It’s clear someone earned their pay transforming the former Carrows on the corner of Plumb and Kietzke lanes into Redwood Rotisserie + Grill—a restaurant reminiscent of a hunting lodge, complete with rough-hewn stone work and animal trophies hung from heavy, square-cut wooden beams. The service on a recent visit was friendly—if a bit slow—and the vibe was surprisingly cozy for a large room.
Although the menu includes burgers, salads, sandwiches, Mexican favorites, and plates with fish and veggies, the main attraction is rotisserie roasted chicken and tri-tip. You can either order the meats a few different ways—chicken by the whole bird ($21.99), half bird ($13.99), or quarter bird ($8.99); thin-sliced tri-tip by the full pound ($23.99), half pound ($13.99) or quarter pound ($7.99). You can also get a half-pound combo of beef and chicken ($14.99). Orders come with a choice of two sides and two sauces, all housemade.
My wife and I chose a couple of the day’s specials. She a 12-ounce ribeye steak served with mashed potatoes and seasonal vegetables ($23.99). I tripled down on a sampler platter of barbecue pork ribs, chicken and tri-tip, with chimichurri and ají panca—Peruvian red pepper—dipping sauces, and sides of macaroni and cheese and baked beans ($18.99). We also ordered a pair of green side salads ($2.99 each).
The steak was grilled to a perfectly tender medium, full of fatty flavor and nicely seasoned. It was so succulent they really ought to add it to the menu. The vegetables—a combination of broccoli, carrot, zucchini, yellow squash and sliced mushrooms—were served al dente with mild seasoning. The simple mashed potatoes completed the plate, requiring neither gravy nor other accoutrement. They were definitely fresh, with enough butter and salt to remind us of a favorite family meal.
The presentation of our salads was pretty, with veggies and a side of dressing, filling the bowl and propping up leaves of baby romaine and long, thick slices of cucumber. I don’t really enjoy having to hand prep my lettuce before eating, and I had to set those monster cucumber slices to the side. I’ll take convenience over style any day, especially when it comes to a simple salad.
My sides of beans and mac and cheese provided a stark contrast of good and bad. The beans were topped with scallion and full of slightly sweet, smoky, porky goodness; my wife—a New England native who knows her beans—said these were among the best she’s had. Sadly, though, the pasta was let down by a bland, unappealing cheese sauce that, though not actually broken and grainy, was just on the cusp of falling apart. It looked good but just wasn’t.
The aji panca and chimichurri sauces I chose were both fine, though unnecessary. The chicken forequarter wasn’t too dry and had a really tasty, crispy skin. The tri-tip was exceptionally tender, juicy and delicious. Unfortunately, the ribs were a bit of a miss. The sauce was fair, but the meat was dry, tough and stringy. I had to really work to chew it off the bone. Perhaps stick with the chicken and beef.
We finished with a large slice of warm apple pie agrave; la mode ($6.99). A flaky crust supported the tart, cinnamon-spiced filling. Next time I might skip the meat and have that excellent pie for lunch. Don’t tell my mom.