By Denise DePaolo
Walking up to the RedRossa in Pierre, I already found it difficult to reconcile the differences between this location and the one in Sioux Falls. Those familiar with the Sioux Falls restaurant know that it sits at the end of a strip mall and one orders at the counter. Aside from the name, there was no apparent similarity between the dining concepts.
The Pierre RedRossa, attached to the Clubhouse Hotel & Suites, is palatial in comparison. It is a full service, slightly upscale Tuscan farmhouse-style restaurant with tons of floor space, a large marble-topped stand-alone bar with its own seating area, and every inch tasteful decor. As we entered the lobby, we were flanked on one side by a massive fireplace and on the other by the host stand. Directly ahead, separating the lobby from the bar area was an enormous long table under which enough firewood to last a year was stacked. It struck me as a piece that is supposed to look utilitarian, but is in reality decorative.
The hostess greeted us immediately and led our part of three to a table near the front windows. Our server was also very prompt and friendly. We perused the menu for a moment before deciding on the Chop Chop Salad, Sausage Bella Pizza, and the Red Pepper Chicken Tortellini.
While we waited for our food, our server brought out a basket of crusty white and wheat bread, which we dipped in the olive oil and vinegar on the table. The room we sat in was painted a warm rusty brown with exposed brick under heavily-beamed ceilings. Although it was very large, a row of booths acted as a partition to provide a slightly more intimate feel. The open wine storage area dominated the far wall, proving once again that bottles of wine are the ultimate weapon in restaurant décor – aesthetically pleasing conjurers of pleasant times and places.
Our food arrived after just a short wait, despite it being a busy Sunday evening. Already seduced by the smells emanating from the plates, we dug into the salad first.
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