About Town: Year-Round Escape at Danny's Bar & Grill
"Danny's Bar and Grill at StoneRidge Golf Club is an upscale casual dining experience like no other.” That's what the website says—and with the talented Executive Chef Ron Bohnert in the kitchen, they could be right.
It's fun to discover that winter snow or cold temps and changing seasons never stopped the juices, creative talent, and hot food coming out of the kitchen at the STONERIDGE GOLF CLUB in Stillwater. Thanks to Executive Chef Ron Bohnert, there is "no need to wait for green grass” or golfing weather to dine at his popular DANNY’S BAR & GRILL … he is always open! Summer guests will often tell you they come for the golf but stay for the food. And they return again and again because Chef Ron’s menu of locally sourced and naturally raised foods combined with quality ingredients rivals the finest restaurants in the Twin Cities.
I made a March run to this hideaway just off Interstate 94 on the road to Hudson, Wisconsin (13600 N. Hudson Blvd. is the exact address) and was thrilled to catch old friend Chef Ron on a lazy Saturday afternoon. Well, lazy for me but busy for him as he was getting dinner prep going in the kitchen with a packed house on the books for their Saturday night—and music on the menu, too. He took a short break to share a toast to spring with me, creating a fun cocktail with his manager and beverage expert, Tom Agee (above left).
In fact, he told me it’s their super bar and cozy environment, "not just the food," that keeps the crowds coming back for more and making it always busy on weekends at Danny’s. He said "it’s the great music scene, too." And I say: modest chef. We looked into the kitchen to see if all stations were pumped and getting ready. He stirred a few pots, tasted the soup and sauces, and plated up a sample of the grilled veggie special. Plus he took a look at the sweets and luscious layer cakes pastry chef Mary Xiong (above) had prepared. And for showtime? They were planning on a flaming mini Baked Alaska, served tableside. Lucky for me, we sampled that one, too.
Ron offers much more than his friendly smile and easy going manner. It might surprise you to learn this man has been an award-winning chef for decades! For the past 15 years he has been at StoneRidge, since it opened in 2000. Before that? How about 19 years as executive chef at the St. Paul Radisson, where he became well known for his innovative menu creations for fine dining as well as banquets, weddings, corporate events and meetings, and winner of many awards. I had the fun of working with him over the years at the Radisson with special events like Winter Carnival, and recall his winning at least four times at the Minnesota Pork Board's Taste of Elegance competition.
In case you've never met him, Chef Ron is also a multi-medal winner in American Culinary Federation competitions, with two gold medals, a silver medal and a bronze medal. Over the years he has won several first place awards in the Minneapolis Restaurant and Hospitality Show Seafood Cook-off, plus a second place in a National Wild Game Cook-off. In 2006 his first-place win in the MN Pork Cook-off took him to the finals held in Orlando, where he won second place out of 28 chefs nationwide. Below he shows a recent 2014 award as Top Chef for the October Valley Vine & Harvest Throwdown.
And those who dine at Danny’s reap the rewards of his talents, too. In fact, one of the most popular items on the current menu is his Seafood Cook-off Gold Medal winner: pecan-crusted walleye served with dried cherry maple pecan butter. Sounds delish! Keep up the good work, Ron. As the spring weather rolls in you will want to make Danny’s a must on your list of "on-the-road-adventures" for a summer lunch or dinner outing. And if you’d like to keep in the loop on news about Danny’s schedule, visit the Facebook page at www.facebook.com/DannysBarandGrill and you can sign up for their Edine Club mailing, which will email you weekly menu specials and music schedules at this link: www.dannysbarandgrille.com/pages/edine.