We scoured our archives for the best dishes featured in Woodbury Magazine throughout the past year, added some tweaks and updates from these local restaurants—many of which are finalists in this year’s Best of Woodbury categories as well—and pulled together one delectable dining guide that crosses all categories of cuisine. Bon appétit!
Duck Confit Tagliatelle
Cravings Wine Bar & Grille
Being a duck in a pasta dish is a bit like waking up in a hotel. It’s familiar territory, but not the bed you’re used to. Cravings executive chef Rick Frazer swaddles the delicious duck in black pepper tagliatelle with peas, roasted tomatoes and fresh rosemary ($20). All of the flavors come together in a Tuaca cream reduction, pairing sweet vanilla with tangy citrus from a classic liqueur. Frazer added this dish to the menu “on a whim, because I was craving it. It became one of our favorites.” Even the chefs can’t resist the “crave” of this delightful duck, and we wouldn’t choose any other dish to reawaken the possibilities of pasta.
755 Bielenberg Drive; 651.528.6828
Bleu Cheese Crusted Flat Iron Steak with Buffalo Jumbo Shrimp
Ray J’s american grill
Amid the sweet nothings you’re whispering into your honeybun’s ear, be sure to mention the words “bleu cheese” and “steak.” It will set the mood for a scintillating dinner chez Ray J’s American Grill. Spoil yourself and your beloved with Ray J’s scrumptuous bleu cheese-crusted flat iron steak and buffalo jumbo shrimp ($21). A massive plate piled with fire-seared surf and turf will arrive, smelling like rich blackened spices commingling with garlic mashed potatoes and seasonal vegetables. If you’re in the mood for something a little lighter and more heavenly, go for the angel hair pasta with tomato and basil ($12)—featuring Roma and roasted tomatoes with basil pesto, butter, garlic and white wine, topped with Parmesan cheese.
9854 Norma Lane; 651.714.2035
The New Woodbury Café
The best time of the day for Mexican food is anytime of the day. The New Woodbury Café specializes in breakfast foods, and the Tex Mex plate is one of the best. Grilled hash browns, onion and juicy sausage are served over two eggs deliciously wrapped in a flour tortilla ($9.50). Whether you’re on the way to work or a relaxing day at the lake, The New Woodbury Café is the best way to start your morning.
803 Bielenberg Drive; 651.209.8081
Jumbo Strawberry Margarita
Las Margaritas Mexican Restaurant cheerfully slings the strong stuff for happy patrons who are thirsty from all those nachos and tacos. This treasure is relentlessly festive; it’s hard to come here and not imbibe. One of the most popular drinks here is the strawberry margarita (24 oz. for $8.99). Drop any cheesy associations with The Love Boat; this is especially good stuff, for good reason. For one thing, Las Margaritas stocks an impressive selection of tequilas, and everyone knows that the quality of the margarita depends on the quality of the tequila. We like a silver tequila, hopefully the top shelf Patron, but regular Cuervo is okay, too. Strawberries, both sweet and tart, are tequila’s best friend. The margaritas come frozen or on the rocks.
10150 Hudson Road; 651.340.3524
Cashel Blue Cheese
Walk into Kowalski’s and follow your nose. You’ll soon find yourself surrounded by walls of pleasantly pungent cheese. Whether you’re searching for the perfect parm to grate over your pasta, or creating a cheese platter for weeknight snacking, you’ve come to the right place. If you’re a fan of bleu cheese, you must try the Cashel Blue ($22.99/lb.) from Ireland. It’s made from pasteurized Friesian cow’s milk. Selection at Kowalski’s varies by store location.
8505 Valley Creek Road; 651.578.8800
Osaka Sushi and Hibachi
Step into Osaka and you’re magically transported to a festive and exotic setting. We asked the hostess to recommend her favorite libation. The mango-cucumber press ($8) was bewitching and refreshing. It’s a simple-but-brilliant combination of fresh cucumber muddled in mango rum, with mango puree, Bacardi rum, Sprite and club soda. The cucumber adds a melon-like accent and keeps the cocktail from overwhelming sweetness.
9000 Hudson Road; 651.731.3333