination restaurant.” “It’s a great meeting place for travelers connecting between the Twin Cities and the southern part of the state.” Visitors frequently dine at the Ole Store before and after special events held at the colleges as well as happenings in the historic downtown that’s filled with lively arts & entertainment on a weekly basis.

    In addition to that sweet oh-so-good Ole Roll, the restaurant offers an array of palette-pleasing dishes that leave you wanting more. Their lunch and dinner entrees range from the finest of meats and seafood to vegetarian dishes, appealing to both the occasional diner and the food enthusiast.

    While some food traditions will remain the same, the Ole Store is not shy of bridging yesterday’s staples with today’s hunger for a complex, mature taste. For example, Basina dabbles blue cheese on top of a filet mignon, whips up a homemade ratatouille sauce for his fresh vegetable strudel and infuses wine in cedar planks for the charbroiled salmon.

    For winter the Ole Store is concentrating on slow foods like brining meats. “You can build a lot of flavor and amazing depth in dishes that allows the flavor to come together in the end,” said Basina. Adding wine, herbs, and other savory techniques makes the difference. There’s no hurry when it comes to great food. Just like having an Ole Roll, you can take your own sweet time.

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