Love in my tummy…

Yummy, yummy, yummy, I got love… well – you know the song. At least I think it’s a song. Actually, I have no idea where it comes from, but it was the first thing that came to mind when I sat down to write about The Grill at Signatures. Haven’t tried it? Stay tuned, I’m going to give away a $25 gift card for the new eaterie in this post. But first, let’s drool a bit, shall we?

As my thighs would tell you – I love to eat – fancy food, pretty food, simple food, chips, yeah… But there’s nothing quite as intoxicatingly good as familiar items done so well you almost feel like they’ve been reinvented. I think that’s even harder than creating some exotic, signature dish that no one’s ever had before – maybe you can make the heck out of a pestomole or have invented a brilliant seafood bourride , but can you make a hamburger taste better?

Well, it turns out The Grill at Signatures can. Bacon cheeseburger, meet the 19th Hole burger with Vermont white cheddar, caramelized onions, and apple-wood smoked bacon on a Bloedows bun. For 9 bucks. Oh my lord, people. Hamburger-shmamburger, you say? Fine. How about a chicken cordon bleu sandwich with prosciutto and a mornay sauce, which is also $9. Or a vegetarian pizza with kalamata olives and a handmade crust?

I have a friend who I consider to be gastronomically sophisticated who couldn’t stop raving about the place the other day. She had the cordon bleu sandwich and said it was pretty much the best sandwich she’d ever eaten in Winona. And she said the cheese curds were the best she’d ever had in her LIFE. Ever. I think she even wept a little bit as she recalled them. OK I’m kidding, she didn’t really weep, but she could not say enough good things about it, and that’s pretty exciting for Winona. I, of course, had to see for myself, and I’d like to give a one-person standing ovation to The Grill for my *amazing* hand-dipped onion rings and buffalo chicken pizza. They serve breakfast on Saturday and Sunday too – which I’m hungry for right now as I write this. The menu looks simple and good, and I am so freaking excited that Winona will be serving a nice breakfast.

Signatures has done a pretty good job reinventing itself for our evolving tastes through the generations. From the dining room, one can still feel the remnants of the gilded days as a private country club, with beautiful food, a stunning view, and an elegance that indisputably makes it Winona’s only fine dining establishment. (I have said for a long time that it is Winona’s best-kept secret, and I shake my head at people who will drive to La Crosse or Rochester and pay literally twice as much as they would pay here – I’ve eaten in those places and the food is not better. But I digress…) The addition of The Grill, which was created by remodeling the bar area of the restaurant to make better use of the seating space and the patio, is just a plain smart idea intended to capture the casual diner who still wants a great meal, but one that is cheaper and more, well, casual.

And I just want to make a disclaimer — I oodle a lot about Winona’s restaurants and their offerings, but I’m not like one of those food critics who goes in and gets a bunch of free stuff to try so I’ll write about it. I’m just a regular paying Joe like everybody else – I just happen to have a blog and a somewhat unnatural love for the things that Winona does well. Call me crazy. And hungry.

So, I bet you’re hungry now too. Let’s have a little contest for the $25 gift card, and then somebody gets to eat. How about I will draw a winner from the comments people leave saying which thing on the new Grill menu they want to try. But no skimping out and just naming the things I already named – you have to look for yourself here and you can leave one comment per day from now until the contest ends:

I will take comments for one week until 7 p.m. on Sunday, April 22, and then I will cut up all the comments and draw a winner. And I’ll leave the first comment, which is “Everything,” but of course I can’t play.  Your turn.

23 thoughts on “Love in my tummy…

  1. Noreen Fish says:

    I’m going to have to come up and try that pot pie. I’ve had many wonderful dinners in the dining room. Eager to try the Grill!

  2. R says:

    I had heard about this coming and am so glad to read your glowing review! I’m excited to go!! First up to try: the Pot Pie. Then the Walleye Sandwich. Then the Torta. Delish! Oh and then the Taco Pizza…oh who am I kidding…it all looks good!

  3. Christine says:

    Thanks for your review, we recently moved here and have been very discouraged with the lackluster options for food. If my husband and I ever get a night out we will have to try Signatures!

    I’m thinking French Onion soup for starters then either the Torta sandwich or the Vegetarian sandwich with the red peppers and asparagus. They both sounds delicious, though I think we might have to get an order of cheese curds after your glowing review!

  4. Kathy Piscitiello says:

    My husband and I LOVE Signatures. We are excited to try the new Grill, and I will try the grilled cheese and tomato soup. This is a simple dish that Signature’s is sure to make special, as they do everything.

  5. Jen B says:

    I’ve already been out to The Grill once and had the french onion soup (which was AMAZING) and the coconut shrimp. What I’m craving this afternoon, and heard was delicious, is the 19th Hole Burger. That and the onion rings are my next meal. 🙂

  6. Kristin Troska says:

    Rainy Day Today: I am thinking Grilled Cheese and Tomato Soup from The Grill would be wonderful.

  7. Tony Prodzinski says:

    The Torta Sandwich sounds amazing. Cilantro, cabbage, avocado, onion, tomatoe, & lime….. wow!

  8. Amanda R says:

    I just moved here this week from California. I was trying to learn some things about Winona when I came upon your blog. I’ve never tried Walleye before so my choice from this menu would be the Walleye sandwich.

  9. Cynthya says:

    OK everybody – I have drawn a winner for the $25 gift card to The Grill at Signatures, and I’m happy to announce that the winner is……

    drum roll……………….

    Tony Prodzinski!!

    Tony’s comment “A reuben sandwich would be delicious” got drawn out of the entries, and yes, Tony, I agree – it WOULD be delicious.

    Congratulations to Tony, who greatly improved his odds by entering the contest once each day as the rules allow, and who is now more familiar with the menu at The Grill than any of us 🙂

    Tony, email me at [email protected] so I can connect you with your prize.

    Thanks everyone for playing, and stay tuned… there will be more great Winona stuff on here soon~

  10. Tony Prodzinski says:

    YAY! Nicely drawn, Cynthya – thanks! Looking forward to…..I’m thinkin’ “burger”!

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