Story by Tracy Nicholson
Photography by M.Schleif Photography
Opening their doors two years ago, in West Fargo, Tru Blu quickly made its mark with sleek, American steakhouse cuisine and a classically designed interior. A stone arched ceiling creates old-world ambiance and their casually-elevated dining takes patrons back to a time when a fine steak was served in fine style. This month, dinner's on us as we take you inside to meet the chefs, gather a few secrets of the steakhouse trade, and steal their sinfully delicious, caramelized root mash potato recipe.
From its lower level banquet space to the patio's herb gardens and floral by the fireplace, Tru Blu is a date-night destination. To get a few tips and a taste of their signature steakhouse cuisine, we met up with Tru Blu's GM, Landa Heaton, mixologist, Sam Rippe, kitchen manager and banquet manager, chef Jake Nosal, along with chef Lionel Diaz and chef and kitchen manager, Rob Bosch.
From Scratch Kitchen
"We're primarily a casual-upscale steakhouse with from-scratch, signature items like our aged steaks, garlic-smoked prime rib and a sous-vide pork chop," said Heaton. "We also serve seafood, pastas and ‘shareables’ like our crab gratin with crusty bread and blackened tenderloin bull bites, those are two customer favorites here." To find out the secrets behind their success, we asked the chefs to serve up three of their favorites and offer tips on how to recreate them at home. Capturing the last month of summer sun, we decided to dine al fresco.
Tru Blu GM, Landa Heaton is the floral creative behind their beautiful patio. While she brings some flowers from her own garden, others, including succulents, floral, and greens come from Shotwell Nursery each year. Everything from the pots at the entrance to the outdoor lounge and fireplace, get a touch of floral. She also takes care of the extensive herb garden, giving their entrees and cocktails immediate access to fresh mint and basil. Open for lunch or dinner, their pet-friendly patio even provides treats for patrons to give to their furry friends.
Chef's Choice #1
Garlic-Smoked Prime Rib
Served fresh and smoked daily, Tru Blu's signature prime rib is paired with their popular button mushrooms and house-made horseradish sauce. "We use a special rub of paprika, brown sugar and a few other seasonings, then it gets smoked with cherry wood for about two-and-a-half hours," said Chef Nosal.
Their button mushrooms are made with an apple cider vinegar, whole grain mustard, garlic, shallots and honey ale, then reduced to perfection. "Our caramelized root mash potato is made with Russet and Yukon potatoes, parsnips and celery. It's very rich and really delicious; definitely a favorite here," said Chef Nosal.
Tru Blu's mixologist, Sam Rippe, paired smoked prime rib with a red wine known for its deep flavors and rustic character, Layer Cake Malbec of Argentina, Mendoza.
Chef's Choice #2
Sous-vide Tomahawk Pork Chop
Chef's Choice #3
Deep-fried Walleye Sandwich
[ Steal the Recipe! ]
Tru Blu's Caramelized Root Mash
Boil, drain, then mash the potatoes. Saute the garlic, onion, celery, and parsnips in 2 Tbsp. butter. Add to potatoes and blend with remaining ingredients.
Stop in, Make a Reservation or Host an Event!
Tru Blu is open for lunch and dinner, but also offers a brunch on Sundays from 10 AM -2 PM with carving station, made-to-order omelets, smoked salmon, shrimp cocktail, deviled egg Bloody Mary's and mimosas.
Beyond their dining room, they offer offsite catering as well as a gorgeous, lower-level banquet space. The entire banquet rooms seats 130 with a full bar, but for smaller groups of 50 or less, the room can be divided with a soundproof wall. "It's perfect for Christmas parties, wedding receptions, groom's dinners, baby showers - we also do a lot of corporate meetings," said Heaton. "We have a separate banquet and catering menu; if there's something that a guest or host wants, but it's not on the menu, we usually can make it happen. We invite people to stop by anytime and check it out."
Get to Know Tru Blu
"We're the original Tru Blu steakhouse and there's only one," said manager, Landa Heaton. Heaton, a former middle school English teacher, has worked for the company for eight years, starting with Lucky's 13, then moving across town to Tru Blu when it opened its doors two years ago. Tru Blu is a concept created by Charlie Burrows and the late Linda Young. The restaurateurs started 14 restaurants including Fargo's Lucky’s 13 Pub, Rudy’s Redeye Grille and Me & Julio.
For more information regarding events and catering, contact:
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