Russell Klein hasn't been at Frost's for a couple of years. Along with his wife, he opened Meritage in downtown St. Paul. During his tenure at Frost, he did raise the bar on food quality.
BEST RESTAURANT--ST. PAUL - 2005
W.A. Frost & Company
The only way we can ever make a decision in this category is to hop into our immersion tank, close the overhead doors, float, and go to our safe let's-pretend place: okay. The phone rings. It's someone from out of town; they want to take you to dinner anywhere in St. Paul, tonight. Where do you pick? The answer this year is W.A. Frost, for several reasons. First, the food: Chef Russell Klein isn't just a talent with a knife. He keeps the restaurant's menu ever-fresh with surprising innovations (steamed pheasant?) and new ways of presenting his thoughtful explorations to his customers (check out his Friends of the Farmer dinners, which spotlight local growers). Second, the front of the house is a delight to behold: Even if the mansion didn't have those million fireplaces and that patio-of-the-gods, the servers are competent, attentive, and fleet on their feet; the hosts are sweethearts, even when under fire; the cheese program is beyond compare; and every little corner of the beverage program goes beyond the call of duty. The coffee and the tea services are excellent; the summer cocktail selection shows true class; and the selection of dessert wines, scotches, and ports is among the best in the Midwest. In short, we have had to conclude that there simply isn't any other restaurant in the last city of the east more likely to reward us for leaving our cozy old immersion tank.
Worst choice for a special event we could have chosen.The bride and groom had enjoyed several good meals at WA Frost and thought it would be a great experience for their guests - wrong, wrong, wrong!Hot room, 2 servers for 35 people (and they were missing half of the time), and lousy food - wilted salad course, cold main courses and tough pastry on dessert course. Then the servers overcharged us by handwriting extra charges on the tab and tried to keep the wine we paid for! Brought the issues to the attention of management and nothing was corrected. Finally, trying to get it corrected with the general manager has resulted in nothing but frustration. These people may know how to do good food, but they don't know how to deliver it.