To hear Baldamar co-owner Randy Stanley describe the view from his new steakhouse, there’s nothing more romantic than a highway and a mall.
“It has kind of this sparkle from the headlights going by,” Stanley said, gazing at the road that separates Baldamar from the AMC multiplex at Rosedale Center. (1642 W. County Road B2, Roseville, 651-796-0040, baldamar.com)
He’ll take that over the views from restaurants in downtown Minneapolis, where “I just see other brick walls and ambulances going by,” he said Monday at a media event for the restaurant. “Here, it’s just steady traffic. Positive energy.”
An affinity for traffic might explain why Stanley, with co-owner and wife Sharon Stanley, has branched out from one suburb to another. (Though their 6Smith, perched on Lake Minnetonka in Wayzata, has a decidedly more tranquil view.)
The shopping mall looms large over Baldamar, which opened last month.
It works its way into the décor and the menu, which both attempt to have a little something for everyone, much like its neighboring retail complex.
“It’s eat, graze, dine,” Stanley said. “Pick your experience.” Shareable small plates, sides and sandwiches all fall under $20, while the USDA Prime beef cuts range from $30 to $70 (for a 12-ounce filet).
“We wanted anyone to come in, whether you’re in a suit or jeans and a T-shirt,” said executive chef Steve Swinney. “I tried to replicate the food in that way. Some things are traditional steakhousey, and some things are new and different.”
Those differences include dishes for non-beef-eaters, such as the lobster roll, tuna poke, whole roasted cauliflower and a handful of salads. Or whimsical presentations, like a plate of sweet and savory house-cured smoked bacon served with a shot of bourbon. “Sip it or dip it?” is the question, Sharon Stanley said.
The bar menu is broken down by spirit, and then “old school” and “new school” cocktails, all $11 to $13. They’re petite, compared to martinis served with a shaker full of leftovers at classic steakhouses. The idea is for drinkers to sample a few. “It’s more about the experience on the bar side than on the quantity,” Stanley said.
As for the look: the booth-ringed dining room with curvy, mid-mod ceilings and a 45-seat bar are “more sexy and sultry” than your “typical testosterone-infused clubby men’s restaurant, with oak and walnut and maple everywhere,” Stanley said.
“It appeals to women as much as it does to men,” he said. “It still has power, but it’s not that irreverent kind of power. It’s — I don’t know if this is right word — it’s androgynous power. It doesn’t matter if you’re male or female, you still feel powerful.”